Girls basketball roundup: Minneota turns on the heat

Feb. 19—KERKHOVEN — For the second time this season, Minneota used a big second half to thwart Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

This time, the Vikings did it in the Camden Conference girls basketball championship game.

Tied 31-all at halftime, Minneota outscored KMS 44-29 in the second half en route to a 75-60 victory Monday night.

The Vikings were the South Division champs while the Fighting Saints were the winners of the North Division.

"We got into a little bit of foul trouble in the first half and the same thing happened when we were here earlier in the year but we were down 10 at halftime," said Vikings head coach Al Panka. Minneota beat KMS 61-53 on Jan. 16 in Kerkhoven. Minneota is ranked 12th in Class A by the Minnesota Basketball News.

Panka added, "We got to half and it was tied, I was like 'I'm not extremely happy but I'm a lot happier than the last time we were here. In the locker room, we said we gotta clean this up, clean that up and the kids came out and did that."

Providing the biggest spark for the Vikings in the second half was Dakoda Hennen. She scored 11 of her 15 points after halftime. Seven of those points came in the first four minutes of the half. The Vikings went on a 23-6 run to go up 54-37 with 10 minutes, 27 seconds left to play.

Dakoda's second-half run paired nicely with the post play of Kenadi Arndt. Arndt scored a game-high 25 points.

"Dakota, Kenadi and Faith (Myhre with 14 points) were our leading scorers and most nights, it's Kiersyn (Hulzebos) and Grace (Hennen)," Panka said. "We've had that luxury all year that most nights at least three of them are in double figures. Tonight, it was those three's turn."

With 9:15 left to play, KMS sophomore Acelynn Hacker surpassed 1,000 career points with a contested jumper in the lane. Needing 12 to reach the mark before the game, Hacker finished with 15 points.

That kicked off an 18-6 run for the Fighting Saints that cut Minneota's lead to six. But that is as close as KMS got the rest of the way.

Emily Wagner finished with a KMS-best 18 points and three steals. Mamie Luft tacked on six points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

"Emily played a great second half (with 13 points)," said Fighting Saints head coach Justin Johnson. "She got some huge breakaways and hit some big threes for us."

KMS has its regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. The Fighting Saints are also the three seed in the Section 3AA-North tournament and begin the postseason at 7 p.m. Saturday against sixth-seeded Eden Valley-Watkins at Kerkhoven.

"It's good to be tested right before playoffs," Johnson said.

Minneota (24-3) 31 44 — 75

KMS (19-7) 31 29 — 60

MINNEOTA — Scoring: Grace Hennen 2, Faith Myhre 14, Kenadi Arndt 25, Dakoda Hennen 15, Kiersyn Hulzebos 7, Sarah Gruenes 7 ... 3-point shots: Myhre 2, D. Hennen 2, Hulzebos 1, Gruenes 1

KMS — Scoring: Acelynn Hacker 15, Savannah Petersen 7, Emily Wagner 18, Leah Wagner 4, Mamie Luft 6, Sophia Oerter 4, Madelynn Luft 4 ... 3-point shots: E. Wagner 3 ... Rebound leader: Mam. Luft 10, Mad. Luft 6 ... Assist leader: Mam. Luft 7 ... Steal leaders: E. Wagner 3, Mam. Luft 3 ... Block leaders: Hacker 1, Mam. Luft 1, Mad. Luft 1

BOLD rallied from a 21-20 halftime deficit to beat Morris/Chokio-Alberta at Morris.

Lainey Braulick led the way, getting 15 points and four assists. Kenzie Visser added 14 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and seven blocks for the Warriors.

Kaylee Harstad had 17 points and Catherine Kehoe added 14 for the Tigers.

BOLD opens Section 2A-North play against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Olivia. BOLD is the fourth seed. ACGC is the fifth seed.

BOLD (17-9) 20 30 — 50

Morris/CA (12-13) 21 21 — 42

BOLD — Scoring: Lainey Braulick 15, Lilly Henriksen 9, Kenna Henriksen 9, Kenzie Visser 14, Layla Pfarr 3 ... 3-point shots: Braulick 3, L. Henriksen 1, K. Henriksen 1, Pfarr 1 ... Rebound leaders: Visser 16, K. Henriksen 10, Pfarr 5 ... Assist leaders: Braulick 4, L. Henriksen 2, Petyon Sander 2 ... Steal leaders: Visser 4, Braulick 3, L. Henriksen 2, K. Henriksen 2 ... Block leader: Visser 7

MORRIS/CA — Scoring: Samantha Konz 4, Catherine Kehoe 14, Chloe Fehr 3, Addison Cihak 4, Kaylee Harstad 17 ... 3-point shots: Kehoe 2, Harstad 3

Kaida Helgenset scored 28 points, including 18 in the second half, to help host Benson past Ortonville.

The Braves led 32-20 at halftime.

Elle Kletscher scored 20 points and Kaylin Grube added 14 for Benson.

Kadyn Gronholz had 20 points, Claire Kellen scored 14 and Lily Streich had 10 for the Trojans.

Benson closes out the regular season against Brandon-Evansville at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Benson.

Lester Prairie out-scored Central Minnesota Christian 50-39 in the second half to earn the victory at Lester Prairie.

For CMCS, freshman guard Sienna Duininck had 25 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Bluejays also received 14 points, five assists and four steals from sophomore forward Emmi Braem and 10 points and nine rebounds from sophomore forward Carrie Mulder.

CMCS has the second seed in Section 3A-North. The Bluejays play the winner of No. 7 Wabasso and No. 10 Renville County West at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Montevideo.

Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewarrt improved its record to 23-3 by running past Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City at Grove City.

BLHS is ranked fourth in the state in Class A by the Minnesota Basketball News.

ACGC fell to 12-11.