The Hastings Raiders Girls Basketball team opened the 2023-24 season with a dominating win over the Park of Cottage Grove Wolfpack, 55-28. A Hastings team that returned all but one player from last year’s squad handed new Head Coach Rick Tavernier his first career varsity win with the Raiders.

Hastings raced out to an 18-0 advantage, using smothering defense to overwhelm a Wolfpack team with only one senior on the roster. Park made just 4 field goals in the 1st half en route to a 33-11 Hastings lead at halftime.

The second half again included Hastings dominating Park early on, and the Raiders cruised to the 55-28 win. The dynamic duo of Hailey Strain and Keagan McVicker led the Raiders with 22 for Strain and 10 for McVicker. Emma Bakker also reached double figures with 10, while Kate Ruder added 5 points, Lindsey Wagner had 3, Rachael Notch and Alyssa Leos each added 2, and Kayleigh Giesen got a point at the free throw line.

It was a very meaningful and emotional night as the Raider basketball team honored Bill Ruder, a teacher at Hastings High School, and Kate’s father, who is undergoing a cancer battle. Ruder was unable to attend the game, but Activites Director Trent Hanson read a message from him thanking the community for their support. The entire arena waved to the television cameras to say hello to Ruder at home. All of the Hastings students and teachers and even some parents in attendance wore T-shirts that said “No One Fights Alone” on the front and “Raider Strong” on the back. The girls team also wore the shirts on the bench and during pregame shootaround.

Kate Ruder was in the starting lineup for the Raiders, and scored her 5 points consecutively, much to the joy of the crowd.

The game was delayed for around 15-20 minutes at halftime when a small fire broke out in the metal shop at the school, setting off the fire alarms. There was no serious risk to those in attendance and once Hastings Fire gave the all clear, the game resumed. We have a report on this in our KDWA News and on our news page.

The Raiders return to action later this week at Burnsville.

Other scores
– Hastings Girls Hockey fell 5-1 in a section rematch to Apple Valley
– Prescott Girls Basketball dominated Saint Croix Central 52-31 to go to 2-0 in conference play.


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