Axel Arnold pulls up for a shot at the free throw line just over the outstretched hand of a defender. The Raider offense is predicated on this kind of quick transition shot. Photo by Bruce Karnick
Boys Basketball hosts Holiday HOOPla tournament

By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

This is the eighth year in a row that Hastings has held a four team tournament at the high school and Head Coach Chad Feikema explains why he likes it.

“I like hosting it for in large part because I love the game of basketball. So, I’ll speak personally for a second. I love spending the day here. I get to watch all of my kids play. I think the best thing about the tournament is I get to watch our B squad kids play, I get to watch our JV kids play and I get to watch, obviously, our varsity team play. I learned a lot about where we are as a program watching those kids because a lot of times our B squad and JV play simultaneously. I don’t get to see all of each game so that that part is really nice.”

Feikema also enjoys another aspect of hosting the tournament. “I really like having Prescott here. We’ve had years where we’ve both had good teams playing a championship game against each other or something like tonight. No matter what, we always seem to have big crowds, so it’s really fun that we get to do that.”

‘Tonight’ was the second night of the tournament where Hastings faced Prescott in the third-place game. Prescott won that game 75-46. Prescott held a 37-30 lead after the first half. The size of the Cardinals proved to be troublesome for Hastings, especially in the paint. The Raiders game plan is predicated on transition points. Quick scores from the transition down the court and outside shooting. If the initial shots do not fall, Hastings is not going to out rebound taller teams.

Hastings only starter that is over six feet tall is Axel Arnold, and he is listed at 6’1”. The other four starters are shorter. That does not bode well in the paint.

The first game of the tournament was against St. Louis Park who won by a score of 70-51 and Feikema felt his team did a better job executing the game plan in the second game even though the score differential was the same.

“We did a lot of good things, I thought in this game tonight, we just could throw the ball in the ocean, you know, we got we got shots. In the first half out of some actions that we like, are open shots, can’t complain about most of the shots that we took in the first half, our timing and delivery of passes was better,” explained Feikema.

The problem was, they just couldn’t knock the shots down. Even the fans noticed if half the shots Hastings took fell, it would have been a five-point game. But that’s the killer in basketball, missing the wrong way by an inch and the shot bounces out.

Tuesday the fourth, the Raiders head to St. Thomas Academy for a 7:00 p.m. tip against the Cadets, then Friday Tartan comes to town, also at 7:00 p.m. Next Tuesday, they travel to North High School to take on the Polars.

January 5, 2022