KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS – The Hayfield boy’s basketball team will step on the court for the final time this season Saturday afternoon. For the Vikings, a chance to compete in the state championship is long overdue.
“20 years ago, 2001, my first year we lost in the final,” said Coach Chris Pack.
Since then, Pack has been dedicated in making sure his team made it back to the state title game. They’ve finally made it, and have a legitimate shot at winning it.
“We’re playing our best basketball right now and I think if we keep playing like this, it’ll give us a great chance,” he said.
The Vikings are more than motivated. They have been deemed underdogs the entire postseason – receiving the No. 3 seed in the section tournament and the No. 4 seed in the state tournament.
“I think it’s just helped us more mentally. It makes us more motivated to prove ourselves, we’re not just given the one seed. We had to go out there and prove ourselves,” Ethan Slaathaug said.
Throughout the state tournament, the Vikings have defeated their opponents by an average of more than 20 points. Slaathaug says they’re playing their best ball at just the right time.
“It’s a great feeling to go out there and play the best game you’ve played all season. Especially at this time of the year when you’re playing your best. It’s just great to go out there and start playing well when it matters the most.”
“I told the guys enjoy the moment, soak it all in, but we have a job to do and that we didn’t come here to get second place,” Pack said.
Hayfield plays Hancock at 1 p.m. Saturday at Target Center.