Stephens hits 1,000 as Vikings roll

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hayfield's Cole Kruger is fouled by Blooming Prairie's Cody Doerhoefer during the first half Tuesday night in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Just a few days after they finished third at the Tartan Invite in St. Paul, the Vikings decided to show the Awesome Blossoms what they learned up in the Twin Cities.

The lesson was impressive as Hayfield had a season’s best scoring outburst and it beat BP 83-34 in a boys basketball game Tuesday night.

“We didn’t expect to come in here and win by that much, but we talked about playing to our potential and we didn’t overlook them,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack said. “It was nice to see us come out and bury a team when we had the chance. Everything was working on both ends and it’s fun to watch when we can play like that.”

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Hayfield (8-3 overall) took a 36-20 lead with 2:29 left in the first half when Bobbie Stephens drilled a three for his 1,000th career point and the Vikings never looked back. Hayfield scored the last seven points of the first half and it opened the second half on a 19-2 run.

Blooming Prairie's Alex Fiebiger knocks a pass away from Hayfield's Tyler Oakland during the first half Tuesday night in Blooming Prairie. - Eric Johnson/

Stephens, who hit six-of-nine from downtown, scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds, wasn’t worried about hitting his career milestone against BP. He just wanted to get it over with.

Still, he didn’t mind doing it against the Awesome Blossoms (5-3 overall), a team he knows quite well.

“It’s always fun to come out here and play with some of my friends. I played AAU with some of them,” Stephens said. “We joked around and had a little fun before the game.”

When Stephens wasn’t knocking down deep jumpers, Hayfield sophomore point guard Cole Kruger was putting on a clinic as he finished with 19 points, six assists and five steals in limited playing time. He said the Vikings have a new look on things after playing in the Twin Cities last week.

“It was so much faster up there and it was a lot more physical. Down here, everything is a lot easier. We had to fight for everything up there and it came more natrually tonight,” Kruger said. “We had been playing close games against teams that should’nt have been close and we wanted to come out and play to our ability tonight and not the ability of the opponents.”

Stephens said the whole squad learned plenty as they won two of three games from teams in the metro area last week.

“It was hardcore defense there and they were right on you as soon as you got the ball,” he said. “It definitely will help us in the long run and we feel so much better after last week. Nothing compares to how they play up there, it was nuts.”

When the smoke cleared against BP, Hayfield shot 64 percent from the field, 69 percent on three-pointers and 83 percent on free throws, while committing just eight turnovers.

“They played exceptionally well,” BP head coach John Bruns said of the Vikings. “It didn’t matter who they put out there, they were going to make shots. They just shredded our defense, but it’s good to play a team like that because they exposed our weaknesses and we can go back and look at it.”

When Hayfield took out its starters, junior guard Trevor Anderson knocked down a pair of threes as he finished with 10 points and sophomore big man Jeremy Stuart scored six quick points.

In all, 10 players scored for Hayfield and Pack said the team really doesn’t care who’s scoring, as long as somebody is.

Brady Kramer, a starting junior forward, had 10 points for Hayfield.

“I’ve got to commend Brady Kramer, because he’s kind of slipped into the shadows this year, but he’s leading us in rebounds and assists and he’s still averaging 11 rebounds per game,” Pack said. “It’s probably not easy for him to give up those looks (to Kruger and Stephens). But he’s a very good player and on any night, he could be our leading scorer.”

BP 23 11 — 34

Hayfield 43 40 — 83

Hayfield scoring: Bobbie Stephens, 20; Cole Kruger, 19; Brady Kramer, 10; Trevor Anderson, 10; Jeremy Stuart, 6; Tyler Oakland, 5; Dillon Wagner, 4; Caleb Gilbertson, 4; Jason Born, 3; Brady Stevens, 2; field goals: 64 percent (32-for-50); three-pointers: 69 percent (9-for-13); free throws: 83 percent (10-for-12); rebounds: 28 (Stephens, 5); turnovers: 8

BP scoring: Michael Thomas, 8; Gabe Kartes, 7; Ryan McCabe, 6; John Rumpza, 4; Weston Fiebiger, 3; Luc Zellmer, 2; Alex Fiebiger, 2; Luke Hueman, 2; field goals: 30 percent (12-for-40); three-pointers: 25 percent (3-for-12); free throws: 53 percent (7-for-13); rebounds: 23 (Thomas, 5); turnovers: 20