HHS girls' basketball beats Park, falls to Eastview in section playoffs
The Hastings girls' basketball team had its season end this past week in the section 3AAAA playoffs. The Raiders, who were the No. 5 seed, traveled to Park of Cottage Grove last Wednesday and beat No. 4 seed Wolfpack 48-47. Hastings then played the top-seed Eastview at Hamline University's Hutton Arena on Saturday, where they lost 61-25.
The Raiders lost to Park earlier in the season by just one point, and last week's was another close game against the Wolfpack. But head coach Padrick Judd said that the difference between the two games was simple.
"Honestly, I don't know if I could tell you the difference other than that we came out on top," Judd said. "They (Park) just didn't hit a couple shots at the end and we got to the free throw line in the second half and made a few. They're a great team; people don't understand that they played a solid schedule all year just like us, and it's a tough section."
Hastings came out of the gates quickly in the first half and led 13-4 with 10 minutes left before halftime. However, momentum shifted after the Raiders committed three straight turnovers that led to two Park scores and a foul. With just under three minutes left in the half, Hastings led by just two, 20-18, and led 27-23 going into the second half.
The second half was back-and-forth between the two teams. The Raiders seemed to be on the verge of making a run to open up a solid lead at several points during the second half, but each time were thwarted by their own turnovers or a timely three by Park to keep the game close.
Haylee Yaeger and Mallory Brake both made free throws in the final few minutes to give Hastings a 45-41 lead, but then the Wolfpack hit two threes in a row to tie the game at 47. Krystal Carlson made one of two free throws with 9.3 seconds left and that free throw would win the game for the Raiders.
Judd said that Hastings' attitude toward the game really helped them pull out the win.
"The biggest thing is we didn't play with any fear down the stretch," Judd said. "I was telling the girls at halftime, there are two types of fear. You can face everything and rise, or you can forget everything and run. In the second half we weren't afraid."
The trio of Mallory Brake, Krystal Carlson and Yaeger proved too much for Park to handle as the three combined for 42 of Hastings' 48 points and 30 rebounds. Brake led the Raiders with 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, five steals and two blocks. Krystal Carlson had 12 points but also a crucial 18 rebounds, to go along with four assists, a steal and three blocks. Yaeger had 14 points, three rebounds and a steal. Also scoring for the Raiders were Tori Brake with four points and CiCi Carlson with two points.
Hastings hoped to take the momentum from their win at Park into their game against Eastview at Hamline University. However, Eastview dominated the game, holding the Raiders to just 25 points for the game (12 in the first half, 13 in the second) and stifling them offensively.
Hastings made just 11 field goals (one 3-pointer) and two free throws the entire game. They were 11-40 shooting (27.5 percent) and committed 20 turnovers. Krystal Carlson led the Raiders in scoring with 14 points, but she was the only one in double figures. She also had nine rebounds, four blocks and two assists and steals. Mallory Brake had five points, while Megan Mattson had four and CiCi Carlson two.
Eastview shot 50 percent, including seven 3-pointers. They had three players score in double figures, led by Allie Pickrain, who had a game-high 16 points.
Hastings ends its season 1-1 in section playoffs, and 15-13 overall on the season after finishing second in the Metro East Conference. However, they are a young team and return all but one of their starters next season. Graduating after this season are Tori Brake, Danielle Hedman, Laura Church and Hayley Kazmierczak.