In girls basketball action you heard on AM 1480 KAUS Tuesday evening, longtime Gopher Conference rivals Blooming Prairie and Hayfield squared off at Blooming Prairie High School, with the Blossoms looking to score an upset win over a Vikings squad that came in with a record of 15-2 and a No. 6 ranking in the latest Class A poll from the Minnesota Basketball News. In a game that saw Hayfield lead by as many as 16 points in the second half, a furious rally by the Blossoms down the stretch fell just short as the Vikings held on for a 50-48 win, their seventh in a row and 10th in their last 11 games.
Hayfield led from the start of the game and junior guard Kristen Watson, a four-year starter and the all-time leading scorer in Hayfield Vikings basketball history, along with veteran forward Natalie Beaver combined to score 24 of the team’s 30 first half points, but guard Macy Lembke scored seven of her team-leading 14 points in the opening half, and forward Anna Pauly scored six of her nine points in the half to keep Blooming Prairie within striking distance at 30-21 at the halftime break. The Vikings opened the second half on a 12-5 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 42-26, but the Blossoms were able to start chipping away at the lead from there, and a 15-8 run for BP cut the Hayfield lead to single digits at 45-37. The comeback continued for the Blossoms in the final four minutes as a 3-pointer from Lembke and two 3’s from guard Shawntee Snyder, the second coming with :08 seconds left cut the Viking lead to one at 49-48. The Blossoms, who were out of timeouts fouled Watson with 2.5 seconds left, and she made the first free throw in a double-bonus situation but missed the second, and although the Blossoms corraled the rebound, a desparation heave from deep in the back court was offline, enabling Hayfield to hang on for the win.
Lembke wound up with three 3-pointers in the game among her 14 points for Blooming Prairie, while Snyder was also in double digits in scoring with 11 points, and Anna Pauly added nine points. Haven Carlson chipped in six points for BP Tuesday night, while Sienna Fyksen scored four points off the bench, and Addison Doocy and Chloe Mc Carthy each tallied two points.
With the loss, Blooming Prairie is now 6-6 overall and 5-5 in the Gopher Conference. The Blossoms are back in action at home for the second game in a four-game homestand Friday night versus Dover-Eyota, with the varsity tip-off scheduled for 7:15 p.m.