Goodhue runs past Vikings in Section 1A title tilt

Published 8:12 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

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ROCHESTER – The No. 2 seeded Hayfield girls basketball team had its hands full with top-seeded Goodhue, and the Vikings never really found a rhythm as they were ousted by a score of 78-49 in the Section 1A title game in Mayo Civic Center Thursday.

Hayfield never led and it never got within 10 in the second half. The Vikings focused on Goodhue senior standout Elisabeth Gadient and they held her to in check in the first half, but the rest of the Wildcats delivered.

“Our game plan was to make their number four and five shooters make threes and they just shot it well,” Hayfield head coach Kasey Krekling said. 

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It was the third straight Section 1A title game appearance for the Vikings, who will graduate a bulk of their lineup, including 2,000-point scorers Natalie Beaver and Kristen Watson.

Beaver finished with 18 points for Hayfield (28-3 overall) and Watson chipped in nine points. Senior Emily Hansen scored 14.

“They’re really good,” Beaver said of Goodhue. “We were going to take a chance with their other shooters and they shot the lights out tonight. There wasn’t much we could do.”

Hayfield trailed 37-18 in the first half, but the Vikings pulled to within 38-28 when Watson hit a pair of free throws with a minute left in the half. However, the Wildcats (25-5 overall) scored the last four points of the half and the first two of the second half to go back up 44-28.

Goodhue forced five Hayfield turnovers in the first three minutes of the game as the Wildcats jumped out to a 10-2 lead. Maya Poncelet hit three early threes to get Goodhue started.

Krekling has coached the Hayfield seniors since they were in fourth grade and it will be tough for the program to replace them.

“They played in three section championships, took fourth place in state twice and they’re pushing 6,000 points scored as a class,” Krekling said. “They’ve gotten so much better over the years and it’s been really fun to watch.”

Hayfield 28  21 –  49

Goodhue 42  36 –  78

Hayfield scoring: Natalie Beaver, 18; Emily Hansen, 14; Kristen Watson, 9; Chelsea Christopherson, 3; Betsy Gillette, 2; Lilly Beyer, 2