ROCHESTER, Minn. – Rushford-Peterson High School’s boys basketball team is headed back to its second home – the state tournament.
For the fourth season in a row and fifth time in six seasons, R-P is headed to the Class A state tourney after a 57-46 win over Goodhue at the Mayo Civic Center.
The top-ranked Trojans (29-1) should be rewarded the top seed at state. If that happens, they will play at 11 a.m. at Williams Arena in St. Paul against a randomly drawn opponent not seeded in the Top 5 of the eight sections in Minnesota.
The matchup with Goodhue (23-8) was a rematch of last year’s Section 1A final and the second time in as many years R-P coach Tom Vix beat his former player, Goodhue coach Matt “Merlin” Halverson to get to state.
Vix, who is in the Minnesota Coaches Association Hall of Fame, is back at state for the 13th time in his 26-year career at Rushford and Rushford-Peterson. He’s compiled a 627-228 record (20-13 at state) over that time winning titles in 1989 and 2006.
Last year, R-P finished runners-up after a 31-2 season, losing to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (31-1) 52-40 at the Target Center.
R-P’s only loss this season came to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau on Dec. 13. G-E-T (18-4) is ranked ninth in Division 3 in Wisconsin.
Caledonia also headed back to state
For the second season in a row and fifth time in school history, Caledonia is headed back to the state tournament.
The second-ranked Warriors got 22 points from Cole Lambert in a Section 1AA 58-52 win over Rochester Lourdes.
Caledonia will find out when it plays after Saturday’s seeding meeting. The Class AA opener will be some time on Wednesday depending on the seed.
This was the second time in less than a month the Warriors (26-4) beat the Knights (19-10). They took them down 62-59 in overtime on Feb. 14.
Of Caledonia’s four losses this season, two are against Rushford-Peterson (65-60, 58-49). Another came by a 57-54 score to Waverly-Shell Rock (Iowa), which is 22-2. The first loss of the season came in the third game, 69-61 against Crestwood (Iowa), which just finished its season 12-11.
Last year, the Warriors finished third at state, ending their season with a 79-56 win over Farimont. Caledonia finished last season 29-3. Coach Josh Diersen played the Warriors and helped win the school’s only state title back in 1997.