Hayfield 76, WEM 53
A fast start for Hayfield (9-3, 7-2 Gopher Conference) was enough to propel it past WEM (3-5, 3-4) on Friday night in Hayfield, where the Vikings raced out to a 45-24 lead at halftime.
Brady Nutter led the Buccaneers with 23 points, five rebounds and three assists while playing all 36 minutes, Ethan Bartelt added 17 points and four assists and Corey McKenna mixed seven points with five rebounds.
Hayfield, meanwhile, was led by four different players scoring at least 14 points.
WEM returns to the court Tuesday night at United South Central (3-4, 3-2).
WEM 44, Hayfield 26
A smothering defensive effort powered WEM (8-2, 6-1 Gopher) past Hayfield (8-3, 5-2) in Waterville on Friday night.
The Vikings were limited to only nine second-half points after the Buccaneers led 19-17 at halftime. Offensively, Toryn Richards led WEM with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Brielle Bartelt added eight points, nine rebounds and four assists, Kylie Pittmann also scored eight points and Lindsay Condon provided seven points.
WEM next hosts United South Central (1-9, 0-8) on Tuesday night.
Blooming Prairie 45, Bethlehem Academy 38
After the first half ended in a 20-20 deadlock, Blooming Prairie (9-1, 7-0) distanced itself enough to open the second half to maintain its perfect mark in the Gopher Conference. Bethlehem Academy (1-8, 1-7) fought back with a handful of mini-runs during the second half, but was never able to fully erase the deficit.
Megan Oswald piled up 20 points to lead the Awesome Blossoms, who also received nine points from Bobbie Bruns and eight points from Allison Krohnberg. The Cardinals were only the second conference opponent to stay within single digits of Blooming Prairie thanks to 14 points from Mercedes Huerta, in addition to nine points via Kate Trump and seven points from Lindsay Hanson.
Blooming Prairie next hosts Medford (5-2, 4-1) on Tuesday night, while Bethlehem Academy hosts NRHEG (4-7, 2-6) on Tuesday night.
It wasn't a clean sweep, but a Big 9 Conference title is a conference title nonetheless for the Faribault Emeralds. It's the team's ninth consecutive conference crown and 21st overall in the Big 9.
The Emeralds won the high kick competition and was assigned four ranking points and finished third in the jazz portion with 12 ranking points. That total of 16 dipped under second-place Rochester Century, which won the jazz competition (five points) and finished third in kick (14 points) for a total of 19 ranking points.
In addition to the conference title, Faribault placed Maria Pierce, Makayla Keilen, Jaden Lang and Sophia Mentz on the all-conference team, with Ava Korbel, Ella Prange, Talor Velishek and Brooklyn Zrust garnering honorable mention.
Junior Lauren McDonough and freshman Miller Munoz placed first and second in the all-around competition Saturday to help Faribault top Rochester Century 126.525-123.3 at the Faribault Gymnastics Club.
McDonough's all-around title was built on a first-place finishes on floor and beam, a second-place finish on vault and a third-place finish on bars. Munoz, meanwhile, snagged second on bars, fourth on beam and sixth on floor.
Other individual highlights included senior Chloe Duchene nabbing third on vault, fourth on floor and fifth on beam.
Faribault next hosts Owatonna on Thursday night.