By Bruce Karnick
Hastings High School basketball is underway, and the Raider ladies are making a splash under new head coach Sheri McLeod. The girls lost their first game to a perennial state contender after just having five days of practice under McLeod. Since then, they beat River Falls 52-44 and then severely dismantled their next two opponents.
Tuesday, November 30, Columbia Heights paid a visit to Hastings. Hastings took the lead early and ran away with the game scoring 56 first half points to Columbia Heights 13. The second half was much more even between the two schools, with the Raiders still having the edge 21-20. The final of the game was 77-33.
14 different Raiders made an appearance in the game, of those, 10 had points. Leading the scoring for Hastings was Lilly Nuytten with 26 points on 18 minutes and Maggie Schlottman had 10 points on 23 minutes. The rest of the Raider scoring was so well distributed that the other eight players accounted for 41 of the teams 77 points.
On Thursday, a young Apple Valley team came to town. The Eagles are such a young squad, they only have one senior and are starting two seventh graders. That will make for a tough Apple Valley squad in the future, but for now, it means growing pains.
Hastings grabbed the 3-0 lead on an opening three-point shot by Freshman Keegan McVicker and never looked back leading at the half 51-22 and finishing 78-41. Scoring was spread out again with 10 players getting points and four being in double digits. Nyutten and Schlottman were joined by McVicker all tied for the lead in scoring with 13 each and Emma Baker had 11.
The Hastings girls are now 3-1 under McLeod and the feedback of positivity has been strong from the players. It’s clear they enjoy playing for McLeod and she enjoys being their head coach. The future is bright for Hastings ladies hoops.
The boys finally got in some official action over the weekend too. They participated in the same tournament the girls did the weekend before and had the same result. Redwing, Hibbing, East Central and Hastings were the four teams in the tournament. Hastings had a tough opponent in Hibbing for round one. The Raiders played Hibbing tough but ultimately fell 75-56 on Friday. Saturday, the boys came back and routed East Central 74-33. Unfortunately, just like the girls tournament, no further details were made available for the Redwing Tournament.
The boys will host Park of Cottage Grove on Tuesday the 7th, then they have a three-game road trip, first they travel to Apple Valley on Friday, December 10, then to Woodbury on December 21, and St. Thomas Academy on January 4. All four games tip off at 7:00 p.m.
The girls play just a few more games than the boys in that time frame but they also have a three-game road trip coming up. Monday, December 6 at Eagan and December 10 at St. Anthony, both of those games are a 7:00 p.m. tip. Then they get a matinee at New Life Acadamy on December 11 at 2:30 p.m. then come back home on the 14th to host Northfield at 7:00 p.m.