Lady Vikings packing for State—again
ROCHESTER — The Hayfield basketball girls are back at it. Seeded No. 1, the Lady Vikes dominated No. 2 Grand Meadow, 51-32, on Friday night, March 10, to earn their second consecutive trip to the coveted Minnesota girls state tournament.
“In your wildest dreams, you hope it goes like this,” Hayfield coach Kasey Krekling said. “But it really came down to the girls executing what we wanted. We put in some new wrinkles offensively and defensively this week. But you have to put the ball in the hole. When you do that, you look like a genius.”
Hayfield rode its superior speed, quickness and shot making on Friday night, to build a 34-16 half-time lead. The Vikings entered the game on an 11-game winning streak. As dominant as that sounds, a handful of those wins were of the “just-barely” variety.
But there was nothing narrow about what went on in this latest Hayfield triumph. The Vikings, who got just four points in the first half from star point guard Kristen Watson and eight for the game, found plenty of other scoring. Its No. 1 source was sharp-shooting forward Natalie Beaver, who used her smooth shooting stroke to finish with 17 points.
Combined with three others scoring at least eight points apiece, Hayfield had all the offense it needed. The Hayfield girls take a gaudy 28-3 overall record with them to the impending big game. It was obvious that the Lady Vikings came to play, and it’s even more obvious that they are more than ready for another appearance on the big stage.
Grand Meadow Scoring: Lauren Queensland, 20 points; Kendyl Queensland, 1 point; Gracie Foster, 3 points; Rebeca Hoffman, 4 points; Lexy Foster, 4 points; Hayfield Scoring: Kristen Watson, 8 points; Chelsea Christopherson, 10 points; Molly Hansen, 2 points; Jojo Tempel, 8 points, (2) 3-pointers; Emily Hansen, 4 points; Natalie Beaver, 17 points; Betsy Gillette, 2 points.
The Vikings will play their quarterfinal game of the state tournament at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, against Greenbush-Middle River High School/Badger High School, at Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.
Photo: Photo by Mary Nelson Kristen Watson takes a shot under the basket.