Swedes win battle at Hastings
Boys break open tight game in 4th quarter
The Swede boys didn’t sustain a lead until the beginning of the fourth quarter against Hastings Saturday but Gothenburg beat the Class B Tigers 54-47, knocking down free throws late in the game to seal the deal.
It was a close game throughout its entirety, with Hastings applying full-court pressure to counteract spurts of offense by Gothenburg. The Swedes took care of the ball, though, and made the game come down to the final stanza.
Both teams were torrid from the field in the first frame. The Tigers used a physicality advantage along with good outside shooting to jump out to a 17-15 lead.
The Swedes stuck around in the first half, outscoring the Tigers 10-9 in the second period.
“We did a good job of matching their intensity from the start,” head coach Roger Koehler said. “They were physical with us and we knew they would be. The players didn’t back down.”
Trailing by one to start the second half, Gothenburg hit open shots and limited Hastings attempts to capture a 37-36 lead after three quarters of play.
In the final period of play, Koehler said Gothenburg managed to get up by six halfway through the quarter and Hastings began sending the Swedes to the line.
Gothenburg shot 4-7 in the fourth quarter, which wasn’t good, Koehler said, but it was enough to win.
For the game, Gothenburg was 9-13 from the charity stripe.
Koehler said the Swedes pushed through adverse times and sloppy spurts in the first half to keep the game within reach.
Gothenburg also had an aggressive mentality, he said.
“We went into the game with the mindset of not being the little brother who gets pushed around,” Koehler said. “I was pleased with how everyone played.”
Tanner Borchardt led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Koehler added the team has moved in a positive direction its last four games and is recognizing what it can accomplish.