Net effect: Minneota basketball builds on volleyball success

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • Updated: March 21, 2014 - 1:25 AM

Minneota’s recent success in girls’ basketball has ties to its success on the volleyball court. All five of the Vikings’ starters were members of the school’s volleyball team, which placed third at state last fall.

“Volleyball has definitely always been king in Minneota with the girls’ sports,” basketball coach Chad Johnston said. “It was a battle the first few years of trying to convince people they could do both [volleyball and basketball].”

The Vikings won three close games to claim last year’s Class 1A basketball title. That’s where their volleyball experience paid off.

“They’re not intimidated by the big stage, being in the big arenas, because they’ve done it for volleyball,” assistant coach Dale Kockelman said. “And they’ve been under that pressure.”

Junior Taylor Reiss and senior Megan Larson have committed to play volleyball in college.

CHARLIE ARMITZ

 

Toughing it out

Ada-Borup got a solid performance from senior guard Monica Vega in her final high school game. The Cougars weren’t even sure they would have their leader for their Class 1A quarterfinal matchup with Goodhue.

“[Vega] did a great job, considering the fact that she broke her nose two days ago [in practice],” Ada-Borup coach David Smart said. “She’s got a compound fracture in her nose, but she’s a tough kid. We found a mask for her, she threw that thing on and said she was fine.”

Vega had 13 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in a 65-58 loss to Goodhue at Mariucci Arena.

RON HAGGSTROM

Freshman does battle with Coley

Mikayla Hayes, Park Center’s 6-foot-1 freshman center, was unfazed by facing Minneapolis Washburn’s 6-3 game-changing center, Chase Coley. Hayes, the daughter of former University of Minnesota forward Dana Joubert-Hayes, scored 13 points and had 14 rebounds in her matchup with Coley.

Watching Coley play in the quarterfinals, Hayes said, prepared her for Thursday.

“I knew she was a good player and that I had to work hard against her, but I wasn’t nervous,” Hayes said.

She credited her mother’s influence for her ability to stay calm in stressful situations. “She really helps me the most off the court, preparing me mentally,” she said.

JIM PAULSEN

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