Rachel Masching and Pine Islandís Mattie Shelton go after a loose ball.† Hayfield lost to Pine Island in the HVL Championship game 45-35. Photos by Mary Nelson
By Tara Lindquist
It's been a hard fought journey but the Hayfield girls basketball team will open sub-section playoffs at home on Tuesday, February 26 against the Medford Tigers.
The Lady Vikes won the Hiawatha Conference Gold Division; earning them an extra game against the winner of the Hiawatha Conference Blue Division champions the Pine Island Panthers, on February 18. The Panthers handed Hayfield a four-point loss in the beginning of the season.
The game started out just like Hayfield had scripted it with the girls grabbing a quick ten-point lead. After that the game went at a slower pace with both teams looking to get the most of each trip down the floor.
After a ball controlled first half the Lady Vikes found themselves with a four-point halftime lead. "We had a chance to add to our lead and give ourselves some breathing room in the first half," coach Fred Kindschy explained. "But poor shooting let them crawl back into the game in the first half."
The second half saw Hayfield start out well, grabbing an eight-point lead with 11 minutes remaining. It was at that point the team went cold from the field and let Pine Island back into the game. "We had some open shots but just couldn't get the ball to drop." The Lady Vikes scored only four points over the last 11 minutes to end up on the short end of the scoreboard, 45-35.
Hayfield took on a very strong United South Central team on February 21. The Vikings came out of the gate strong and grabbed a quick 16-point lead. "We opened strong used our speed to offset their huge height advantage," Kindschy said. Going into the half the Vikings had grabbed a 12-point lead and continued to roll with it in the second half of the game.
They pushed their lead up to over 20 points and cruised to an 18-point victory, 52-34. "It was a nice end to the regular season for us," Kindschy said. "Our subsection is going to be very tough this year with three conference championship teams in it."