STORY BY: RUSSELL HEITMANN
PHOTOS BY: JACILYN BRUNS
VIDEO BY: AUSTIN REMM
After Winter Storm Kayla blew through Hastings over the past couple of days, the Doane College Tigers entered Lynn Farrell Arena and inflicted a storm of their own on No. 11 Hastings College, defeating the Broncos, 58-57.
The game, which had to be postponed one day due to Winter Storm Kayla, was about as ugly as the road conditions. The one highlight of the contest came with less than a minute remaining, when Shelbi Bittinger hit the go-ahead three-pointer in transition to cap off a six-point comeback by the Tigers over the final 2:35.
Bittinger, who ended the night with just six points, only made two baskets throughout the game; however, none was more important than her final attempt. According to Jina Johansen, Head Coach of the Broncos, Bittinger’s shot shouldn’t have happened.
“Teeka [Thompson] was supposed to be matched up on her and we kind of got screwed up. Her and Holly [Hild] were going to switch, but it was too late,” Johansen said. “I felt like that was the first time we lost them in transition and they made us pay, which is what good teams do.”
Hastings would have a chance with eight seconds remaining to win the game after Doane missed two free-throws, up one. The Broncos went to Thompson for a bucket, but her jump-shot came up short. While Johansen thought it was a good look, she said prior errors also influenced the Broncos’ situation.
“I thought we got a really good look, it’s a six-footer essentially but it came down a lot before that,” Johansen said. “We turned it over twice when we were up five and we lost the shooter in transition where they took the lead with the three. We just weren’t very good down the stretch.”
Neither team was able to shoot the ball very well as both HC and Doane shot under 40 percent from the field and combined for 37 turnovers. Regarding her team’s poor shooting, Johansen said it was a stretch that Hastings is going to have to overcome.
“We kind of go through these stretches, I don’t know what it is. I don’t’ know if it is we don’t make any shots and we don’t have any energy, or we don’t have any energy because we don’t make any shots,” Johansen said. “Either way we’ve done this in the past so I don’t really know what it is, but at some point we just have to dig ourselves out of it, which is tough to do sometimes.
Thompson scored a game-high 20 points on 8-21 shooting and handed out five assists to go with four rebounds. No other Bronco would score in double figures as Rachel Jelden came the closest, scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds. For Doane, Heather Broman led the Tigers with 18 points on 6-15 shooting while Hanah Barnard chipped in 13 points and five assists.
Both Hastings and Doane will have a quick turnaround, as they both play again this Saturday. The Broncos travel to Orange City, Iowa to take on the Northwestern Red Raiders while the Tigers will visit the Mount Marty Lancers in Yankton, S.D. Tipoff for both games is scheduled for 2 pm.