Luke Dudycha scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and Ethan Slaathaug drained a crucial three with just under 2:30 to go to help lead the Hayfield Vikings, the No. 2 seed in the Section 1A boys’ basketball tournament to a come-from-behind 68-60 win over the No. 2 seeded Randolph Rockets in the tournament semi-finals Saturday at the Mayo Civic Auditorium in Rochester.
Slaathaug, a 1,000+ point scorer for Hayfield swished four of his six 3-pointers in the first half to help the Vikings rally from a 10-point deficit to cut the Rockets lead to 34-31 at the half. The two teams battled back and forth in the second half to a 53-all tie with 3:38 left, but a pair of free throws by Dudycha, who added 11 rebounds to his 16 points put Hayfield ahead at 55-53, and Slaathaug’s 3-pointer 1:02 later gave the Vikings some breathing room at 58-54.
For the game, Slaathaug tallied 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Easton Fritcher and Isaac Matti were both in double figures with 10 points, Patrick Towey added nine points and Brady Nelson chipped in with three points. Free throw shooting was one of the keys in the win for Hayfield as they were 16 for 20 for the game for 80%, and they rolled up 37 rebounds as well.
The Vikings are 24-5 overall as they head into a showdown with Blooming Prairie for the Section 1A title Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Arena in Rochester. We’ll have all of the play-by-play action coming your way on AM 1480 KAUS, world-wide at myaustinminnesota.com, and on the I Heart Radio app. Pre-game will come your way at 5:45 p.m., with tip-off at 6:00 p.m.