HASTINGS, Neb - With a stellar team performance and help from the Hastings College football team's sixth man presence, the Hastings College men's basketball team was able to knock off the No. 10 ranked Briar Cliff Chargers 93-91 on Saturday at Lynn Farrell Arena.
The Broncos (17-10, 9-4 GPAC) started the game off strong on a 6-0 run from baskets by Bart Hiscock (JR/Bennington, NE) and Ben Wahlberg (SR/Phoenix, AZ). The Chargers were able to get the answer, but the Broncos were able to keep their heads in the game and more importantly, the lead for the first 10 minutes.
In three minutes time, the Broncos went from a lead to being down by eight, the largest lead of the half for the Chargers.
Despite getting down by eight, the Broncos were able to get the momentum back on their side once Wahlberg drained a layup that started a 10-0 run to go ahead of the Chargers 30-28 with 5:32 left in the half. After this, both teams were unable to get a comfortable advantage over the other until the Broncos got a four-point lead off a Logan Cale (JR/Lincoln, NE) basket with :08 left to push the Broncos to a 41-39 halftime lead.
The second half is where the game had its up-and-downs when both teams would not take a lead higher then six over the other, whilst also seeing 11 ties and 16 lead changes.
The Broncos and Chargers got into a back-and-forth battle to a 60-60 tie seven and a half minutes into the second half, but the Broncos went on an 8-2 run that got them ahead 68-62, but an 11-2 run for the Chargers got the Broncos back to a three-point deficit.
For the next three minutes, the Broncos were trailing or tied with the Chargers, but then was another battle for the lead to the 1:00 minute mark.
At 1:00 minute left on the clock, the Charger's Jay Wolfe got a basket that tied the game up for the 13th time at 89-89. At :30 left on the clock, Cale got a crucial tough jumper to go ahead by two, but the Chargers were able to force a Bronco foul to give and make both free throws to tie the game again with :24 seconds left.
The Broncos got down to their end of the court where Wahlberg was at the wing with the ball. He passed the ball to Cale at the top of the key. Cale lobed the ball with a high pass to Hiscock under the basket, where he was fouled by the Chargers' Jaden Kleinhesselink with 5.4 left on the clock. Hiscock went to the charity line where he hit both shots to go ahead of the Chargers 93-91.
Kleinhesselink was able to inbound the ball to Wolfe who took it down to the other end of the court but was unable to get a shot off when Cale smacked the ball out of Wolfe's hands ending the Chargers chances.
Leading the Broncos was Hiscock with 28 points. Cale was the Bronco in line with 20 points. Wahlberg and Shane Chamberlain (FR/Harlan, IA) also were in double digits with 19 and 13 points, respectively.
Head Coach Bill Gavers had a lot to say about how his players did and how much the fanbase played into the game, saying, "I was proud of our guys. I thought every guy sold out. Guys on the bench did a tremendous job of energy and enthusiasm, the fan support was tremendous. We had a great fan section. I think we had the entire football team here with recruits and other students. Of course we have a lot of people in the communinty who come out and support us. We really appreciate that and I think that was the difference in the game. I think that crowd gave our guys a huge lift and we really appreciate it."
Next for the Broncos is an off-day on Wednesday before making the trek to Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday to take on the Northwestern Red Raiders in what could be a late-season battle for the No. 5 spot in the GPAC, depending on how Dordt and Northwestern do on Wednesday. The game is set for 4 p.m. CST.