Burnsville junior Vivian Hett is getting closer to realizing her dream of winning a state championship.

The South Suburban Conference's top girls' Nordic skier finished second in the state meet on Valentine's Day at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Hett's overall pursuit time of 34 minutes, 21 seconds was a little more than 22 seconds behind Duluth East senior Anna Kubek.

"My finish was better than I really hoped for," Hett said. "I wanted to medal this year. I am really happy with my finish."

Hett finished eighth in the state meet as a sophomore. She beat three skiers who finished ahead of her two years ago. Hett was 11th in her freshman season.

"She is certainly quite the talent," Burnsville coach Chris Harvey said.

Return trip to state

The Lakeville North girls' hockey team is growing accustomed to playing in the state tournament. The Panthers advanced to the field of eight for the third time in the past four years.

The Panthers (20-6-2) earned the No. 4 seed in Class 2A. They will play North Wright County (23-4-1) in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

"The first year we went to the state tournament, the confidence in the program skyrocketed," Panthers coach Buck Kochevar said. "We have been getting better each year."

Lakeville North had to overcome a two-goal deficit in the Section 1 championship to defeat Dodge County 3-2. Junior Heidi Winiecki scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 2 minutes, 39 seconds remaining. It was her eighth goal of the season.

Juniors Alexis Joyce (19 goals and 30 assists for 49 points) and Christi Vetter (19 goals, 23 assists, 42 points) are the team's two leading scorers for the third consecutive year.

Top performances

• Becoming a career 1,000-point scorer on the basketball court isn't that rare a feat these days. That is, unless you accomplish the milestone when you are just a sophomore, like Eastview girls' player Madison Guebert.

The guard eclipsed the mark with a 19-point outing in an 80-54 victory over Rosemount in South Suburban Conference play. She is averaging 21.4 points per game on the season.

• Two South Suburban Conference boys' basketball players -- Eastview senior Ben Oberfeld and Lakeville North junior JP Macura -- posted 30-point performances Feb. 15.

Oberfeld, a Bucknell recruit, scored 32 points in a 77-49 victory over Bloomington Kennedy. Macura scored 35 points in a 77-65 triumph over Rosemount.

Ron Haggstrom • 612-673-4498