After slow starts to each half, the Hastings College men’s basketball team sped past Friends University for an 82-65 victory Saturday.
The Broncos also rode the shooting of three HC players who combined for 60 points against the Falcons on Day 2 of the Hampton Tip-off Classic played at Lynn Farrell Arena. Saturday’s win followed Friday night’s 77-71 tourney victory over Presentation College.
Getting out of the gate faster is imperative for Bronco success.
“We have to get quicker starts. We got a slow start in the first half and a slow start in the second half. We need to figure out why and to come out strong,” said HC coach Bill Gavers, who saw his squad’s record climb to 3-0.
Friends led by nine points midway into the opening half. The Falcons also held a three- point lead four minutes into the second half.
A 30-point production from Dashawn Walker topped all scorers. He got hot and stayed that way from a variety of spots on the court. Walker made a pair of three-pointers, nine other close-range buckets, and closed six-for-eight at the free-throw stripe.
Gavers called Walker an all-around player and leader.
“(Dashawn) is a well-rounded player. He can guard, he’s a great rebounder, he can score. He’s unselfish. He’s really interested in one thing and that is winning. His motor is running every day, and that inspires other guys.”
Bronco guard T.J. Babikir contributed an 18-point effort, including four long-range buckets. Teammate Karson Gansebom poured in 12 points. Gansebom canned a couple of shots beyond the arc in the second half to help HC pull away from the Falcons after halftime.
HC picked up enough pace to hold a 37-31 halftime lead. The Broncos closed the opening half with 12 unanswered points.
But Friends opened the second half with as much fervor as it did in the game’s early minutes. The Falcons went on a 9-0 scoring spree two minutes into the second half for a 44-41 edge.
Soon after, the Broncos got hot and played belly-up defense, allowing them to pour it on against Friends.
HC took the lead for good five minutes into the second half and constructed three scoring runs that produced a 17-point chasm with five minutes left to play. The Broncos ended the game with a 9-0 run.
Gavers likes the progress his team has made so far.
“I think we are rebounding the ball pretty well. I think we have a chance to be a pretty good defensive basketball team,” Gavers said. “We are getting contributions from a lot of different people. We have some guys who are pure shooters, some guys who can shoot it. Our chemistry is very good, too. We just have to continue to evolve and learn with one another.”
HC’s men’s team is idle until this coming Friday when they tangle with Benedictine in a 2-day Concordia University tournament in Seward. Benedictine is ranked No. 22 nationally.
Friends........................31 34 — 65
Hastings......................37 45 — 82
Ian Jonek 5-16 2-3 14, Trey Reid 5-9 4-4 15, Davonte Pack 5-13 0-0 12, Tim Barbieri 1-4 0-1 2, Josh Osborn 4-4 0-0 8, Drew Patterson 1-5 0-0 2, Jordan Gary 4-10 0-0 8, Anthony Cameron 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 27-65 6-8 65.
Hastings College (82)
Dawson Zenger 2-7 0-0 5, Dashawn Walker 11-17 6-8 30, Karson Gansebom 4-11 2-2 12, T.J. Babiker 6-10, 2-2 18, Mathias Ncekwube 4-10 1-2 9, Zach Rust 1-2 0-0 3, Yshaad Butcher 1-2 0-0 3, Phil Cisrow 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 30-63 11-14 82.
Three-point goals — F, 5-26 (Konek 2-10, Reid 1-3, Pack 2-8, Barbieri 0-1, Patterson 0-3, Gary 0-1.) H, 11-24 (Zenger 1-2, Walker 2-2, Gansebom 2-9, Babiker 4-6, Rust 1-2, Butcher 1-2, Cisrow 0-1. Rebounds — F, 34 (Konek 8). H, 38 (Walker 8). Fouls — F, 14. H, 9. Fouled out — none. Assists — F, 12 (Reid 4, Pack 4). H, 11 (Gansebom 4). Steals — F 7 (Konek 2). Hastings 5 (Zenger 2).