Vikings cruise past shorthanded BP

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hayfield's Cole Kruger shoots over Blooming Prairie's Luke Hueman during the second half Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric Johnson/

HAYFIELD — There was someone missing when the Hayfield boys basketball team hosted Blooming Prairie Thursday night — and both teams wished he was on the court.

Hayfield took advantage of BP center Cooper Nelson being out with a knee injury as they rattled off a 64-36 win over the Awesome Blossoms, but several of the Vikings wished Nelson would’ve played.

“It would’ve been nice (if he played),” Hayfield sophomore center Brady Stevens, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds, said. “It would’ve been more competetive and we wouldn’t have had as many easy baskets, but that’s the way it is.”

Email newsletter signup

Stevens and fellow front-court teamates Tyler Anderson, who had 13 points, and Brady Kramer, who had 14 points, took advantage of Nelson’s absence in the paint all night long as they got inside for some easy looks.

For BP, the return of Nelson, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and shot blocking, can’t come soon enough.

“We miss Cooper in alot of different ways,” BP head coach John Bruns said. “He’s the enforcer inside and we’re in a state of flux until he gets back. It’s a huge blow for us.”

Blooming Prairie's Isaac Clark drives to the hoop against Hayfield Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric Johnson/

The Vikings (10-3 overall) didn’t waste much time getting started as they responded to an early Isaac Clark hoop with a 20-2 run over 10 minutes to go up 20-4.

“I told them games aren’t won on paper and they still start 0-0 just like any other game,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack said. “We made a point to get off to a quick start and I was glad to see we followed through with that and never let them in it.”

Anderson, who has come on strong lately, scored the last six points of that Hayfield run and he finished with 11 points in the first half.

“At the beginning of the year I wasn’t feeling so hot,” Anderson said. “But Pack told me to keep shooting and since then it’s been going pretty good.”

The Hayfield guards played unselfish on Thursday as freshman Cole Kruger, who had four points, five assists, and four steals and senior Tyler Krekling, who had five assists, four rebounds, and three steals, were both in a pass-first mode all night.

“It’s nice to move the ball around so we can all feel confident as a team,” Stevens said. “The guards do a good job of penetrating and making it easy for us (in the middle).”

Nelson is expected back within two weeks for BP, and the Blossoms (2-10 overall) still have plenty of tough games ahead of them against some ‘AA’ schools.

“We play a lot of non-conference HVL teams,” Bruns said. “It’s bound to make us better, we just have to make sure we’re working hard so we can make a run in Class ‘A’ come tournament time.”

BP 18 18 — 36

Hayfield 38 26 — 64

Hayfield scoring: Brady Kramer, 14; Tyler Anderson, 13; Brady Stevens, 12; Bobbie Stephens, 9; Dillon Wagner, 7; Cole Kruger, 4; Tyler Oakland, 4; Ryan Connelly, 1; rebounds: 30 (Stevens, 6); turnovers: 11

BP scoring: Michael Thomas, 11; Isaac Clark, 9; Luc Zellmer, 5; Luke Hueman, 4; Gabe Kartes, 3; Tom Fogarty, 2; Alex Fieberger, 2; free throws: 25 percent (1-for-4); rebounds: 31 (Thomas, 7); turnovers: 20