The Tabor College basketball teams completed their Holiday Classic in less than a jovial mood on Saturday.
The Tabor women got off to a slow start against a good-shooting Hastings team, but couldn’t sustain their comeback in the second half to suffer a 68-60 loss to the Broncos from Nebraska.
The Tabor men confronted a similar scenario in their contest, falling behind with poor shooting and inconsistent team play that led to a 23-point deficit by halftime. The best news about this game was that the second-half deficit grew by only three points in a 92-66 defeat.
WOMEN—The Bluejays enjoyed a 2-0 lead 3:30 into the contest before the Broncos kicked in with an 8-0 run fueled by two 3-point baskets. By the end of the first quarter, Tabor trailed 18-9. That lead remained the same by the end of the second quarter at 30-21.
As the third quarter got underway, Tabor looked like a different team. Taylor Deniston caught fire with aggressive drives to the basket with about 4:30 left in the quarter. She exploded for 10 points over the next 3:30 as Tabor narrowed Hasting’s lead to 46-44 by the end of the quarter.
Deniston started the fourth quarter with another basket, then added a pair of free throws to put the Bluejays on top, 48-47. Kelsey Unruh then scored for a 50-47 lead. But Tabor began to fade just a bit, which enabled Hastings to recover for the eight-point victory.
Both teams shot around 43 percent from the field. Deniston finished led Tabor with 20 points and Unruh added 17. For Hastings, Anna Hignight led the way with 15 points, Jodi Adkins added 13 and Courtney Hoag 12 as the Broncos improved to 14-2 for the year. Tabor’s record is 10-5.
MEN—Hastings scored the first six points of the game, but Tabor pulled to with 6-5 when Jon Manjon Beristain scored in the paint at the 16:40 mark of the first half. Unfortunately, the Broncos delivered a knockout blow with a 20-8 run to the midway point of the first half for a 26-13 lead. By halftime, the spread was 53-30.
Playing Hastings even in the second half was some consolation for Tabor, but the Bluejays never made a serious run at their opponent as time drained away for the 92-66 final tally.
DeShun Patterson was the lightest bulb for Tabor, scoring 21 points. Diontre Cutliff added 10 points for a Bluejay team that shot 34 percent from the floor and 23 percent from behind the arc.
For Hastings, Bart Hiscork led all scorers with 25 points, Kevin Miller added 18 and Connor Musiel 15. As a team, Hastings blistered the nets at 53 percent. The biggest discrepancy between the two teams was rebounding. Tabor managed 26 while Hastings pulled down 54.
With the pair of Holiday Classic losses, Tabor’s record is 7-7 for the season. Hastings improved to 11-6.