Bhrett Zahnle gets around her Southland defender and puts up a shot under the basket. Zahnle scored 20 points to help the Vikings defeat Southland 60-51. Hayfield will play #1 seed NRHEG in the subsection championship game on Tues, March 5 at MSU. Photo by Mary Nelson
By Tara Lindquist
The Hayfield Lady Vikes jumped into post-season tournament action on Tuesday, February 26 against the sixth seeded Medford Tigers.
They came out ready to play and jumped on the Tigers early running up an 18-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. "We came out strong and dictated the tempo," coach Fred Kindschy said. "Our defense was allowing us to push the ball and get our fast break going."
After a cold spell in the game, the Vikings found themselves with only a five-point lead. With three minutes left in the first half the Lady Vikes went on a 16-4 run and finished the half up 41-24.
The second half started out just like the first half with Hayfield pouncing on the Tigers. They went on a 17-3 run to open the second half and bust game open to a 31-point lead. "We came out in the second half and executed our half court offense very well," Kindschy said.
The team starters head to the bench early and the reserve players saw a lot of playing time. "It was good to see a lot of our players see time on the court."
On Friday the Lady Vikings traveled to Mankato to take on the number 2 seeded Southland Rebels. Hayfield went into the game with revenge on their mind, as Southland had defeated the Vikings by 26 point earlier in the season. "We knew we had our work cut out for us but we also felt that they might be looking past us a little," explained Kindschy.
The game started slow for both teams. It took four minutes into the game before the first point was scored; once Hayfield grabbed the lead they never surrendered.
The girls played a good first half and jumped on the Rebels to grab a two point 31 to 21 lead heading into the locker room at the half. "We played a strong defensive first half where we made an effort to shut down their best player."
The second half saw a lot of turnovers on both sides. Hayfield continued to hold onto their lead although it dwindled to a slim three-point lead. "We made just enough big shots to hold them off."
With Hayfield holding the ball, Southland was forced to foul to get the ball back. The Lady Vikes scored their final nine points at the free throw line to earn a hard fought 60-51 victory.
The Vikings have earned themselves another trip to the State Tournament. They will play their first game in Mankato for the subsection title against number 1 seed NRHEG, on March 6, in Mankato.