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Boys Basketball: Season ends for Raiders with loss to Huskies

The Hastings boys basketball team lost to Owatonna Wednesday night, 61-44, in the first round of the Class 4A, Section 1 tournament.

The loss ends the season for Hastings.

Hastings had two main sticking points in the loss to the Huskies: The first was their field goal percentage, and the second was turnovers. Both were too close to 20.

As a team, the Raiders made 21 percent of their shots from the field. And, as a team, the Raiders had more than 20 turnovers.

"It was a tough night," coach Trent Hanson said. "We did not shoot the ball well, and we were really sloppy with the ball."

Hanson and the Raiders figured that good looks at the basket from the paint were going to be hard to come by. The Huskies boast two players over 6-7 in the starting lineup.

"I thought the good looks we had were all from the perimeter - three-point looks," Hanson said. "We kind of expected that. Owatonna has some big guys in the paint. The shots we had in the paint were highly contested. We had hoped to shoot a higher percentage from the perimeter."

Hastings made two of 21 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.

"It was just a struggle out there," Hanson said.

Owatonna jumped out to a 10-2 lead to start the game, but Hastings went on a run of its own and pulled the score closer at 16-14. That's as close as the Raiders got, through, as the Huskies went on an 18-4 run to close out the half.

"They went into halftime with a pretty wide margin that we couldn't really chop down in the second half," Hanson said.

Owatonna beat the section's No. 2 seed Northfield on Saturday, and they play for the section title Friday against Winona.

The Raiders finish the season with an 11-16 overall record, and a 6-10 mark in conference play.

"You always wish you could keep playing, but like any coach will tell you, the season is not measured on just one game," Hanson said. "When we look back on it, we took some big steps forward throughout the season."

Hastings will lose seven seniors to graduation. They are Pat Guelle, Jake Ryan, DeShawn Gordon, Karl Sorg, Dan Clanton, Devon LaCoursiere and Ray Anaya.

"We'll certainly miss the contributions of our senior class," Hanson said. "But we have a very experienced group of juniors coming back. We have a lot of things to build on."

Three juniors will return to next year's team with two years of starting experience, including Shane Monjeau, Nick Gmiterko and Michael Hill.

"Those three, in particular, really are the foundation for us heading into next season," Hanson said.