#1 Hayfield BBB tops RTR in Class A Quarterfinals

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(ABC 6 News) — Hayfield boys basketball knows it is the team to beat this year and put on a good impression Wednesday.

Head coach Chris Pack’s Vikings dropped the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights 66-49 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. The Vikings, Class A’s defending champions, are now one step closer to the title game.

Ethan Pack was excellent for Hayfield, scoring 25 points along with five rebounds. Isaac Matti had himself a double-double, 15 points and 10 rebounds while Easton Frichter scored eight and grabbed 12 boards.

Three-point shooting proved to be crucial, the Vikings finished with exactly 50% shooting, going 10 for 20 from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Vikings forced 17 turnovers to RTR’s eight while getting 34 defensive rebounds.

"RTR, you know, they had to throw everything they could at us and you know, they were doubling everywhere they could," Coach Pack reflected postgame. "Yeah, we talked about it after the game here, we can’t – we can’t have that many turnovers if we’re going to win semifinals and finals."

Pack later lobbied praise for how his team has fared after losing senior talent last season. "This team, obviously, with the four guys the same, you know, we lost of a heck of a player in Ethan Slaathaug. But I mean, I really like this team, I obviously like last year’s team too. But I think right now, we might even be playing a little bit better than we did last year at this time. Which is hard to say just because we won it all last year."

Ethan Pack discussed his team’s reaction to the big stage of the State Tournament and how Hayfield has mentally acclimated. "We have such great players on our team that they have the help and they can kick and get open threes. All teams have nerves going into the game and I think we lost ours sooner, and we settled in a lot quicker because we’ve been here and we know what we need to do to get the job done."

The Vikings play fifth-seed Cherry in the semifinals on Friday. Tip-off from Williams Arena is at 12 p.m. and the game can be seen on channel 6.2 This TV.