The Hastings boys' basketball team fell to 3-6 overall after dropping two games at their own holiday tournament last week. The Raiders fell to across-the-river rival Prescott 77-67 in their first game and then in the final seconds to Irondale 64-63 during the third-place game.
Now 3-6 overall, the Raiders are also 0-1 in the Metro East Conference. They will resume conference play this week.
Hastings struggled at the start against Prescott, committing too many turnovers and allowing the Cardinals to get out to a 19-15 lead. The Cardinals were led by senior point guard Peter Brookshaw, who came into the tournament averaging 30 points per game.
Prescott was able to use quickness to get to the rim and either finish or pass back out for a jumper and led 33-27 at halftime after Brookshaw managed to get a last-second steal and layup.
In the second half, the Raiders got a spark from point guard Devon Haraldson, playing for injured starter Grant Hollar, and Matt Schlottman. Hastings took a brief 47-46 lead behind Haraldson's drives and pull-up jumpers.
However, Prescott answered with an 8-0 run to regain the lead 54-47. From there the play was fast and furious. At one point, Hastings made four straight three-pointers but Brookshaw was able to get to his spots and hit mid-range jumpers to keep the Raiders at bay.
Hastings failed to complete the comeback and fell 77-67.
Haraldson led the Raiders with 23 points, while Dylan Wagner had 15, mostly from three-point-range, and Sawyer Levos added 13 in a quiet game for him.
The Raiders once again started slowly against Irondale in the third-place game, though both teams struggled with sloppy play to start. Hastings led 12-11 with just eight minutes left in the first half.
However, both teams picked up the pace as Irondale out-rebounded and out-played the Raiders in the post to end the half while Hastings got hot from three, thanks to Wagner and Schlottman. The Raiders led 31-24 at half.
Hastings applyed the pressure to Irondale in the second half with a press and it proved effective at keeping the Knights at bay. Down the stretch, Joe Zak really helped give Hastings a spark with his hustle plays and a couple floaters in the lane where he took a beating.
Hastings held onto a 63-62 lead with under two minutes to play. Both teams struggled to score in the final few minutes. Then Hastings turned the ball over with under 30 seconds left and Irondale converted a tough jumper in the lane to take the lead. Hastings couldn't get a good look at a basket in the end and fell 64-63.
Wagner led the Raiders with 15 points, once again primarily from deep, while Haraldson added 12 points and Levos had 11.
"We have some individuals who continue to show flashes of being really good," head coach Chad Feikema said after the tournament. "We had two sophomores (Haraldson and Wagner) in their first varsity starts yesterday (against Prescott) combine for 38, over half of our points, and then two sophomores led us in scoring today (against Irondale). It's good to see them playing with confidence and getting better."
Feikema said he was very pleased with how Haraldson played in place of Hollar.
"Devon has been playing really well throughout the season," he explained. "His fundamentals are really strong, his footwork is really good, he's an intelligent player. It was a new role for him this weekend to have to play point guard for us, though he has played that position growing up."
Feikema said that rebounding was a weakness during the tournament, whereas the Raiders had out-rebounded their opponents heading in. He said he was also disappointed that they could not generate more offense through the post.
The Raiders have had six different players score more than 20 points in a game this season and eight with more than 15. Feikema finished by saying that his team needs to become more consistent in that area as right now it is a bit of a mystery if one player or another will put up big numbers or not produce at all.
Hastings travels to Simley on Friday, Jan. 5, and then host North St. Paul on Tuesday, Jan. 9.