Hayfield boys clinch a trip to state for the first time since 2001Published 10:59pm Friday, March 15, 2013
MANKATO — The Hayfield boys basketball team beat a team ranked in the top four for the second time in five days as they punched their ticket to the Class ‘AA’ state tournament in the Taylor Center in Mankato Friday.
The Vikings (22-7 overall) held off No. 4 ranked St. Peter (25-4 overall) 56-51 in the Section 2AA title game.
“I knew we could play with teams like this and we put in the hard work to do it,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack said. “We did it on the defensive end.”
Hayfield took the lead for good when Brady Kramer converted a 3-point play to make it 50-48 with 1:13 left in the game.
Jeremy Stuart blocked a shot on St. Peter’s next possession and he hit two free throws to make it 52-48.
Stuart, a junior post player, finished with 22 points.
“Right now I’m the happiest man in the world,” Stuart said. “I feel like we can do anything right now.”
Much like they did in the win over Maple River Monday, the Vikings led by 10 at the half, but saw that lead fade away in the second half.
“It was almost the same script as Maple River,” Pack said.
Saint Peter’s Peter Kruize scored a 3-point play to make it 52-51 and Brady Kramer hit two free throws on Hayfield’s next possession to make it 54-51.
The last time Hayfield went to state was in 2001.
The Vikings will play in the Class ‘AA’ state tournament Wednesday in either Target Center or Williams Arena with an opponent and time to be determined.
Hayfield 29 27 — 56
St. Peter 19 32 — 51
Hayfield scoring: Jeremy Stuart, 22; Cole Kruger, 16; Brady Kramer, 9; Brady Stevens, 4; Trevor Anderson, 3; Drew Streightiff, 2