The Minnesota girls high school basketball season came to an end yesterday with four state champions crowned.

Area teams Hayfield and Goodhue were playing for third place in Class A and Class AA at the Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University in St. Paul while the title games were held in Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

In the 1A Third Place game Hayfield was defeated by Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 65-54 with more foul trouble for the Vikings being a factor.

Hayfield Head Coach Kasey Krekling told KDHL for our broadcast the reason All-State player Natalie Beaver had no energy in their Semifinals 58-46 loss to BOLD was the fact she was sick.  He said some illness was being felt throughout the team.

Beaver felt much better Saturday, but I could see she still was not feeling one hundred percent.

B-B-E Head Coach Kristina (Lurken) Anderson told me she talked to her team about being mentally tough after suffering a tough 61-57 loss to top rated Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Semifinals.

Her Jaguars had a ten point lead at one point in that game.

(Lurken) Anderson was a 2004 graduate of Kenyon-Wanamingo High School so it was fun to see her coaching on the sidelines.  She has had a terrific career, achieving her 212th coaching victory in her 11th year leading the program.

B-B-E concluded their season 27-5 with two of their losses against Class A State Champion Mountain Iron-Buhl.

The Vikings were rated #2 in the final Minnesota Basketball News poll and seeded #2 in the state field by the coaches at the tournament.

Hayfield ended their season 29-5.

The Jaguars were ranked #9 and seeded #5.

B-B-E led 35-27 at the half primarily due to 11 Hayfield turnovers.

Coach Krekling said before the game it was amazing his team was able to win their quarterfinal round game with Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 63-58 in overtime with 35 turnovers.

The 22 in the semifinal contest did not help their hopes.  He said the goal in this game was to hold them under 20.  By my count they had 16 total while the Jaguars had 8.

B-B-E is loaded with height.  The starting lineup goes 5'11. 5'11, 6'0, 5'10 and 5'5 while the Vikings starters were 5'4, 5'3, 5'11, 5'5,5'6.

Hayfield Vikings Team Photo 2023 4th at State. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Hayfield Vikings Team Photo 2023 4th at State. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Last year Hayfield also placed 4th after winning their opener they fell in the Semis and 3rd Place game.

Both years fouls have been a problem.  All-State selections, juniors, Natalie Beaver and Kristen Watson fouled out against the Jaguars.

B-B-E was successful at sending people to the other end of the court and getting repeated layups after missed Vikings baskets.

Seniors Abby Berge and Tiyana Schwinghammerrt scored 17 points and 16 points respectively and junior Brooklyn Fischer added 13 points.

The Jaguars were 14 of 27 from the free throw line while Hayfield was 8 of 11.

The Vikings scoring was led by Kristen Watson with 21 and Natalie Beaver collected 13 points.  Hayfield had 6 three point baskets, B-B-E three.

The Jaguars had 34 points in the paint while Hayfield finished with 20 points from that location.

Our Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy Deliverers of the Game were all the seniors for providing terrific leadership during the course of the season.

Ava Carney, Avery Towey, Josanne Tempel,

Hayfield has a lot coming back next year and their Junior Varsity suffered just a couple losses this season.

In the Class AA Third Place game Goodhue was down by 13 points in the first half before coming back to lead at the half 37-34.  The Wildcats then attacked the basket with regularity and had a 15 point advantage at the free throw line in their 79-68 win.

Minnehaha Academy was a very physical team so it appeared to me Goodhue had to push through it and be strong with the ball.

I had just 9 turnovers for them while the Redhawks finished with 11 miscues.

Elisabeth Gadient, 5'11, junior, finished with 29 points while going 15 of 16 at the free throw line.

Tori Miller, 5'11, senior, was back in regular form after not scoring in the semifinals.  She tallied 17 points including 7 of 10 at the charity stripe.

Kendyl Lodermeier, 5'11, sophmore finished wiith 20 points, 14 of them in the paint where she has developed a very strong game.

We chose the five seniors our Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna Dekliverers of the game.  Brooke Ryan, Tori Miller, Melanie Beck, Emma Thomforde and Jada Scheele.

Goodhue will have another talented team next season.

  • Class 1A State Champions are the Rangers of Mountain Iron-Buhl.

Their first title despite many trips in recent years to state.

The top rated and top seed Mountain Iron-Buhl left no doubt  leading 32-15 at the half before dominating BOLD 52-21.

BOLD shot 17 percent for the game with 8 total field goals and was 4 of 10 from the free throw line.

MIB dominated the glass 43-26, shared the ball with 15 assists on 21 field goals and scored 28 points in the maroon and gold paint.  Gabby Lira had 10 points, 13 rebounds, Hali Saveala 10 points, 9 rebounds and Jordan Zubich 15 points, 8 rebounds,

The Warriors scored 6 points in the second half.

  • Class 2A title is a repeat, Providence Academy of Plymouth Lions.

Providence Academy freshman Maddyn Greenway, 5'8, was dominate again with 31 points on 10 of 26 shooting from the field and hit 9 of 13 free throws.

Greenway scored 47 points in the opening round win over Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial.  Then 35 points against Minnehaha Academy.

The total tally for the tournament was 113 points on 37 of 83 shooting (44.5%).  Greenway was 13 of 34 from 3 point range (38.2%) and 26 of 35 (74.2%) at the free throw line.

She is the daughter of former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway who played his entire pro career with the Vikings. Greenway is a South Dakota native who played collegiately at Iowa.   His wife was a track star at Iowa.

Their eldest daughter (3 more are coming) is a standout also in soccer and track. She is fun to watch because she plays full throttle.

Lots of Division One schools are already talking to her which I didn't realize could happen.  I always thought contact could not be made until after January 1 of a person's sophomore year.

It would be much simpler if the NCAA made that the case but there is the Dead Period and Quiet Period rules.

Greenway scored her 2,000th point earlier this season during a 60 point performance against Minnehaha Academy.

The record for career points is currently held by Rebecca Dahlman of Braham with 5,060.

Greenway led the state this season in points, assists and was 5th in steals.

Even with the clock winding down against Albany in the semifinals she was attacking the basket like it was a close game.

If you are wondering the record for points in a single game at the MSHSL Girls State Basketball Tournament is still held by Carlie Wagner of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva with 53 points against Pequot Lakes in 2014.  She also has the most points in a tournament with 130 in 2013.

Wagner finished second in high school scoring in Minnesota and 39th in the nation with 3,982 points.  The former Panther at NRHEG finished 3rd on the All-Time scoring list at the University of Minnesota with 2,215 career points.

Some say after being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in 2018 the reason she has not played in the WNBA is because she scored mostly on layups in her career.

Wagner ended her Gophers basketball career second in school history for three point baskets with 306 and shot 41 percent her senior season.

  • Class AAA champions are Benilde St. Margaret's Redhawks.

B-S-M defeated first time state entrant Stewartville 66-60 with the free throw line the difference.  Redhawks were 19 of 30, Tigers 7 of 12.

It's the third title for Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park.

Common theme here with free throws a determining factor.  Redhawks were 19 of 30, Tigers 7 of 12.

B-S-M had 15 assists on 20 field goals, Stewartville 12 on 23.  The Redhawks were a plus 7 on the glass and scored 21 fast break points.

Sierre Lumpkin, senior. scored 21 points.  Olivia Larson, junior, added 19 points and 17 rebounds.  Zahara Bishop, sophomore, had 6 assists and 8 points to lead the way.

Stewartville was led by Savannah Hedin, junior, 5'9, with 17 points, 5 rebounds.  Haylie Strum, senior, 5'6 added 12 points.

The Redhawks finished their season 26-6, Stewartville is 28-3 with a lot coming back next season.

  • Class AAAA Champions St. Michael-Albertville wins their third title. First in biggest schools class.

The Knights slipped by Hopkins 71-70 with 42 total free throws shot in the game.  STMA was 19 of 22, The Royals were 17 of 20.

The Knights had a 17 point halftime lead, 42-25.  They were a plus 3 on the glass, shot 49 percent from the field compared to 34 percent.

Tessa Johnson, senior, 5'11, scored 27 points with 10 rebounds, 7 assists to lead the Knights and three other players were in double figures. JaKahla Craft, junior, 5'9, had 17 points, Ava Haus, junior, 5'8 12 points and Abigail Hoselton, senior, 5'11, 11 points.

St. Michael-Albertville finished the year with a 29-3 record with two of those losses against Hopkins,

The Royals end their season 28-3.  Taylor Woodson, senior, 6'0, scored 21 points with 7 rebounds, 6 assists.  NuNu Agara, senior, 6'1, had 18 points, 9 rebounds.

Consolation Champions were:

A;  Underwood Rockets

AA:  New London-Spicer Wildcats

AAA:  DeLaSalle Islanders

AAAA:  Centennial Cougars

Third Place Winners:

A:  Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars

AA:  Goodhue Wildcats

AAA: Becker Bulldogs

AAAA:  Eden Prairie

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