Boys basketball: Hastings beats Prescott
A 57-36 win at Prescott last Tuesday helped the Hastings boys basketball team enter the Christmas break with some good news.
That break, though, won't last for long.
This week, the Raiders are playing host to their own tournament at the high school. The tournament began Tuesday, Dec. 29, with a game against Rosemount and continues Wednesday. The other two teams in the tournament are Farmington and St. Thomas Academy.
Hastings enters tournament play with a 2-4 overall record, but that mark is a bit deceiving. Three of the losses were close ones, coming down to the final minutes. Those three were all to ranked teams in the state, and all of those teams are still undefeated.
"We've been competitive in games," Hastings coach Chad Feikema said. "The next big step is winning a game down the stretch. We need to win a game that goes down to the final minute or two. That's the next hurdle we need to cross."
Feikema installed a new offense this year, and players are still getting accustomed to the changes.
"We need to get better on the offensive end," Feikema said. "We need to continue to develop there. We have times in games where we've become stagnant. The ball doesn't move like we want it to."
Hastings got out to an early lead against Prescott, but by the end of the first half, things had tightened up considerably.
The Raiders jumped out to an 18-4 lead, thanks in part to great defense.
"We jumped out early and put a lot of pressure on them," Hastings coach Chad Feikema said.
Hastings, though, got into some foul trouble and the tempo slowed down. That mix allowed Prescott to get back into the game and by halftime, the score was 23-19.
The second half, though, was all Hastings. The Raiders outscored the Cardinals 34-17 in the final two quarters.
"Early in the second half, we played like we did early in the game," Feikema said. "We got the tempo going in our favor in the second half.
"When the game started out, the tempo was in our favor. Once we got in the second quarter, the pace slowed down and it became a little stagnant. That was not the kind of game we wanted to play with them. We wanted the tempo to be quicker. When it slowed down in the second quarter, that worked to Prescott's advantage."
Hastings had a full-court press going throughout most of the game.
"I was really pleased with our effort, outside of the second quarter, that brought to the defensive end of the floor," Feikema said.
Hastings had a balanced scoring attack. Nick Gmiterko had 16 points and Mike Hill had 10. Three players each had six points. They were Ellis Williams, Shane Monjeau and Darius Wilkerson. Also scoring were Tony Hammes, 5; Jake Cox, 4; and Dan Guelle, 2.
Gmiterko had nine rebounds, and Wilkerson had eight.
Hill had five assists and four steals.
Williams had three assists and Hammes had three steals.