By Bruce Karnick
The 1-7-0 Raiders travelled to Mendota Heights to take on the 4-3-0 Cadets of St. Thomas Academy on Tuesday, January 4. Hastings entered the contest on a five-game losing streak while STA came in winning four straight.
The Cadets took control of the game at the start and never let up. Leading 54-30 at the half. Hastings adjusted well at the half, but it was too late. In the second half, Hastings held STA to 38 points while scoring 35. In high school boys’ basketball, 65 points is often enough to win the game just three more and points and Hastings would have three more wins on the season. Offensively, Hastings played well, but again, the lack of size in the paint caused problems for the Raiders defensively. The final, STA 92-65.
Friday, Hastings returned home to face Tartan. With three big scorers out due to Covid protocol, Will Hubbard, Michael Mitchel and Owen Bernatz, the Titans took the early 10-2 lead. From that point forward, Hastings kept the first half within five. Defenses for both teams were making great steals, offenses were making not so great passes and at one point, there were eight turnovers in a row. At the end of the half, Hastings trailed 23-18 and were in a solid position to snag a win.
Out of the half, Tartan regained a larger lead, adding two buckets before the Raiders scored. By 12:30 mark, the score was 28-25 Tartan, Hastings had narrowed the game. The back-andforth steals kept up on both sides making the game fast at near center court, but low scoring. With 7:08 left in the game, Hastings tied the game at 37. Tartan knocked down a three and that is when the fouls started to play a role in the scoring.
Tartan kept the lead the rest of the game and out scored Hastings 38-35 in the second half to earn the 61-53 win over the Raiders, giving Hastings their seventh straight loss and dropping them to 1-8-0 on the season.
The next chance to catch Hastings in action is at home against South St. Paul on January 14 at 7:00 p.m. then again on January 17 at Apple Valley for a 1:00 p.m. tip and January 19 at Mahtomedi for a 7:00 p.m. tip.