Hayfield advances into semifinals

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

The second-seeded Hayfield boys' basketball team may have a modest record on paper, but as the saying goes: that's why they play the game.

The Vikings (14-12) used a third-quarter explosion to take down third-seeded New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 60-47, in their Section 2AA East Sub-Section semifinal Thursday night at Waseca High School.

"I'm happy with where we're at right now," said Hayfield head coach Chris Pack. "Our conference is so tough that it makes the playoffs seem easier in comparison."

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Neither team was able to establish themselves in the first half, going into the break deadlocked at 23-all.

The third quarter featured more of the same until the final four minutes. Hayfield erupted for three three-pointers and two fast-break baskets in that span to take command. When the dust settled, the stunned NRHEG squad found themselves down 43-29 as the quarter expired.

The Vikings put the game away in the fourth quarter thanks to a robust 20-for-24 performance from the free-throw line. Hayfield shoots 70 percent from the line as a team this season, helped by an 83 percent pace Thursday night.

"We've been a pretty good free-throw shooting team all year," said Pack, "but we were even better tonight and we only turned the ball over eight times, which made the difference for us."

A balanced Hayfield effort was highlighted by 12 points and 11 rebounds from David Johnson, and 11 and eight from Weston Hanson.

"Those two did good job inside for us tonight," Pack said.

Drew Wanzek led the Vikings with 13 points, while Tyler Kramer chipped in 10 points and five assists.

NRHEG got 15 points from both Zak Tracy and Bjorn Peterson in a losing effort.

Hayfield advances to the sub-section finals Monday at 6 p.m. at Minnesota State University at Mankato. The Vikings meet fifth-seeded United South Central, which upset top-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 46-39 earlier in the evening.


HAYFIELD (60) -- David Johnson 12, Blake Swanson 2, Tyler Kramer 10, Bryan Oelkers 4, Weston Hanson 11, Drew Wanzek 13, Shawn Colucy 8.

NRHEG (47) -- Jacey Reese 6, Zak Tracy 15, Bjorn Peterson 15, Matt Wenzel 2, Tim Tappe 4, Dusty Davis 5.



Free-throws--Hayfield 20-24, NRHEG 8-11.

Three-pointers--Hayfield 4 (Colucy 2, Johnson, Wanzek) , NRHEG 3 (Tracy 3).