Viking girls knock off RebelsPublished 1:26am Saturday, March 2, 2013
MANKATO — A pair of sophomore guards made some big plays to vault the No. 3 Vikings over No. 2 Southland 61-50 in the Section 2AA South semifinals in Mankato East High School Friday.
Hayfield’s Bhrett Zahnle came off the bench to tally 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals and Jo Bungum added 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“This time of year they’re almost juniors,” Hayfield head coach Fred Kindschy said of the duo. “They played well and they hit some real big shots for us. We didn’t have Zahnle the first time we played Southland, so that was kind of an extra weapon where we could go one more deeper.”
Southland (24-4 overall) used a 12-0 run to pull to within 46-44 when Jana Schammel drilled a 3-pointer but Bungum hit a free throw and Zahnle and Jessie Foster each scored on breakaways off of turnovers to make it 51-44 Hayfield with 5:42 left.
“For some reason, once we’d get close it looked like we said ‘Okay we’re back in it’ then all of the sudden Hayfield would take off and get a couple of baskets and we’d be back scrambling again,” Southland head coach Bob Sheehan said. “It was a hard game to get into mentally.”
The Rebels made one last surge late in the game when Schammel hit a 3-pointer to make it 55–51 with one minute left. Southland forced a turnover, but Schammel was called for traveling when it looked as if she drew contact on a 3-point attempt with 48.2 seconds left.
“In the last minute it got kind of crazy,” Bungum said. “I wasn’t sure if Schammel was gonna make a shot or not.”
Zahnle helped seal Hayfield’s win by getting two steals and hitting 3-of-4 free throws in the last minute.
The sophomore helped keep Hayfield in front early in the second half when the Rebels had mounted a quick 7-0 run to get within 35-30 after Elizabeth May scored with 14:06 left in the game.
Zahnle drilled a 3-pointer to put her team back up eight and keep the Rebels at bay with 13:10 left.
“I didn’t know what I was gonna do,” Zahnle said. “I just wanted to play and hopefully win.”
The Vikings (20-8 overall) closed the first half on a 8-0 run in just one minute as Dani Wagner, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Alyssa Monahan drilled 3-pointers and Abby Pollock, who had 18 rebounds, scored on a put-back at the buzzer.
The game started off slow as neither team scored in the first three minutes and it took a little while for the flow to develop.
“We came out tight and we didn’t really shoot the ball. We were launching it at the basket,” Sheehan said. “Once they scored, we finally scored a little bit here or there.”
Hayfield’s goal was to keep Schammel, Southland’s all-time leading scorer, in check. They did that to perfection in the first half as they held her to two points in the first frame. In the second half she got loose and finished the game with 14 points.
“We kept Schammel in check, especially in the first half,” Kindschy said. “She had to work for every point she had tonight. She’s one of their leaders and we put the clamps on her pretty good.”
The Vikings will play No. 2 ranked and top-seeded New Richland-HEG (27-1 overall) in the Section 2AA South finals at the Taylor Center in Mankato Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The Panthers beat Blue Earth 63-28 in the semifinals and they beat Hayfield 59-47 Jan. 5.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us to keep close to them,” Kindschy said. “If we keep it close, we have a chance.”
The Rebels will turn a new page next season as they will graduate seven seniors from this year’s team.
“We’re gonna miss these seniors,” Sheehan said. “They’ll be greatly missed and they worked hard. The whole program being turned around is attributed to them and the classes before. We’ll have to get the rest of the girls to buy in to it.”
Hayfield 31 29 — 60
Southland 21 30 — 51
Hayfield scoring: Bhrett Zahnle, 20; Dani Wagner, 14; Jo Bungum, 12; Abby Pollock, 6; Jessie Foster, 5; Alyssa Monahan, 3; free throws: 61 percent (17-for-28); rebounds: 50 (Pollock, 18); turnovers: 21
Southland scoring: McKenzie Kirtz, 17; Jana Schammel, 14; Elizabeth May, 6; Haley Kirkpatrick, 6; Morgan Schmitz, 4; Danielle Hanson, 2; Megan Mullenbach, 2; free throws: 45 percent (5-for-11); rebounds: 39 (Kirkpatrick, 10); turnovers: 23