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Hastings girls' basketball advances to section semis

Senior Krystal Carlson goes up for the layup against Rosemount. Carlson ends her prep career as the leading scorer in Hastings basketball history. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Mallory Brake goes up strong and lays it in for two of her 14 points. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Ashley Fritz attempts a three-pointer during Hastings' section playoff win over Rosemount. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team's season came to an end on Saturday, March 3, at Concordia University. Hastings, the No. 4 seed in the section 3AAAA playoffs, lost to top-seeded Eastview 61-39, the second loss to the Lightning for the Raiders this season, and the second year in a row Hastings has been bounced from the playoffs by Eastview. The Raiders finish the season with a 19-9 overall record.

Eastview

Hastings trailed by just seven at halftime, 26-19, as the Raiders slowed down the Lightning's potent offense. Head coach Padrick Judd said the team did a good job of executing the game plan in the first half.

"Well, I thought we had a solid game plan to try and take away their inside game and avoid helping on dribble penetration," he said. "Most of their scoring comes from drive-and-kick situations and we had them off-balance in the first half. We also did a nice job of forcing them to play defense and (we) spaced the floor well. We hit a couple shots and got to the free throw line, which also was important."

However, the second half was a different story.

"Well, (Eastview) did a nice job of being more aggressive, and a lot of the shots they hit in the second half were uncontested shots," Judd said. " We were not able to get out on them defensively like we did in the first half. There was a point early in the second half where their best post-player was in foul trouble and we could not take advantage of it. If we could have done that, got some easy buckets and turned the 11-point lead at the time into a five-point game, it may have been a different story."

Also contributing to the loss was 24 turnovers on the Raiders' part and, according to Judd, just plain missing shots.

"Honestly, the turnovers were our own mistakes," he said. "We threw the ball away too many times, mostly forgetting that we were on a college floor and (we) cannot make some of the passes we made on a bigger floor. Eastview took advantage of our turnovers and that is one of the key reasons they won."

"Watching the game film again, I would once again argue that we just missed shots," he said. "We knew we had to shoot well to be successful, and we started off well, but then we went ice cold in the second half. We had plenty of wide open looks but just couldn't connect."

Hastings was 10-for-33 from the field and 2-for-13 from three-point range, though they were able to get to the free-throw line 23 times, making 17 of them. Senior Krystal Carlson led the team with 20 points and 10 rebounds in her final game as a Raider basketball player. Sophomore Mallory Brake was the next-highest scorer with seven points, seventh-grader Ashley Fritz added five points and senior Caprice van den Assem had four.

Rosemount

Hastings started the game off with a quick lead after forcing a couple turnovers and making a few threes. Rosemount responded, and midway through the first half the Raiders led 12-10. With five minutes left in the half, the Irish tied it at 17 after hitting a three. Hastings led 24-21 at halftime primarily on the post-play of Mallory Brake and Krystal Carlson. The Raiders offense featured a heavy dose of those two in the post, either taking their Irish defenders one-on-one down low or, when faced with frequent double and triple-teams, passing out to open shooters on the perimeter.

The Raiders got off to another quick start in the second half and extended their lead to 37-25. However, just as the Irish continued to turn it over, so did Hastings, and the Raiders were unable to pull away and seal the victory. As Rosemount began to come out of their funk and put on their press, the Raiders were unable to convert after breaking the press, either taking bad shots or turning the ball over. Rosemount managed to pull within 41-37 before the Raiders went on a run of their own to make it 48-41 with a couple minutes left.

Rosemount would not go away in the last few minutes and pulled within two at one point. But Hastings managed to hold on for the win.

Krystal Carlson led the Raiders with 20 points, followed by Brake with 14 and van den Assem was critical with seven big points.

The Raiders graduate four seniors come this spring, many of them key contributors this past season. There is Krystal Carlson, Hastings all-time leading scorer for both the girls and the boys programs, van den Assem, Cecilia Carlson and Katie Notch. Check back in the coming weeks for a season wrap-up.

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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