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Taya Hakamaki's 34 points powers Cromwell-Wright past Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

By RON HAGGSTROM, Star Tribune , 03/12/20, 3:30PM CDT


“You can tell she is the heart of the team,” the opposing coach marveled after the Cardinals' 67-58 victory.

Cromwell-Wright guard Taya Hakamaki (1) scored a layup past Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa guard Josie Knutson (24) in the first half. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Cromwell-Wright guard Taya Hakamaki is pretty hard to stop.

The senior had 34 points, five assists and five steals as the Cardinals defeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 67-58 in a Class 1A quarterfinal Thursday at Maturi Pavilion.

“Taya is a special ball-dominant guard,” Cardinals coach Jeff Gronner said. “She can shoot and handle the ball, and she sees the floor well, too.”

The No. 2-ranked Cardinals (29-2) stretched an eight-point halftime lead to 15 points in the second half before the Jaguars mounted a comeback. They pulled within 58-51 with just over six minutes left before Hakamaki quickly responded with a three-pointer and three-point play.

“You can tell she is the heart of the team,” Jaguars coach Kristina Anderson said. “She is a complete player.”

Senior guard Shaily Hakamaki, Taya’s first cousin, added 15 points and nine rebounds.

“We knew those two were going to be tough to stop,” Anderson said. “That was a tall task.” 

The Jaguars (19-11) were led by freshman guard Abby Berge’s 18 points.

“They gave us some issues in the first half,” Groner said. “We’re playing at a high level right now, but we can play better.”


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