Vikings top Rebels, move on to subsection finalsPublished 12:05am Friday, March 8, 2013
MANKATO — Hayfield senior Trevor Anderson is not afraid to take a big shot.
A senior-heavy Southland squad was in the midst of a 16-4 run against Hayfield over an 11-minute stretch that pulled the Rebels to within 42-36 when Anderson took a pass from Brady Kramer and he hit a dagger 3-pointer to make it 45-36 with 2:10 left in the game.
Hayfield held on to win 54-48 in the Section 2AA South boys basketball semifinal game in Mankato East Thursday.
“(Hayfield head coach Chris) Pack said he’s glad it went it because he was steaming when it was in the air,” Anderson said of his shot. “I didn’t think it was that bad of shot. I’m glad it went in and that’s why I’ve been working so hard.”
Anderson finished with 13 points and four rebounds in the win and Pack said he did like the confidence his senior guard showed.
“Thank goodness Trevor’s shot went in. Since it went in, it’s great but if he misses it, oh boy,” Pack said. “I don’t know if he would’ve done that before last game, when he made seven threes. It took some guts and it’s a good time for him to be confident.”
No. 2 seeded Southland (20-8 overall) put together one last run late in the game as Mike Goergen, who had 15 points and seven rebounds, hit a 3-pointer and a lay-up to make it 51-48. Hayfield put the game away when Jeremy Stuart scored a breakaway lay-up to make it 53-48 with 30 seconds left.
The No. 3 Vikings (20-7 overall) had led 38-20 with 13:43 left after they opened the second half on a 12-0 run that saw Anderson score five points and Kramer score four points.
Southland head coach Jon Thalberg was pleased with how his team reacted to the struggles.
“I told the kids that I appreciate the fight they gave us in the second half,” he said. “It’s so easy for high school kids to accept it and not finish the way they should. These guys did a 180 and gave it everything they had. I’m glad they went out fighting.”
Hayfield dominated the boards in the win as they out-rebounded Southland 36-24. Junior forward Jeremy Stuart was a big part of that as he had 13 points and eight rebounds in his first subsection semifinal game of his career.
“Walking in there I was terrified,” Stuart said. “My heart was racing, but once our crowd kind of got into it I went with it and it came to me naturally.”
Hayfield trailed 9-6 early on when Southland’s Chris Wolff scored on a lay-up, but the Vikings responded with a 12-0 run and they never trailed again the rest of the night.
“I was proud of our effort on the defensive end,” Pack said. “I thought we worked our butts off and made it tough for them to score.”
Hayfield had some solid balance in the win as Cole Kruger had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists and Brady Kramer had eight points and nine rebounds.
The Rebels had beaten the Vikings 65-58 Feb. 21 in Adams, but the story was different this time around.
“I felt confident and I knew we had to work harder,” said Anderson. “We didn’t play defense and we didn’t box out in the last game (against Southland). We won it down on the defensive end tonight, that’s for sure.”The Vikings will now play top-seeded Maple River (22-4 overall) in the Section 2AA South title game at the Taylor Center in Mankato Monday at 6 p.m. Maple River beat United South Central 73-71 Thursday.
The Vikings have lost the Section 2AA South title game the past two seasons, but they’re hoping their luck changes this time around.
“(Maple River) doesn’t have many weaknesses,” Pack said. “But I’m hoping we can at least contain them and give ourselves a shot.”
Hayfield 26 28 — 54
Southland 18 30 — 48
Hayfield scoring: Cole Kruger, 13; Trevor Anderson, 13; Jeremy Stuart, 13; Brady Kramer, 8; Drew Streightiff, 5; Merrick Ducharme, 2; free throws: 63 percent (17-for-27); rebounds: 36 (Kramer, 9); turnovers: 12
Southland scoring: Mike Goergen, 15; Decker Bendtsen, 10; Nick Schmitz, 8; Luke Anderson, 6; Sam Klaehn, 5; Chris Wolff, 4; free throws: 83 percent (5-for-6); rebounds: 24 (Goergen,7); turnovers: 10