The top seed Hayfield Vikings (28-2) defeated #4 seed Spring Grove (24-5) 54-40 and #3 seed Goodhue (23-6) got by #2 seed Rushford-Peteson (22-5) 44-42 in overtime to set up the Section 1A title game next Thursday.
Hayfield Head Coach Chris Pack and his assistants did a masterful job of managing minutes when his team got into some foul trouble.In fact sophomore post player Zander Jacobson fouled out of the game with 4:47 to go.
Senior 6'0 Karver Heydt took the floor for the Vikings and they maintained and even extended their lead over the Lions.
Spring Grove sophomore 6'1 Elijah Solum was held to 13 points, their other most prominent offensive weapon junior 6'3 Tysen Grinde finished with 7 points as Hayfield continued to be impressive on the defensive end of the floor.
Jacobson is not asked to be a primary scorer for the Vikings but he was getting passes from his teammates leading him to 8 first half points at the basket.He added 4 more points before fouling out of the game.
The Vikings had a 24-17 lead at the half.
Our Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy of Owatonna Delivery of the Game went to senior 6'0 Easton Fritcher of Hayfield.The future University of Minnesota baseball pitcher was chosen for his defense of Solum.Most of the game he handled those duties.Fritcher also had 7 of his 9 points in the second half and led his team with 9 rebounds.
Solum scored over 20 points against Kenyon-Wanamingo in the previous game for Spring Grove.
Junior 6'2 Isaac Matti drilled five three point baskets on his way to 21 points and had the defensive assignment of limiting Grinde under his season average. Matti finished with 5 assists as the Vikings had 16 assists on 20 field goals.
Hayfield finished the game with 7 three point baskets and held Spring Grove to 3.
The Vikings had 26 points in the paint compared to the Lions 20.
Both teams were 7 of 11 from the free throw line.
Goodhue senior 6'4 Dayne Wojcik was relentless in attacking the basket scoring 25 points in their 44-42 overtime win over Rushford-Peterson.Regulation ended in a 40-40 tie.
Wojcik also dominated on the glass.When he gets his hands on a ball you are not going to get it away from him.
In a reversal of the previous game the team that won finished with 2 three point baskets while the team that lost in overtime had 7.
Goodhue's dominance in the paint was the difference in a game that featured long possessions by both teams on offense.That's how they play.
The Wildcats finished the game with 30 points in the paint while the Trojans tallied 12.
Rushford-Peterson was 7 of 7 from the free throw line, Goodhue 4 of 8.
The Trojans had the last possession of the game. The Wildcats defended it very well with a desperation three from the corner missing.
Adam Poncelet had 9 points, 6 of them in the paint.His overtime basket was one of the rare fast break buckets of the contest.
Junior 6'6 Will Opsahl was approaching half court when the quarterback of the football team hit his receiver under the basket for a easy two points.
Opsahl had 6 points.The Goodhue bench had 2 points, R-Pno points from the bench.
Goodhue ended the game with 9 total turnovers while the Trojans had 6.
Thursday's title game could be another low scoring affair.Both teams are very good defensively with defending State Champion Hayfield attempting to get back to the big dance to defend their title.
Goodhue knows all the pressure the top ranked team in the state will have on them to accomplish that feat and will attempt to limit their possessions and seal the deal with good defense.
The Vikings don't get enough credit for their defensive abilities and proved in their win over Spring Grove they are very capable of grinding out a victory.
KDHL Radio, 920 AM, 97.9 FM, FREE KDHL app will broadcast the battle to go dancing at state and whichever teams goes we'll be there to provide baseline to baseline coverage of their possible journey to a title dance.Tip time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Wouldn't you love to be in one of these right now?