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HHS girls take second in MEC heading into playoffs

Senior Tori Brake goes up for the layup during Hastings' Senior Night. Tori scored four points in Hastings' win. (Star Gazette photo by Alec Hamilton)1 / 7
Freshman Mallory Brake leaps high into the air for the block against the Packers. (Star Gazette photo by Alec Hamilton)2 / 7
Laura Church is one of four Raider seniors. She scored two points on Senior Night against South St. Paul. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)3 / 7
Senior Hayley Kazmierczak scored two points in the Raiders' win over the Packers. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)4 / 7
Danielle Hedman is one of four Raiders graduating after this season. (Photo courtesy of Beck Photography)5 / 7
Sophomore Haylee Yaeger gathers yourself for a jump shot. (Star Gazette photo by Alec Hamilton)6 / 7
Junior Krystal Carlson drives the lane for the left-handed layup against South St. Paul. (Star Gazette photo by Alec Hamilton)7 / 7

Girls' Basketball

The Hastings girls' basketball team went 1-1 in the last week of their regular season, beating South St. Paul at home 56-25 on Senior Night and then traveling to Mahtomedi for a share of the conference championship where they lost 65-55. The Raiders finished the regular season 14-12 and 11-3 in the Metro East Conference for a second-place finish.

South St. Paul

Hastings pounced on South St. Paul right from the start and led 32-11 at halftime. This gave head coach Padrick Judd the chance to dive deep into the bench and rest his starters in preparation for the showdown in Mahtomedi.

"I thought the girls played very well," Judd said. "It's nice going into the big game on Friday (against Mahtomedi) that we are clicking on all cylinders, the girls got a chance to rest a little bit and get ready to play full strength on Friday."

Hastings honored its four seniors: Tori Brake, Laura Church, Danielle Hedman and Hayley Kazmierczak before the game. Tori Brake scored four points, while Church and Kazmierczak each had two.

Krystal Carlson was also honored before the game for becoming the all-time leading scorer in not only Hastings girls' basketball history, but also in boys' history. She scored 12 points, pulled down seven rebounds and had an assist, a steal and two blocks.

Haylee Yaeger scored 14 points, Mallory Brake had nine and Caprice Van Den Assem added seven. Megan Mattson, CiCi Carlson and Lauren Jackson all had two points.


Going into the showdown at Mahtomedi, Judd said the Raiders would have to do what they did not do in their last game against the Zephyrs: make shots. However, that's easier said than done. Hastings fell to Mahtomedi 65-55 after leading 31-25 at halftime. The Raiders barely shot 30 percent, making just 20-of-63 field goals, while Mahtomedi went 18-for-44 and made 22 free throws on top of it.

Judd said that in the second half the team did not execute but that it was good preparation for the playoffs.

"This was a fun atmosphere to play in, basically a playoff atmosphere," Judd said. "We came out in the first half and did a nice job forcing turnovers and executing our offense. In the second half we got away from the things that we did well in the first half and unfortunately we never were able to recover. Against a good team like Mahtomedi you have to play a full game and execute on both sides of the floor."

Carlson scored 22 points, had 15 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Yaeger added 16 points and five rebounds, while Mallory Brake contributed nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, five steals and two blocks before fouling out. Mattson had four points, three assists and three steals, while CiCi Carlson and Van Den Assem each had two points.

The girls traveled to Park of Cottage Grove for the first round of section playoffs as the fifth seed to play the fourth-seed Wolfpack. Results were not available at the time of printing.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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