Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.
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Playing AAU basketball is a unique experience, different from anything else in youth sports. The travel, competition, facilities and culture make it unforgettable. Here is what it's like from a player's perspective: The shot misses and the buzzer sounds. Only a handful of high school basketball teams end their seasons with a win, the rest end with a loss. Whether that loss comes in the first playoff or the state championship game, it signals the end of the high school basketball season. It also heralds the start of AAU.
There will be a meeting for the captains of the Hastings women’s power volleyball teams on Wednesday, August 16, at 7 p.m. at Green Mill in Hastings. The league has an opening for a team and is also looking for refs. If interested contact Denyce at 651-349-6546 or at email@example.com .
The Miesville Mudhens swept the Hastings Hawks 2-0 this past weekend to advance to the Minnesota Baseball Association's Class B State Tournament and now look to defend last year's state title. The Mudhens beat the Hawks 11-1 on Aug. 4 in Miesville and then took the series with a 12-3 win Aug. 6 at Veterans Park in Hastings. Mudhens' manager Chris Olean said that making the tournament is always an accomplishment.
Hastings native Max Fox recently won the 26th Twin Cities Championship golf tournament at his home course of Dakota Pine Golf Club. Fox stayed within striking distance by posting a strong outing in the first round at Baker National Golf Club. Going into the final nine holes at Dakota Pines, he trailed by a handful of strokes but was able to make the comeback and pull out the win.
Look at your local high school basketball roster. Do a little Googling and you will most likely find a player, or several, that play AAU basketball. As soon as the high school season ends, they are starting practices and tournaments. Whether they play for a local organization that participates in a handful of regional tournaments, or compete with the best players in the country on a shoe-sponsored circuit, AAU basketball is a growing phenomenon that can be found in your backyard.
The Hastings Hawks and Miesville Mudhens have both made the section 1B playoffs. The Hawks will play the Austin BlueSox 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, in Hastings with the winner playing top-seeded Miesville in a best-of-three series.
The Miesville Mudhens extended their winning streak to 14 games this past week with wins over the Hastings Hawks (12-0) on July 21, and the Austin BlueSox (4-0) on July 23. The Mudhens are now 24-3 (14-2 Classic Cannon Valley), haven't lost in over a month and have clinched the top seed in the section 1B playoffs.
The Hastings Tennis Association helped put on the Rivertown Days Tennis Tournament, which spanned multiple sites and three days of competition. There were 23 different divisions that saw different mixes of age groups; men, women and children; and doubles or singles.
The Hastings Hawks dropped their last three games to bring their record to 5-20 on the season and 3-12 in the Classic Cannon Valley. Hastings lost a barn burner to the Cannon Falls Bears 16-11 on July 19, were blown out by the Mudhens in Miesville 12-0 on July 21, and fell in a close game to the Austin Greyhounds at home 7-3 on July 23. The Hawks will most likely be the eight or nine seed in the playoffs and will have to play in the play-in game against the other bottom seed. The winner would then play a best-of-three series against the Mudhens. Against Miesville
The Hastings American Legion baseball team finished its summer season by going 2-2 in the American Legion baseball sub-state six playoffs. They lost in the first round to Northfield 5-1, beat South St. Paul (7-5) and Eagan (6-5) in the consolation bracket before losing to Eastview. All playoff games were nine innings as opposed to the standard seven-inning games in high school and the legion regular season. Doubleheader