Basketball: Hayfield outlasts Rogers boys 61-57

Garrett Hul (left) and Austin Barbeln (right) double-teamed Hayfield guard Cole Kruger in the final half-minute. Kruger was able to escape the trap. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

A perplexing two-minute skid late in the game cost Rogers a victory as Hayfield slipped past the Royals 61-57 at the Tartan Invitational on Wednesday.

“I’m trying to figure out how we lost this game,” said Royals coach Joe Belka, perusing the stats. “We had it under control and then they go on an 11-0 run and instead of being up by six we’re down by five.”

Hayfield (6-2) was led by senior guard Bobby Stevens with 22 points and sophomore guard Cole Kruger with 19. Stevens hit four 3-pointers in the first half.

For Rogers (4-4), almost all the scoring came from 6- 7 Josh Turnquist with 24 points and 6-8 Michael Schreiber with 20.

Rogers got within 57-55 and send Hayfield to the line with 15 seconds left. Dylan Wagner missed — but the rebound went long and the Vikings snagged it. Kruger then iced the game with two free shots, a steal, and two more free shots.

“They made some big shots, we had some unfortunate turnovers, and they got too many offensive rebounds,” said Belka. “We were outrebounded 25-19 by a smaller team. We should not be outrebounded.”

Rogers is missing senior point guard Jack Anderson with a torn MCL suffered during the Royals 78-75 win over Elk River on Dec. 17. Anderson was due to see his doctor on Thursday, said the coach, adding, “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nathan Roehl, a junior taking over the point, did a good job taking care of the ball and playing defense, said Belka.

Rogers was just 4-for-4 at the line and Hayfield was 13-for19. Rogers was 5-for-16 and Hayfield 6-for-16 on three’s.

Rogers faces Bloomington Kennedy (1-6) in the consolation bracket Thursday at 2:45 p.m.