Viking girls will take on Kenyon-Wanamingo with subsection title on the line
Earlier this season the Hayfield girls basketball team had No. 2 ranked Kenyon-Wanamingo right where it wanted them, but it let them escape.
Now the No. 2 seeded Vikings (21-5 overall) will get another chance at the top-seeded Knights as the two teams will square off in the Section 1AA West title game in Mayo Civic Auditorium Saturday at 8 p.m.
Hayfield led KW by as many as nine in a regular season meeting Dec. 9, but it missed 13 of 27 free throws in what eventually was a 51-47 loss.
“We thought we had them at different points in that game,” Hayfield head coach Fred Kindschy said. “We’ll do some of the same things this time and we’ll do some things different.”
Hayfield’s barometer has been in its shooting this season. When the Vikings hit their outside shots, they’re a tough team to beat, but when they struggle with shots, they have to grind it out.
KW (27-1 overall) brings a lot of depth to the table and Hayfield won’t be able to focus on stopping just one player.
“They’re a real deep team that can play eight kids and not drop off too much,” Kindschy said. “They present a lot of problems because they have a lot of talent.”
The Vikings will look to 1,000 point scorer Dani Wagner to ignite their offense and senior Jessie Foster will set the tone on defense.
“We’re going to go where our seniors go,” Kindschy said. “Dani has put us on her back a little bit offensively at times and Jessie had eight assists last game. We’re going to rely on them very heavily. They’ll carry us as far as they can.”
Hayfield and KW both played in Section 2AA in Mankato last season, so both teams will have to adjust to playing in the Auditorium for the first time.
“It speaks a lot about how difficult going west for Section two was,” Kindschy said. “That’s a very tough subsection we always had to get through.”
If Hayfield wins, it will take on the winner of Chatfield and Plainview-Elgin-MIllville in the Section 1AA title game in Mayo Civic Arena March 13 at 8 p.m.