Season ends for NRHEG boys

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2003

WASECA &045; From the midway point of the third quarter, there wasn’t much the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers could do right.

It was just the opposite for the Hayfield Vikings.

Hayfield went on a 14-0 run to end the third quarter and went on to end the Panthers’ season 60-47 in a Sub-Section 2AA East boys’ basketball semifinal game at Waseca Thursday night.

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&uot;They just got really hot,&uot; said Panthers head coach Matt Eppen. &uot;We had some opportunities we just weren’t able to capitalize on, and that’s really about it.&uot;

The Panthers, seeded third among eight teams in the sub-section, finished 14-10. Second-seeded Hayfield improved to 13-13 and advanced to Monday night’s sub-section championship game against United South Central at Mankato.

Thursday’s game began as the battle most people expected. Hayfield led 8-7 after one quarter and it was 23-23 at halftime. There were three ties and seven lead changes in the first half.

The third quarter started the same way, but the momentum went Hayfield’s way when three Panther starters picked up their third foul early. It was 29-29 when Hayfield went in its run, taking a 43-29 lead into the fourth.

The Panthers were plagued by turnovers and cold shooting in the third, when they made three of 13 shots from the floor.

For the night, NRHEG was 18-for-60 from the floor while Hayfield went 18-for-43.

Zak Tracy and Bjorn Peterson led the Panthers with 15 points apiece. Jacey Reese scored six, Dusty Davis five.

Tyler Kramer, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, scored 17 to lead Hayfield. Sophomore David Johnson scored 11.

Coach Matt Eppen’s NRHEG squad graduates just three seniors, Davis, Mike Hullopeter and Dusty Wayne.