Opshal's 3-point game winner 'a good feeling' (updated)

Guy Limbeck, Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
·5 min read

Mar. 2—GOODHUE — Will Opsahl didn't like the way he had been shooting earlier in the game. But with the outcome on the line, the Goodhue guard sophomore was as good as gold on Monday.

Opsahl drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to snap a tie and lift the host Wildcats to a pivotal 60-57 win over Triton in a Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division boys basketball game.

"A good feeling," Opsahl said. "I was kind of struggling early on in the second half and it's a good way to bounce back and hit that final shot."

"For him to hit that last-second shot for us was a big deal because that's going to give him confidence going forward and we need that from him," Goodhue coach Matt Halvorson said.

The Cobras had tied the game on Jaxon Sackett's inside hoop with 40 seconds to play. After Goodhue ran the clock down to 18.7 seconds left, Triton had four fouls to give at the end of the game. The Cobras used all of them in a 12-second span, leaving Goodhue with just 6.1 seconds left leading up to Opsahl's winning shot.

Triton used a zone defense so the 6-foot-5 Opsahl circled to the right wing and got enough room to get a shot off despite being well guarded.

"I think there was about two of them in the area," he said. "I just looked at the clock for a split second and saw there wasn't much time left and let it fly."

"Credit to them, they got their best shooter open for three," Triton coach Zak Hanegraaf said. "I think we had two guys with a hand in his face and he still knocked it down."

The youthful Wildcats, who do not have a senior on the roster, are now 7-4 in the HVL Blue Division and 9-5 overall.

"If we happen to win an HVL Blue (Division) or if we happen to get a couple of wins in the section tournament, that's great," Halvorson said. "But we're really focused on getting these guys as good as we can."

Triton, looking for its first winning season since 2008-09, entered the game leading the Blue Division and is now 7-4 in HVL play and 8-6 overall.

Wojcik strong inside

Dayne Wojcik had a dominating inside game for Goodhue. The 6-5 junior forward scored 23 points and made 11 of 14 shots from the floor.

"Every game that's definitely a focus for us," Halvorson said. "If teams don't account for him or if they play one-on-one with him, he usually wins that advantage. Usually teams have to double down and then we get those open kick outs."

Opsahl, Goodhue's leading scorer, had 20 points. He and Wojcik combined to score 24 of Goodhue's 28 points in the second half.

"Dane on the inside is unstoppable," Opsahl said. "It's very nice to have him. Just kick it into him and he's going to get a bucket."

The Cobras kept the game close the entire way as they made a sizzling 13-for-24 from 3-point range, including 9-for-13 in the first half. Owen Petesohn made four of Triton's 13 3-pointers and had 16 points. Haven Quimby had a trio of 3-pointers and scored 15 points.

"We shot well," Hanegraaf said. "The last couple of game's I think we've shot over 50 percent from three so we're starting to get in a groove and starting to peak at the right time. Just credit Goodhue, they made one more play than we did."

Goodhue has played a number of close games this season. Its last five games have been decided by four or fewer points. The Wildcats are 4-1 in that span and the four wins have been by a total of eight points. They were coming off a two-point loss to Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

"The last game against Zumbrota we probably had our worst shooting game of the year so it's nice to bounce back and get going in the right direction again," Opsahl said.

Triton beat Goodhue 38-36 earlier this season. The Cobras controlled the boards this time 30-16 but did commit 14 turnovers to just six for Goodhue. The Wildcats also shot a stellar 56.5 percent from the floor (26-for-46) while Triton shot a solid 46.5 percent (20-for-43).

"I thought we played well, well enough to win the game," Hanegraaf said. "They just hit one more shot than us."

Goodhue 60, Triton 57

TRITON (57)

Jaxon Sackett 6 P, 8 R; Noah Thomas 3 P, 1 3-PT; Owen Peterson 16 P, 4 R, 4 3-PT; Weston Thomas 9 P, 3 3-PT; Haevan Quimby 15 P, 4 R, 3 3-PT; Abraham Myer 6 P, 5 R, 2 3-PT.

GOODHUE (60)

Tyson Christensen 3 P, 1 3-PT; Dayne Wojcik 23 P, 6 R, 1 3-PT; Carson Roschen 3 P, 3 R, 1 3-PT; Adam Poncelet 11 P, 1 3-PT; Will Opsahl 20 P, 2 3-PT.

Halftime: GOOD 32, TRI 29.

Free throws: TRI 4-4, GOOD 2-5. Field goals: TRI 20-43, GOOD 26-46.

Three-point goals: TRI 13-24, GOOD 6-18. Rebounds: TRI 30, GOOD 16. Turnovers: TRI 14, GOOD 6.

Will Opsahl nails a 3 at the buzzer to win the game in dramatic fashion. Goodhue beats Triton 60-57. pic.twitter.com/QN5bRIh3QP

— Guy N. Limbeck (@PBglimbeck) March 2, 2021

Jaxon Sackett ties game for Triton at 57 with 40 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/nRejjYST0x

— Guy N. Limbeck (@PBglimbeck) March 2, 2021

Dayne Wojcik with a rebound hoop, Goodhue ties Triton at 47, 8:41 left. pic.twitter.com/25XIbhp3Jb

— Guy N. Limbeck (@PBglimbeck) March 2, 2021