By Bruce Karnick
Pick your favorite cliché for the success that the Raiders are experiencing under first year head coach Sheri McLeod. Firing on all cylinders, they refuse to lose, cookin’ like a Texas Barbeque, or the one that comes to mind from the NBA Jam video games… They are ON FIRE!
The two loses the Raiders have endured this year were the first game of the year after five days of practice in a new system against Goodhue, and against Eagan with a few key players missing due to non COVID illnesses.
Hastings entered the week at 6-2 with Northfield coming to town then a road trip to Richfield. Against Northfield, Hastings controlled the game the entire night utilizing a mix of full court, ¾ court and half court presses. The randomness of the press kept the young Northfield team out of sync the entire game. By the time the first half was over, Hastings had a commanding 33-21 lead.
The Raiders kept Northfield off balance the entire game by continuing the mix of the presses. This allowed Hastings to play some of the younger players, an important piece of developing for the future. The final score ended at 63-43 Hastings.
Lilly Nyutten finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block. Hailey Strain had 15 points, 15 rebounds, 3 deflects and 3 steals. Emma Bakker had 14 points, 12 rebounds, 3 deflects and 2 steals.
On the trip to Richfield, the game frequently changed leads and the Raiders went into halftime down on, 24-23. Again, the Raiders mixed up the aggressiveness of their presses to throw Richfield off balance and won the second half and the game 55-51.
Nyutten scored 19, Strain 11, and Bakker 10 with Maggie Schlottman scoring eight, Keagan McVicker scored five and Rachel Notch two.
Hastings now has the rest of the year off from games until January 6 when they host Park of Cottage Grove at 7:00 p.m.
The boys have not seen action since December 7 and they currently sit at 1-2, they played at Woodbury on Tuesday after the paper went to press. We’ll have that for you next week. The next chance to catch the boys in action is January 4 at St. Thomas Academy at 7:00 p.m.