Abigail Pollock tries to go around K-Mís Erin Schlotthauer under the basket. Pollock got fouled on the shot. Hayfield beat the Komets 70-58.
By Tara Lindquist
The girls started off the week playing the Southland Rebels. The Vikings fell behind early in the game and continued to struggle shooting the ball, finding themselves behind at the half 30-15. "We really struggled shooting the ball in the first half," explained coach Fred Kindschy. The second half proved to be more of the same and Southland quickly jumped to a 20 point lead and the subs saw all the action in the fourteen minutes of the game. "It was just one of those nights we have sometimes where when we shoot poorly against a good team." The final score for the night was 58-32. "The best thing was that we played again the very next night so we had a chance to redeem ourselves."
On Tuesday the girls played against the Komets who were tied with the Vikings for the conference lead. The game started out much better for the Vikings than the previous night. "What a difference a night makes!" Kindschy said.
The Vikings came out and played an intense style of basketball and found themselves with a 33-26 half time lead.
In the second half the Vikings continued to play well and built up a 12 point lead when foul trouble caused both teams to go to their benches for help. "We played for 4-5 minutes without a few key players." The Komets mounted a late charge at the Vikings but free throw shooting down the stretch helped Hayfield hand on to earn a hard fought 70-58 victory.
Friday night the Vikings had another test against the Byron Bears. The Vikings started very slow versus the Bears and fell behind 15-2 to start the game. "We just had a very hard time getting into an offensive flow to begin with." After a few timeouts and changing up a few things on offense, the team took off and out-scored Byron 24-8 over the next ten minutes to take a 26-33 lead into the locker room.
The second half started just like the start of the game for the Lady Vikes and they again found themselves trailing by double digits. After their slow start, again Hayfield started to rise above and went on a run of their own - going from down 12 to up five in about five minutes. "We changed a few things up and tried driving against their strong zone, and we kicked out to Alyssa Monahan and Johanna Bungum who knocked down some shots," he said.
With under a minute remaining, and a tied score, the Vikings got the ball inside to senior post Abigail Pollock. Pollock made a strong move and ended up scoring to give the Vikings the lead for good. With the victory the girls secured the first conference title for the team since joining the Hiawatha Conference several years ago.
"This was a big win for us," he said. "This conference is always one of the top ones in the state."
The Vikings will play in the conference championship at home on Monday, February 18, at 7:30 versus Pine Island.