HASTINGS, Neb - In the last regular season game for four Hastings College women's basketball seniors, the Broncos (18-11, 13-9 GPAC) (17-12, 12-10 GPAC) had a bit of a rough beginning to the first quarter, with the Defenders starting the game on a 5-0 run.
The Broncos were able to collect themselves after the run, looking to leading scorer Shandra Farmer (JR/Hastings, NE) for a trey, and senior leader Mackenzie Willcott for another three-pointer to take a 6-5 lead.
After the Defenders got ahead 8-6, the Broncos took the momentum in the form of a 15-2 run, kick-starting the upset bid of the Defenders.
The Broncos were able to get the pressure applied on the Defenders in the first half, forcing 12 fouls, including three on the Defenders' leader on the court, Erika Feenstra, with two of those coming in the first quarter. This was a recipe to hold a player who averages 21.3 points to two points in eight minutes in the first half. Head Coach Jina Douglas talked about Feenstra in postgame, saying, "She's so good... I thought that really helped us in the first half when she got in foul trouble."
After a 27-14 lead heading into the second quarter, the Broncos cooled down, but were also able to keep Dordt grounded. For every run that the Defenders were able to go on, it was quickly negated by a Bronco answer. It would still be a double-digit lead for the Broncos heading into halftime, with the score reaching 41-29.
The Defenders came out strong in the third quarter, going on a 12-6 run, making it a 47-41 Broncos lead. With 1:13 left, Feenstra hit a crucial shot for the Defenders, cutting the Bronco lead to three and also putting pressure on the Broncos.
The Broncos finished the third quarter on a 5-0 run to climb back ahead of the Defenders 56-48 with 10 minutes left in the contest.
In the fourth quarter, it was all Broncos, as Hastings outscored the Defenders 25-8 to put a damper on the Defenders' regular season finale whilst also making it one to remember for the Broncos in an 81-56 victory.
Despite the 25-point victory, baskets were hard to come by in the game, with both teams shooting below a .370 percentage. Leading the Broncos in individual stats was Taylor Beacom (FR/Papillion, NE) with 16 points. Nearing a double-double was Farmer with her 15 points and eight rebounds. Emma Grenfell (JR/York, NE) (13) and Kaitlyn Schmit (SO/Omaha, NE) (12) also eclipsed double-digits in scoring.
Coach Douglas left her team with a message heading into Wednesday's rematch with Dordt in Sioux Center, Iowa. "Great win today. I thought we played really well for the most part," Douglas said. "All the energy and focus and drive that we had for this game, we have to take it up one notch in order to go to their place and try to compete for a win up there on Wednesday." The rematch is set for 7 p.m. CST in Sioux Center Iowa.