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Young Vikings can’t keep it going against top-seeded Hurricanes

The No. 4 seeded Hayfield girls basketball team couldn’t keep a hot start going as they lost to top-seeded Houston (17-0 overall) 62-49 in the Section 1A semifinals at Rochester Century Tuesday.

The Vikings (14-7 overall) jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first eight minutes, but the game ended up being a back-and-forth contest throughout the second half.

“We couldn’t seem to pull away,” Hayfield head coach Kasey Krekling said. “We missed a lot of bunnies early and they had some offensive boards for put-backs in the first half.”

Neither team led by more than four in the second half until the final stretch, when Houston hit 14 straight free throws to put the game out of reach.

Hayfield relied on three freshmen in the starting lineup as Natalie Beaver scored 21 points, Kristen Watson put up 10 and Chelsea Christopherson added nine.

“We’re young, but we had our chances in this game,” Krekling said.

Hayfield will graduate Caitlyn Hendrickson and Alexis Ward.

“They did a great job of rebounding for us this year and we’re going to miss them,” Krekling said of the seniors.

Hayfield 24  25 — 49

Houston 25  37 — 62

Hayfield scoring: Natalie Beaver, 21; Kristen Watson, 10; Chelsea Christohperson, 9; Alexis Ward, 6; Aine Stasko, 2; Josanne Tempel, 1; free throws: 57 percent (12-for-21)