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The Hastings Raiders girls basketball team stormed back to beat Burnsville on Friday night thanks to 26 points from Keagan McVicker and stingy defense down the stretch. In the early portions of the game, it was a back and forth affair, as Hastings and Burnsville both tried to shake off the rust. The Blaze were able to do it faster, as they broke open an 8-8 tie and opened up a double digit lead for much of the first half. The Raiders would race back however, and would end up taking a 38-34 halftime lead. The second half was more tightly officiated, with both teams making many trips to the foul line. The Raiders had a tough night at the line, making just 14 of their 28 free throw attempts, which kept the Blaze in the contest. Hastings would hit an inappropriately timed dry spell in the latter stages of the contest, but Burnsville was also unable to convert shots and the Raiders retained the lead. McVicker also fouled out of the contest, leaving the Raiders without their top scorer and point guard for the home stretch. Leading 64-63 late, Hastings would split a pair of free throws at the line, and Burnsville had a shot with 15 seconds After a drive to the basket, Haley Strain would obliterate the basketball with a ferocious block with 9 seconds left, giving the Blaze one last shot. Burnsville would miss a shot, snag an offensive board, but was then unable to put it back in, and the Raiders held on for the thrilling 65-63 win ahead of a monster clash with Rosemount on Tuesday.

As mentioned, the Raiders were led by McVicker’s 26 points on 10/17 shooting, where she also nabbed 5 boards and had 2 assists. Strain had 15 points, 8 of which came from the free throw line, and she had 7 rebounds to go along with a block and 3 assists. The Raiders also got 12 points on 5/10 shooting from Emma Bakker with 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Natalie Caflisch added 8 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists and Rachel Notch had 4 points, 5 rebounds and an assist. Coach Sheri McLeod told us last week she was hoping that the Raiders would rise to the challenge with 22 point per game scorer Lilly Nuytten graduating, and while only 5 Raiders scored, three were in double figures. The Raiders celebrated the victory with a dance party to Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” (also known as Jump on it) at center court after the game. The Raiders next two games are Rosemount and Visitation.


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