Brady Kramer and Stewartville defender Zach Schwalbach watch the ball as Brady makes his 1000th point. Photo by Mary Nelson
By Chris Pack
Tuesday the Hayfield boys basketball team held off Stewartville 51-50 to earn an important HVL Gold division win. The Tigers, coached by Hayfield alums Jon Severson and Matt Harvey, tied the game at 50 with one minute remaining. The Vikings held for the last shot and junior point guard Cole Kruger was fouled with one second remaining. After missing the first free throw, he calmly sank the second one and Stewartville missed a desperation shot at the buzzer. The Vikings led 24-18 at halftime, and increased their lead to nine points in the middle of the second half, but the Tigers clawed back into the game and set up the dramatic finish. Early in the second half, Hayfield senior forward Brady Kramer collected his 1000th career point. He became the 8th Viking boy all-time to reach that milestone. Congratulations Brady!! Brady finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds. Cole Kruger led the Vikings with 22 points. Jeremy Stuart added a team-high seven rebounds. The Vikings shot 44% from the field and committed just seven turnovers.
Friday the Vikings made the long trip to La Crescent to battle the Lancers. Hayfield jumped ahead early and built a 14 point first half lead, before going to the locker room with a 37-27 halftime lead. After the Vikings built the lead back up to 15, La Crescent answered and cut the lead to 50-45 with seven minutes left. Hayfield responded and over the next six minutes scored 13 straight points to take a commanding 63-45 lead before winning 65-47. Cole Kruger led a balanced Viking attack scoring 16 points. Trevor Anderson contributed 11 points and Brady Kramer added 10 points and seven rebounds. Brady Stevens chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Drew Streightiff added nine points and five rebounds off the bench. Jeremy Stuart also scored eight points, and Merrick Ducharme grabbed six rebounds off the bench. The wins improve the #8 ranked Vikings record to 11-2, and 4-0 in the HVL Gold. Hayfield traveled to Winona Cotter Tuesday (results not available at press time) and then have two big home conference games. Friday they host #9 ranked Rochester Lourdes and the following Tuesday host #6 ranked Byron, who is currently atop the HVL Gold with a 5-0 conference record.