Hayfield girls use patience to top Panthers in New Richland

Published 11:24 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

NEW RICHLAND — This time the tables were turned.

A year ago, the Hayfield girls basketball team may have been a little too confident when they learned they were playing against New Richland H/E/G without an injured Kristina Cole in the section tournament and they ended up losing.

This year, the Panthers (21-7 overall) may have been a little too sure of themselves when they took on Hayfield without injured center Kiley Severson.

“Last year we were awfully confident going against them because Kristina Cole, a real nice player for them, was hurt,” Hayfield head coach Fred Kindschy said. “We said right before tonight’s game that (NRHEG) is probably thinking the same thing right now. They beat us with (Kiley) this year and they probably thought they’d beat us again without her.”

The Vikings erased all doubts early as Renee Stier scored eight points during a 10-0 run that set the groundwork for No. 3 Hayfield’s 39-33 victory over the No. 2 Panthers in the girls basketball Subsection 2AA South Divison semifinals Friday.

That run put Hayfield up 14-4 and the Panthers would get no closer than five the rest of the way.

Stier, who had 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, drove to the hoop for six of the points during the rally.

“We wanted to come out aggressive,” Stier said. “With Kiley out, we had to find more scoring, so I just had to go at them. This is the best game we’ve played as a team since she’s been out.”

The Panthers crept to within 32-26 with 5:31 left in the game after a driving lay-up by eighth grader Carlie Wagner. Hayfield (19-8 overall) broke any momentum NRHEG had by holding the ball for three minutes before Kayla Garness scored on a pass from Stier.

NRHEG’s Kristina Cole scored to make it 34-28 with 2:37 left. Again, Hayfield held the ball for a minute before the Panthers were forced to start fouling down the stretch.

“They’re a little bigger and we were afraid of them underneath on the boards,” Kindschy said. “We wanted to slow it down and limit the possessions and we thought there’d be some times where we’d play a little stall game. While they had the advantage inside, we had it outside.”

Hayfield’s top scorer Jordyn Krekling had to sit for a six-minute stretch with her fourth foul late in the second half. But the Vikings were able to hold the ball for three of those minutes on one possession to stay ahead.

Krekling, who finished with nine points, four steals, and five rebounds, said the Vikings’ fast start was huge.

“We wanted to get ahead right away and stall a little bit, because we’re not very deep and that let us rest a little,” she said. “ We made sure that all the passes were there and if they weren’t, we’d come to the ball.”

The Vikings’ defense also left its mark as they held NRHEG to 12 points in the first half and held Panther guard Alyssa Kerkhoff to three points.

“We had to always make sure where (Kerkhoff) was and we did a good job of limiting her looks and her drives,” Krekling said.

Hayfield’s role players stepped up in the first half after NRHEG pulled to within 14-9 on a Kerkhoff three. Sophomore Alyssa Selk hit a baseline three and Beth Felten hit a baseline jumper in a one-minute span to put Hayfield back up 10.

“I told Alyssa that sometimes its not that starter, but the player off the bench who pops in a big shot and that’s what she did,” Kindschy said.

Hayfield will now play No. 1 Blue Earth (17-4 overall) in the subsection title game at Minnesota State in Mankato Monday at 8 p.m.

Hayfield 22 17 — 39

NRHEG 12 21 — 33

Hayfield scoring: Renee Stier, 12; Jordyn Krekling, 9; Beth Felten, 6; Molly Streightiff, 5; Kayla Garness, 4; Alyssa Selk, 3; free throws: 50 percent (9-for-18); rebounds: 23 (Krekling, 5; Stier, 5); turnovers: 10

NRHEG scoring: Anna Schlaak, 8; Kristina Cole, 7; Carlie Wagner, 7; Alyssa Kerkhoff, 3; Kate Quam, 2; free throws: 75 percent (9-for-12); rebounds: 25 (Schlaak, 8); turnovers: 19