CALEDONIA, Minn. — Jackson Koepke started it, and Sam Privet ended it.
The Caledonia High School boys basketball team had to absorb a lot of blows from a gritty Goodhue team that refused to back off in an MSHSL Section 1AA quarterfinal on Friday.
But a fantastic start gave the Warriors a cushion with which to work, and Caledonia rode that to a 73-49 victory that put it in Monday's semifinal round.
The Warriors (19-1) made four 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes, 45 seconds to take a double-digit lead and never gave it up despite the Wildcats (11-9) scratching and clawing for anything they could get.
Top-seeded Caledonia plays fourth-seeded P-E-M (15-5) at Rochester Mayo in Monday's 7 p.m. semifinal. Second-seeded Stewartville (17-3) plays third-seeded Lake City (13-5) in the other semifinal at Kasson-Mantorville after both survived upset bids.
Semifinal winners play Wednesday at Rochester Century.
"I think we got a little complacent in the second half, maybe not as much defensively but offensively," said Caledonia coach Brad King, whose team has only lost to WIAA Division 2 state runner-up Onalaska. "But in the first half, we had a lot of guys at the high post, and that led to a lot of 3s, or at least good looks."
Koepke opened the game with one before Goodhue scored the next four points.
But a basket by Andrew Kunelius, two 3-pointers by Austin Klug and another 3 by Privet quickly gave the Warriors a 14-4 lead.
The Wldcats cut their deficit to less than 10 points just one more time, but scoring wasn't easy against the Caledonia defense.Goodhue got the ball inside to 6-foot-5 junior Dane Wojcik plenty of times, but Privet, Klug and others made it nearly impossible to convert.
The Warriors were very active defensively, creating turnovers with traps and tipping away several Goodhue passes on the wing and in the paint.
"We were really vocal," said Privet, who scored 15 points. "Everybody talked and made sure we were all on the same page. We made sure we switched screens and didn't give up anything easy."
Klug scored 14 of his game-high 22 in the first half, which ended with Caledonia on top 40-21. Privet and Klug both finished on conversions at the rim and were fouled late in the half. Privet made his free throw, but Klug missed his.
The Warriors capitalized on offensive rebounds but also made a point to push tempo in a game between teams that like to do very different things.
"They like to play slow, and they are very fundamental," Klug said of the Wildcats. "We had to speed them up and play at our pace.
"We came up with a couple different traps, and they helped us get them going faster."
Koepke added 12 points, and Casey Schultz and Andrew Kunelius each scored eight for Caledonia, which led by as many as 28 points in the second half.
Klug made three 3-pointers for the second straight game and scored 22 points when the Warriors beat P-E-M 72-53 early this season.
Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at email@example.com of via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX