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Tough schedule hasn’t helped boys basketball record

Heading into this week of play, the Hastings boys basketball team had a 3-11 record. Doesn’t exactly sound like the best season in school history, right?

Consider this, though: Of those 11 losses, nine of them are two teams that either are or were ranked among the state’s top 10 teams. Six of them are still ranked in the top 10.

“We’ve played really good teams on our schedule,” coach Chad Feikema said. “We’re not very far away from being right there with the best teams in the state. We know 3-11 is 3-11, but if we played someone else’s schedule, we could probably be 11-3. We’re a good team, and we’re playing well.”

One of those losses came to Stillwater on Friday night, 85-82. Hastings trailed by two at halftime, 39-37, then fell behind by as many as 12 points in the second half before storming back to come within two points.

Hastings trailed 80-72 when Ross Dylla hit a three-pointer for the Raiders to cut it to 80-75. Dylla then stole the in-bounds pass and passed it to Sam Skoyen, who was cutting to the basket. Skoyen scored, was fouled and hit the free throw to cut the lead to 80-78.

“The gym erupted at that point,” coach Chad Feikema said.

Down the stretch, Hastings had to foul and sent a Stillwater player to the line down by two. He made one of two attempts, giving the Ponies a three-point lead. Hastings missed a shot at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

“It was a really good ballgame,” Feikema said. “I was really encouraged by our character in coming back and continuing to play. A couple things didn’t go our way, but we kept playing and fighting and forced some turnovers. We made some big shots to get it back into winnable range.”

Skoyen led Hastings in scoring with 29 points on 11 of 23 shooting from the field. He also led the team in rebounds with eight.

Joe Dittrich scored 19 points and was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.

Dittrich is the team’s primary ballhandler and he had just one turnover.

The story of the game, though, was rebounding. The Ponies had 45, including 10 offensive rebounds. Hastings had just 29.

Stillwater made 50 percent of its shots from the field. Hastings made 44.

“We need to get better defensively and we need to get better on the boards,” Feikema said. “We’ve got to get better at slowing our opponents down.”

Also scoring for Hastings were: Craig Nielsen, 13; Zach Wiese, 3; Dylla, 8; Drew Pottinger, 8; and Brady Gullicks, 2.


Hastings lost to White Bear Lake on Tuesday night, 71-51.

Skoyen and Nielsen hit double figures for the Raiders. Skoyen had 14 and Nielsen had 13.

Also scoring were: Dylla, 5; Pottinger, 8; Dittrich, 9; Gullicks, 2.