Stephens’ 10 threes sink Rebels

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hayfield's Brady Kramer shoots over Southland's Marcus Johnson during the first half of their Section 2AA-South Division semifinal game Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric Johnson/

HAYFIELD — Hayfield senior Bobbie Stephens put on a first half shooting display that left the Southland boys basketball team a little dazed and confused as the Vikings rolled past Southland 72-49 in a Section 2AA semifinal game in Hayfield Thursday.

Stephens knocked down eight first half threes and he finished with a school record 10 threes on 18 attempts as he finished with 30 points.

Hayfield's Bobbie Stephens launches a three in the second half against Southland during their Section 2AA semifinal game Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric Johnson/

“I think it got the team going and we’re about the team,” Stephens said. “I guess I was kind of on fire the first half and I kind of helped things get going. But we rebounded really well and we came back from a bad defensive game on Tuesday.”

Email newsletter signup

Stephens scored 15 of Hayfield’s first 17 points from behind the arc over the first five-minutes as the No. 1 Vikings (22-5 overall) jumped out to a 17-9 lead. Then Brady Kramer decided to get on the action as he started taking it to the rack.

Kramer and Stephens combined for 39 of Hayfield’s 43 first half points as the Vikings’ lead ballooned to 24 points at the break.

“We like to get Bobbie going early and once he hit one and then another, you’ve got to keep feeding him until he cools off and he never did in the first half,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack said. “That’s a pretty amazing half of basketball. Eight in a half is unheard of.”

Kramer finished with 24 points, five assists and six rebounds, but it was his defense on Southland’s 1,000 point scorer Mike Goergen that really lifted Hayfield. Kramer was the primary defender on Goergen, who finished with just seven points.

“We practiced solely for pinching him and everyone helping. We got ready for just him,” Kramer said of Goergen.

The No. 4 seeded Rebels (18-10 overall) hung around early on as Nick Schmitz scored 10 points in the first six minutes to hold it to a 17-12 Hayfield lead. But after Schmitz hit a three with 12 minutes left, the Vikings put together a 20-3 run that all but ended Southland’s chances.

“It just snow balled fast,” Southland head coach Jon Thalberg said. “They shot the ball very well and that hole got deeper and deeper. They just kept right on rolling and we just kept right on struggling.”

Southland's Jake Frodl goes in for a lay-up in the first half against Hayfield in their Section 2AA-South Division semifinal game Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric-Johnson/

Cole Kruger finished with six points and seven assists for Hayfield and Decker Bendtsen had 13 points for Southland, while Schmitz scored 15 points.

Hayfield will now take on No. 2 seeded United South Central (23-5 overall) in the Section 2AA South Division finals at the Taylor Center in Minnesota State University in Mankato Monday at 8 p.m.

The Vikings beat USC 61-57 in the first game of the season and they also played in Mankato last season, when they lost to Maple River.

“We’ve got experience now and we know what it feels like,” said Stephens, who also broke his own Hayfield record for threes in a season with 105. “Last year we were kind of a transition team and now we’ve played about 50 games together as a group.”

Southland will graduate one starter from this year’s team.

“The Kids worked hard and it was a joyous year, it’s just too bad it had to end the way it did,” Thalberg said. “We lose Jake (Frodl) and he did a great job of rebounding for us.”

Southland 19 30 — 49

Hayfield 43 29 — 72

Hayfield scoring:Bobbie Stephens, 30; Brady Kramer, 24; Cole Kruger, 6; Tyler Oakland, 6; Trevor Anderson, 3; Caleb Gilbertson, 3; free throws: 79 percent (11-for-14); rebounds: 33 (Kramer, 6); turnovers: 13

Southland's Chris Wolff puts up a shot around Hayfield's Cole Kruger during the first half of their Section 2AA-South Division semifinal game Thursday night in Hayfield. -- Eric Johnson/

Southland scoring: Nick Schmitz, 15; Decker Bendtsen, 13; Mike Goergen, 7; Sam Klaehn, 6; Jake Frodl, 5; Alex Ruechel, 1; free throws: 79 percent (15-for-19); rebounds: 24 (Goergen, 9); turnovers: 8