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Slow starts doom boys basketball in tourney play

Josh Monjeau puts up a running jump shot during the second half of Tuesday's game against Farmington. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)

The Hastings boys basketball team lost a pair of games at their own holiday tournament last week.

The Raiders lost to Mahtomedi in the first round, then fell to Farmington in the second.

Hastings is now 1-5 on the season.

In the loss to Mahtomedi, a slow start doomed the Raiders. The Zephyrs took a 38-11 into halftime.

"We're just struggling to score right now," coach Chad Feikema said. "We're not shooting a very good percentage as a group. Right now, we're at about 35 percent on the season as a team."

In the second half, Hastings played much better, getting outscored by just three points at 39-36. The final score was 77-47.

Finding offense has proven to be a real challenge for the Raiders, who have just one player averaging in double figures. That player is senior Tony Hammes. Feikema said in order for his team to turn its season around, they'll have to start moving the ball well while they are in their halfcourt offense.

"We have to be able to produce points by playing together as a team," he said. "To this point, we haven't moved the ball the way we will need to to put points on the board. We've got to do it by playing well together."

Turnovers have also hurt the club.

"We're not shooting a good percentage, and we're turning the ball over a lot," Feikema said. "We're turning the ball over and that leads to easy points for the other team. That makes our defense look bad. Even though our defense may be playing well, we give up a lot of points because we throw the ball away on the offensive end."

In the game against Mahtomedi, Ben Knoll got his first start and led the team in scoring with 12 points.

"Ben played really well," Feikema said. "He played well in both of our games last week."

Feikema also praised the play of senior Matt Anderson.

"Matt is not going to fill the stat sheet, but he played really well in both of his opportunities," he said. "We saw some good things from him."

Hammes had 11 points. Also scoring were Darius Wilkerson 9, Jake Koenig 1, Isaac Johnson 2, Peter Schultz 4, Ben Carlson 3, Matt Anderson 1 and Josh Monjeau 4.

Vs Farmington

Hastings lost to Farmington in the second round of the tournament, 71-51.

Hammes took a knee to his thigh in the previous game and played very little, which certainly didn't help the Raiders.

Hastings fell behind by 25 in the first half, but cut the Farmington lead down to 13 at one point in the second half.

"We played much better in the second half," Feikema said. "We couldn't score in the first half, and we turned the ball over a ton. In the second half, we played with more energy and were able to create a little more offense with our defense. We got things going a little bit better in that game."

Ellis Williams led the Raiders in scoring with 12 points. Josh Monjeau had 11.

Also scoring were Quintan Weaver 9, Jon Sindt 4, Wilkerson 4, Jake Koenig 2, Peter Schultz 2, Ben Knoll 4, Aaron Stevens 1 and Hammes 2.