Chaska's Mallory Heyer spins for a layup against Wayzata Friday night. Heyer had a team-high 18 points in the Hawks’ 61-59 victory over the Trojans in Wayzata. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Before answering questions following Chaska’s win against Wayzata on Friday, Hawks coach Tara Seifert joked that “her heart was still up in her throat” after her team edged out the Trojans for a two-point victory.
That isn’t a feeling Seifert or the Hawks have had to deal with much this year. Coming into the matchup, Chaska had won each of its first 11 games this season by an average of 31 points per game and had triumphed just once by single digits.
That number grew to two on Friday. After falling behind early, Chaska soared to a 61-59 victory over the Trojans at Wayzata High School to stay unbeaten this winter.
Besides the deficit being so low compared to other games, the Hawks, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, didn’t have their regular offensive output when facing No. 7-4A Wayzata. Chaska had scored 70 or more points in every game this season until meeting the Trojans.
That output was low thanks, in part, to a slow first half for the Hawks (12-0) offensively. They put up just 26 points in the game’s opening half with 6-foot-1 junior forward Mallory Heyer, who came into the game averaging a team-high 23.9 points per game, scoring just two points in the first half.
On the other side, the Trojans (7-5) used their zone defense to force Chaska into shooting, allowing the home team to take a nine-point lead into halftime. Wayzata senior Jenna Johnson, a 6-foot-2 forward, led the way with 13 points in the first half. The Utah commit finished with 17 points, joining teammate Mara Braun who had a game-best 20 points.
Chaska's Kelsey Willems secures a defensive rebound late in the game against Wayzata. The Hawks rallied in the second half for a 61-59 victory over the Trojans. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Trailing by nine points at halftime, Chaska soared in the second half and rallied to defeat Wayzata 61-59 on Friday at Wayzata High School to stay unbeaten this season.
Part of the problem in the first half for the Hawks, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, was the lack of scoring from Mallory Heyer, the team’s top scorer. The 6-foot-1 junior forward and University of Minnesota commit, who averages 23.4 points per game, was held to just two points in the first half.
Sophomore point guard Kennedy Sanders helped pick up the slack with a team-high nine points in the first half and finished with 13 points for Chaska (12-0).
Heyer found her scoring touch in the second half, however, and poured in 16 points to give her a team-high 18 points on the night. Heyer and Sanders were two of four Hawks to finish in double figures.
Chaska’s Kendall Karrmann, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, recorded 11 points while senior guard Kaylee Van Eps had 10 points.
The No. 7-4A Trojans managed to hold things down defensively while getting contributions on the offensive end of the floor from senior forward Jenna Johnson and junior guard Mara Braun. Johnson, a 6-foot-2 Utah commit, had a game-high 13 points in the opening half and finished with 17 points. Braun, meanwhile, scored 10 points in each half to finish with a game-high 20 points. She also had six rebounds for Wayzata (7-5).
Wayzata's Mara Braun pulls up for a long jump shot against Chaska Friday night. The Trojans fell to the Hawks 61-59 despite Braun’s game-high 20 points. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
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