Raiders keep building on momentum with winThe Hastings boys basketball team got its full lineup back in play last week, and it definitely showed. On Friday, Hastings beat East Ridge, 51-41, in a Suburban East Conference matchup.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The Hastings boys basketball team got its full lineup back in play last week, and it definitely showed. On Friday, Hastings beat East Ridge, 51-41, in a Suburban East Conference matchup.
Starting guard Ellis Williams had missed the previous few weeks of action with an injury, but returned and made a big difference, especially on defense.
“He matched up with their top player, Justin Pahl, a good chunk of the game,” coach Chad Feikema said. “He was really good in that role. He made it difficult for him to get good touches and open looks at the bucket.”
Pahl finished with 17 points.
Offensively, the star of the night for Hastings was Darius Wilkerson, who finished with 20 points.
“Darius is playing really well at this point,” Feikema said. “He had two threes midway through the first half, and that was a big key. It changed how the other team looked at him, and how they wanted to guard him. It opened up the floor for some other opportunities for other guys.
“He’s been taking and making more perimeter shots. That’s made him, and our team as a whole, a lot more dangerous.”
Josh Monjeau finished with three points, but he had a big impact on the game, Feikema said.
“He had another exceptional game in controlling how the game was played,” Feikema said. “He was dictating the tempo.”
Quintan Weaver and DaShaun Harris had nice games, too, with each player scoring eight points. Williams had seven and Mitch Hoffman finished with five to round out the scoring.
“Everybody who got in played well, and played key minutes,” Feikema said. “Everybody played their role well. They made key plays at key times. It was a really good team win.”
Hastings held a 25-20 lead at halftime, and outscored the Raptors by five in the second half, too, 26-21.
“It was a game where, I felt like we were in control of it,” Feikema said. “We made it difficult for them to get shots, and offensively we controlled the tempo. We ran when we wanted to run. We pulled things out when we wanted to pull things out. Because of the lead, we were able to execute and do the things we wanted to do. Team-wise, it was a good win.”
Since a game against Cretin-Derham Hall a few weeks ago, Feikema has sensed his team has turned a corner.
“For the most part, we’ve played well in every game since, except for the one against Roseville,” Feikema said. “We played really well at Mounds View. We had the Park win and the East Ridge win. We’ve had a string of games where we’ve played really well.”
Simply making shots has been a big part of the turn-around.
“We make shots, and things get a lot easier,” Feikema said. “Even your defense starts to suffer if you have a hard time getting the ball in the basket in the other end. We’ve done a better job of shooting the ball lately. We’re more comfortable offensively. We’ve found some things that are working for us.”
Hastings has an 8-12 overall record and a 3-10 mark in SEC play. East Ridge has a 5-8 record.
Hastings lost to Stillwater on Tuesday night, 52-42.
Hastings held a halftime lead of 25-22, but the Ponies pulled away in the second half, outscoring Hastings 30-17.
Monjeau led Hastings in scoring with 11 points. Weaver had 10, Harris had eight, Wilkerson had seven and Williams had six.