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Boys basketball: Hastings is winless, but not hopeless

Darius Wilkerson1 / 2
Mike Hill2 / 2

Through most of the first half of Thursday's boys basketball game against Edina, the Hastings Raiders held a lead.

At one point toward the end of the first half, the Raiders led 20-16.

But turnovers doomed the Raiders from that point on, and Edina went on to win, 55-52. Hastings is 0-3 on the season.

With Hastings holding the four-point lead, the Hornets began using a trap and the visitors forced some Hastings turnovers and converted those turnovers into easy points. Edina went on a 9-0 run and eventually went into halftime leading 29-22.

Hastings had 17 turnovers in the first half.

"I felt like we were a little sloppy in the first half," Hastings coach Chad Feikema said. "Most of those turnovers weren't forced. We were just a little bit sloppy. If we would have been able to limit our turnovers, it probably would have been a win for us."

Hastings fared better against the trap in the second half, cutting their turnovers down to 10.

"It took us a little bit of time to make adjustments to that trap," Feikema said. "Once we sat down and talked about it at halftime, it wasn't really an issue in the second half."

Even with the 27 Hastings turnovers, the game still came down to the final seconds.

With 2.2 seconds to play, Hastings trailed by just one point at 53-52, and the Raiders had the ball after calling a timeout following a missed Edina free throw.

Feikema set up a play, but the pass was deflected and Edina got the ball. With one second to play, Hastings fouled an Edina player, who hit two free throws, and the game ended.

Jake Stark led Edina in scoring with 23 points.

Shane Monjeau had 18 to lead Hastings.

Mike Hill was also in double figures with 13.

Also scoring were Nick Gmiterko, 7; Darius Wilkerson, 7; Ellis Williams, 5; and Tony Hammes, 2.

So far

While Hastings is 0-3 on the season, all the games have been close, leaving Feikema optimistic about the prospects the rest of season.

I feel like we are playing well in a lot of different areas," Feikema said. "Now we just need to make key plays in key parts of the games. In all of our games, it has come down to the final 30 seconds.

"We've played three really good teams. We've played them even-up, but they've made the key plays down the stretch. At one point here, we have to start making those plays."

Feikema has been happy to see production coming from some key underclassmen.

"I like how some of our newer varsity players are developing," he said. "Ellis (Williams) had five against Edina. I've been pleased with his overall play. Tony (Hammes) has proven he can be a lock-down defender on the perimeter. Darius, in his first varsity game, had seven. He'll continue to grow. So I see a lot of positives."

Hastings plays at Cretin-Derham Hall, the No. 8 ranked team in Class 4A, on Friday. The Raiders are at Prescott Dec. 22, then return home for their annual holiday tournament, which begins Tuesday, Dec. 29.