The Hastings boys' basketball team went 2-2 the last two weeks in non-conference matchups. Two weeks ago they lost to Eastview (81-55) and Benilde-St. Margaret's (79-61), but this past week they countered with two strong victories against Hudson (99-86) and Eagan (74-60). The Raiders are now 4-3 overall with only their own holiday tournament left before conference play starts.
Two weeks ago
Against Eastview, Hastings trailed by 13 at half 37-24 and was never able to recover. The Raiders only had one player score in double figures, senior Brandon Haraldson, who led the team in scoring with 12 points. He was followed by Sawyer Levos with nine and Colin Kummer with seven. Hastings did have 10 players score in the game.
The Raiders then braved the inclement weather Saturday to travel to St. Thomas Academy to play Benilde-St. Margaret's. Hastings fell to Benilde-St. Margaret's 79-61 despite a strong performance by senior Colin Kummer, who had 18 points in the contest. Point guard Nathaniel Wiese added 11 and Sawyer Levos reached double figures with 10.
Hudson and Eagan
The Raiders brought an offensive explosion when they traveled across the river to Hudson, Wis., Tuesday, Dec. 20, where they were just one point shy of the century mark. Hastings led at half 57-40, scoring more points in one half than many schools score in a game. While they fell off their pace a little bit in the second half, they were still able to almost score a 100 on a Hudson team that had won convincingly against Hastings' Metro East Conference foe St. Thomas Academy.
Kummer led all scorers with 28 points and Hastings had four other players score in double figures. Grant Hollar added 16 points, Haraldson and Brake each had 15 and Levos had 13. Hudson had three players score over 10 points, led by Jamie Wirth with 26.
Carrying their momentum from their win over Hudson, the Raiders then came home to host Eagan. Going into the game, Eagan had a size advantage over Hastings, but throughout the entire game the Raiders rebounded well against the larger Wildcats and pushed the pace.
The first few opening possessions saw each side commit several fouls as both teams settled in, but from there it was a close contest in the first half, at the end of which Hastings led 30-27. Kummer sat a significant portion of the first half with two fouls, however, he re-entered toward the end of the half and provided a spark to the Raiders to allow them to go into halftime with the lead.
In the second half, Hastings separated themselves from the Wildcats by playing fast, getting to the rim and great ball movement to find the open shooter. With under six minutes left in the game, the Raiders led 61-45 and they would hold on to win 74-60.
Kummer once again led the Raiders with a strong performance, scoring from all levels for his game high 22 points. Levos paced Kummer with 19 of his own, while Haraldson added 12 and Hollar 10.
At halftime of the Eagan game, Hastings also held an ugly Christmas sweater contest for students and the community. Approximately 15-20 contestants of all ages presented themselves in front of the scorer's table and the winner was selected by a panel of three judges.
Hastings hosts their annual holiday tournament Dec. 29-30. The other teams participating are Irondale, Farmington and Prescott. The Raiders open with Irondale at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, and then depending on the result, play Farmington or Prescott the following day. Prescott and Farmington precede the Raiders' game on Thursday.