K-M girls go back-to-back-to-back
Coming into this season, Kasson-Mantorville High School was prepared to show off its newly constructed North Gym to thousands of spectators. While the K-M volleyball team was the first to break in the new digs, the girls basketball team was paying attention and when they noticed that it was the Blue division’s turn to host the HVL Championship game, the new facility made it that much more important to return to the game for the third straight season.
“We set this date on our calendar early,” K-M head coach Ryan Haraldson admitted. “We wanted to open up this beautiful gym by hosting the HVL Conference Championship.”
After claiming the HVL Blue Division title for the fourth straight season, the KoMets not only earned the right to host the championship game on Monday, but were able to take care of Gold Division winner Hayfield for their third straight HVL Conference Championship.
“It was a packed gym in here tonight,” Haraldson said after the win. “The communities definitely came out and supported their girls.”
The game started with a bang as the KoMets opened on a 7-0 run before the Vikings would answer with a 10-1 run of their own to take the lead. From that point, things would settle down before the KoMets would break things open late in the half to take a 33-21 lead into the locker room.
When the teams emerged, K-M would continue to take over. Kristin Scott would do her usual damage in the paint, tallying 20 points on the evening, but it was the perimeter play that would help put the KoMets over the top after shooting 4-for-22 from three-point range in the previous meeting with the Vikings in a 47-43 win on January 24.
“We had a challenge out to our guards tonight,” Haraldson revealed. “They left us open, but we couldn’t hit [the three-pointers]. We just talked to them about shooting in rhythm and that would open things up for Kristin on the inside.”
While Bailey Berge and Lexie Worden were solid on the perimeter, it was MiKayla Grant who answered the challenge, scoring a game-high 21 points and opening things up for the KoMets in the second half. With the game out of reach, K-M would cruise to a 64-43 victory.
“You have to give credit to Hayfield too,” Haraldson pointed out. “They had an amazing year and they’re not done yet. We hope we have multiple teams headed to the state tournament and they’re a team that’s definitely in the mix to do that.”
To punch their ticket to the championship game, the KoMets put together one final week of solid conference play as they earned a huge