The Fertile-Beltrami Falcon Boys Basketball team battled hard against the Goodhue Wildcats and picked up a 64-57 victory in the first round of the Minnesota State Class A Boys Basketball tournament at the Target Center in Minneapolis. 

Derek Sorenson collected the first basket of the ballgame for Fertile-Beltrami to put the Falcons up early, 2-0, as both teams set the tone early with swarming defense. A few minutes later, Preston Hanson knocked down a straightaway three for the Falcons to give them a 5-2 lead. Both defenses continued to flourish before trading baskets to make it 8-4 with 11:15 left in the half with Fertile-Beltrami still in the lead. Luke Roschen knocked down a three for Goodhue to give the Wildcats a 9-8 lead. After Goodhue got another basket, Sorenson tied the game with a triple. Later in the half, Hanson put up a three from the left wing that went around the rim and in to tie the game at 16 with six minutes left in the half. Alex Loos banked in a three for the Wildcats to give them the lead, but Masen Nowacki quickly answered it to give the Falcons a 20-19 lead with just over four minutes left in the half. With two minutes left in the half, Nowacki knocked down a midrange jumper to pull the Falcons within one at 26-25. Cody Opdahl got his own miss underneath the basket and laid it in to tie the game at 28 with under a minute left in the half. Fertile-Beltrami would get two free throws from Swenby to give the Falcons a 30-28 lead at the half. 

Luke Roschen started the second half with a nice bank shot down low to tie the game up at 30 apiece. The defenses for each side got off to a great start early, but Hanson knocked down a pair of free throws to tie it at 32 two minutes into the half. Hanson swished a three to give Fertile-Beltrami the lead, then Swenby got a defensive rebound and took the ball coast to coast, got his layup to fall, plus the foul to give the Falcons a 38-32 lead. After Goodhue hit two baskets to cut the lead down to one, Hanson got a bucket down low, but the Wildcats answered with a three to tie it at 40 with 12 minutes left in the half. Later in the half, Swenby used a fadeaway jump shot from about 15 feet out to give the Falcons a 46-42 lead. Michael Roschen knocked down a corner three for the Wildcats with just under eight minutes left in the half to make it 46-45 with Fertile-Beltrami still in the lead. Swenby hit back-to-back baskets to give the Falcons a 50-45 with under five minutes left in the half. Swenby hit two more free throws to give the Falcons their biggest lead of the game at seven, but Luke Roschen got a layup on the other end to make it a five-point game again. Swenby went one for two from the free throw line after drawing a foul to give Fertile-Beltrami a 54-48 lead with two and a half minutes left. The Falcons got two big free throws from Nowacki to make it 56-51 with a minute and a half to go. Goodhue was unable to get their shots to fall late as Swenby hit three clutch free throws to go up 59-52 with under 30 seconds left. Fertile-Betrami hit their free throws late to pull away and get the 64-57 victory to advance to the State Semifinals. 

Fertile-Beltrami’s record improves to 26-6, and they will take on West Central Area in the semi-finals at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. You can heat the game on KROX Radio. Goodhue drops to 18-14 and will head to the Consolation Bracket to face Heritage Christian Academy Friday morning.

Click here for Coach Steffes’s post-game interview. 

Click here for Caiden Swenby’s post-game interview. 

Click here for Preston Hanson’s post-game interview. 

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