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Home Sports Men’s basketball falls in hard-fought semifinals against Hastings

Photo Description: Junior Tristan Smith (22) jumps to tip the ball into the basket in front of an opponent.

Photo Credit: Esther Molina (photo from a previous game)

Isaac Dawson

The Concordia Basketball team lost their Great Plains Athletic Conference semifinal game against the Hastings College Broncos this Saturday in Hastings with a final score of 78-82.

Concordia managed to take a bit of an early lead in the first half, staying just ahead of Hastings as each team made jump shots in equal measure. Concordia’s renewed three point ability combined with a masterful dunk by freshman Lukas Helms brought the Bulldogs to 12-8. Soon after neither team managed to make a shot until each managed a few quickfire threes and made the gap even wider for 24-17.

The Broncos refused to let this slide, pumping out eight points to Concordia’s two in a matter of two minutes. Junior Tristan Smith’s blocking prowess was unable to save the Bulldogs for long, and Hastings more successfully drove to the hoop during the final minutes of the half to finally take a two point lead with two minutes left. Junior Bradley Bennett’s layup and a three from Smith were just enough to take the game back with seconds to go, cutting off the half at 33-32.

The second half scoreboard was a fast-paced pinball machine of points, neither team allowing the other to push ahead by more than three points. Intermixed with the odd free throw or jump shot, the Bulldogs and Broncos met each other three for three until the score reached 42-41 and shots stopped falling in. Not too long after the score was tied yet again, and would continue that way for a while as each team took a few fouls each for free throws and made the same number of layups.

The game took on a much faster pace as the number of drives took off. Smith was breaking ankles left and right for two layups and a free throw, but it was in a fast break war Concordia couldn’t quite win. The Broncos and Bulldogs continued in much the same fashion for the rest of the game, each putting everything on the line in a battle that would inevitably lead to the last lucky shot taking the whole thing.

A steal by Hastings with 44 seconds to go followed by a fast break was the fatal final blow, and Concordia could do nothing but stall with fouls as the time ran out; the game finally ended with a score of 78-82 for the Broncos as they got the opportunity to run down the clock.

The team as a whole scored 29 of 55 field goals (53 percent), 8 of 19 three pointers (42 percent), and had seven assists. They made 12 of 16 free throws and had 33 rebounds.

Junior Noah Schutte and Smith were the leading scorers with 22 and 20 points respectively; Smith taking home the most rebounds at 11 and each tying for the most assists at three.

The team now has to wait for the possibility of a wildcard bid in the NAIA tournament, but their official season is now over with a total record of 23-7 not including the quarterfinals.

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