Over 2,300 people, including 13 high school teams filled Lynn Farrell Arena on Jan. 8 to watch the number four Broncos take down Concordia University for the first time since 2015.

Women’s basketball continues to make school history

The Hastings College women’s basketball team is making history, going undefeated to this point in the season with an overall record of 19-0. 

“I think the season is going as well as we could’ve hoped for at this point. Can’t really complain about being undefeated so far,” said Senior Gabby Grasso. 

With the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll, the Broncos moved up two spots to be number two in the nation. This the best start in school history since the 2001-2002 season, where the team went 17-0 before losing. 

When asked if she was surprised that her team would still be undefeated at this point, Head Coach Jina
Douglas said, “I should say yes but honestly no because the GPAC is so tough and we have had a lot of big games.”

“There was a stretch in November and December where we had Morningside, Northwestern, Dordt and Saint Xavier and you come back and go to Jamestown and then have Concordia. There is a lot of big games in there so I thought we would be pretty decent because of what we had coming back but didn’t think we would’ve started off this well.”

Going undefeated this far into the season has not been an easy task for the Broncos, who have beat seven ranked teams this season. One of those teams was number one ranked Concordia University on Jan. 8, where the Broncos won for the first time since 2015 with a score of 66-59.

“Our team focuses on the defensive end; that is our strong point. So the main thing since Concordia, who averages over 94 points a game; which is insane. So we knew that was going to be a big thing that we had to be very active and talkative on the defensive end because we had to find a way to slow them down because we don’t even average that many points and that would’ve been tough for us to keep up,” said Senior Shandra Farmer. “So that was the main focus and offensively to limit our mistakes by taking care of the ball. We knew if we could do those two things then we could get a win.”

For the number one versus number four matchup, over 2,300 people filled Lynn Farrell Arena to watch the Broncos pull off the upset.

“I think our team responded very positively to that atmosphere. Obviously we’re not used to playing in front of a crowd like that and it helped that it was at our home court. I think we responded great and didn’t get too wrapped up in it all either,” Grasso said. 

In the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), the Broncos were tabbed to finish fifth. With 11 wins in conference play, HC sits in first place. The GPAC is one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA Division II women’s basketball with seven teams ranked and four teams in the top 10.

HC has relied heavily on their leadership of their core five starters, including four seniors and their lone junior. The rest of the team is made up of 10 underclassmen.

“Getting underclassmen involved helps them step up their game a little bit and get more confident in their abilities for whatever their role may be.
We have definitely seen that this year with our underclassmen and even with Schmitty (Kaitlyn Schmit) and that’s another sign of maturity and development on their part which has helped us a lot this year,” Farmer said. 

The Broncos’s main push is being a defensively-minded team. They have four rankings in the NAIA DII defensive category. Hastings ranks third,  averaging just 10.38 turnovers per game, while also ranking fourth in total steals with 279. 

“Defensively we are undersized but we are pretty quick so (we) can get up and guard people. We have a good pressure for man and switch it up a little to zone for the press but overall, can sit down and guard people in half court,” Douglas said. 

With the win Wednesday night against Midland University with a final score of 84-72, HC will have 11 remaining games in the season with seven of those games being ranked opponents. The Broncos will host Mount Marty University tomorrow at 2 p.m.