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Girls basketball: BOLD Warriors have a date with history, reach Class A finals

Mar. 17—MINNEAPOLIS — The BOLD girls basketball team is heading to the Class A state championship for the first time in program history.

Behind their defense, the three-seed Warriors fought off two-seed Hayfield en route to a 58-46 victory in the state semifinals Friday afternoon at Williams Arena.

BOLD faces top-seed Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class A state championship at noon Saturday back at the Barn.

"The thing with small schools, these things aren't about a team necessarily, it's about a community," BOLD head coach Brian Kingery said. "We are going to be competing tomorrow for everybody because you never know when this opportunity is going to come again, and so, you have to take advantage of it and give it everything you got."

Warriors senior guard Mari Ryberg added, "Being able to know that we're going to be (in the championship) tomorrow is really special."

BOLD never trailed in the second half and trailed Hayfield for less than a minute throughout the entire contest.

The Warriors held Hayfield's pair of Class A All-State team members in Natalie Beaver and Kristen Watson to a combined five points, all of which came in the first half.

"This whole playoff run, we've been making other teams feel uncomfortable," Kingery said. "It's been awesome to see and it all starts with our overall communication on defense and our effort we give on defense."

The Warriors went into halftime with a 33-28 lead.

Quick transition play from their guards and strong defense, led by Kenzie Visser, propelled the Warriors to their halftime lead. Visser finished the first half with nine points and seven blocks.

BOLD earned its largest lead of the first half at 16-4 with 10:02 remaining.

Lainey Braulick and Visser led that effort. Braulick had seven of her 12 first-half points in that stretch, while Visser had seven of her nine first half. Braulick finished with a game-high 19 points and Visser had 18.

The Vikings settled in late in the first half behind a 10-point effort from Chelsea Christopherson, including a late 3-pointer to bring Hayfield within three points before Ryberg responded with a jumper to give BOLD a five-point halftime lead.

For more on BOLD's state victory, check WCTrib.com later today or read Saturday's e-edition.

Hayfield (29-4) 28 22 — 46

BOLD (26-5) 33 25 — 58

HAYFIELD — Scoring: Josanne Tempel 12, Natalie Beaver 2, Kristen Watson 3, Chelsea Christopherson 18, Emily Hansen 7, Lilly Beyer 4 ... 3-point shots: Tempel 2, Christopherson 3, Hansen 1 ... Rebound leader: Christopherson 7, Hansen 7 ... Assist leaders: Ava Carney 2, Tempel 2, Watson 2, Hansen 2 ... Steal leader: Watson 5 ... Block leader: Beaver 1

BOLD — Scoring: Lainey Braulick 19, Mackenzie Visser 18, Mari Ryberg 15, Anna Moorse 3, Rylee Boen 3 ... 3-point shots: Braulick 2, Morse 1, Boen 1 ... Rebound leader: Ryberg 13 ... Assist leaders: Braulick 6, Ryberg 5 ... Steal leaders: Braulick 5, Ryberg 4 ... Block leaders: Visser 8