The Hayfield Vikings will play on the final day of girls high school basketball in Minnesota.  The Vikings defeated Cass Lake-Bena 67-57 in their opener at the University of Minnesota Maturi Pavilion assuring them of three games in the tournament.

I've always said anything worthwhile in life should not be easy.  The Hayfield Vikings did not make things easy against Cass Lake-Bena in their opener seeing in a matter of just a few minutes their 13 point halftime lead dissipate before getting things back under control.

It's pretty rare in basketball that a team commits 25 turnovers and their opponent has 9 and the team with more turnovers wins but that's what happened.

Sophomore 5'4 Kristen Watson had a monster game for the Vikings scoring 30 points, 17 of them in the first half, 18 from the free throw line and added 14 rebounds, 5 assists while playing all but the final few seconds of the game.

Classmate 5' 10 Natalie Beaver had 24 points, 6 rebounds, senior 5'11 Aine Stasko added 11 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists for the Vikings.

Sophomore Chelsea Christopherson collected 8 rebounds also for Hayfield.

Rebounds were huge in the game with Hayfield collecting 40 compared to the Panthers 24.  The Vikings had 15 assists on 20 field goals.  Cass Lake-Bena 8 on 17 field goals.

#4 seed Cass Lake-Bena (28-3) will play top seed and #1 rated Mountain Iron-Buhl  at Noon Friday, March 18, 2022 in St. Paul.

Cass Lake-Bena Warmup Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Cass Lake-Bena Warmup Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

#5 seed, #2 ranked Hayfield (32-0) will go up against three-time defending Class A State Champion Minneota (27-4).  The Vikings of Minneota were rated #7 in the final Minnesota Basketball News rankings of top teams in Class A. They defeated M-I-B 51-48 in overtime.

The Rangers (27-4) were ahead of Minneota by 11 points with 4:34 to go in their game but didn't appear to attempt to slow things down allowing the Vikings back into the game.

With 2:05 to go M-I-B still had a 6 point lead.  Two three point baskets by Minneota tied the game with 30 seconds to go and the teams went into overtime after the 45-45 regulation score.

In overtime the Rangers were down by 1 point with 26 seconds to go.  A timeout was called presumably to draw up the game winning shot. They attempted a three point basket and fouled on the rebound with 2 seconds left.

Minneota was 7 of 9 from the free throw line.  M-I-B 17 of 25 from the charity stripe.

Minneota did last year what Hayfield is attempting to do this season.  Have a perfect record.  They were 25-0 last year and are senior dominated.

The Vikings of Minneota are similar to the Vikings of Hayfield in that both can shoot the three and both can score inside.

Minneota is going to feel at home in The Barn because of all their state tournament runs.

Minneota senior 5'10 Natalee Rolbiecki had 12 points, 10 rebounds and classmate 5'7 McKenna Yost scored 24 points while hitting 4 of 9 three point baskets.

Tip-off is scheduled for Noon in Williams Arena.  KDHL Radio, 920 AM, 97.9 FM, FREE KDHL app will broadcast.

The other opening games in Class A were yawners with Mayer Lutheran holding United Christian Academy to 10 points in the first half.  The Crusaders had a 32-10 lead at the half and went on to win 56-33.

United Christian Academy never led in the game that saw Mayer Lutheran score 40 points in the paint.  Mayer Lutheran won the rebound battle 33-20 and shot 62.5% from the field compared to 31.1%.

Madeline Guetzkow was 8 of 10 from the field for the Crusaders, finished with 17 points in 17 minutes.  Emma Lade added 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the field.

Free throws were 1 of 8 for United Christian Academy, 4 of 11 for Mayer Lutheran.

#2 seed, #3 rated Mayer Lutheran (27-4) will play Hancock (28-1) in the other Class A Semifinals game in The Barn.

The Owls won 73-38 while never trailing in their game against Nevis.

Carlee Hanson paced Hancock with 29 points, 5 rebounds.  She was 5 of 10 from three point range.

In other State Tournament contests Thursday on the University of Minnesota Campus:

Class 3A Semifinals

  • #3 seed Totino-Grace  86 #2 seed St. Paul Como Park 72   The Eagles were up 41-29 at the half.  The free throw line was huge with the Cougars going 12 of 18 and Totino-Grace 27 of 36.
  • Defending State Champion Becker seeded #1, ranked #1 downed #5 seed Mankato East  67-63.  Lexi Karge led the Cougars with 22 points, 10 rebounds but the free throw line was again the difference.  The Bulldogs were 8 of 11, Mankato East Cougars 4 of 5.

Class 3A Consolation Round Games

  • Detroit Lakes 55 Grand Rapids 49
  • Austin 62  Benilde-St. Margaret's 44

Class 4A Semifinals

  • Hopkins 52 White Bear Lake 27
  • St. Michael-Albertville 73 Roseville Area 57

Class 4A Consolation Round

  • Shakopee 69 Centennial 53
  • Rosemount 42 Lakeville North 40

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