Photo Credit:

5 Thoughts on Lincoln Pius X’s 67-57 Win at Lincoln Northeast

January 09, 2022

Lincoln Pius X traveled to Lincoln Northeast on Saturday evening and handed the Rockets their first loss of the season.

Here are five thoughts on the 67-57 win for the Thunderbolts.

Revenge Against the Rockets

Saturday’s game was the second matchup between the two schools in a 10-day period. The Rockets won round one in the HAC Tournament final last week.

Round two saw some bigs swings and multiple lead changes, but the Thunderbolts took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter and shot 6-of-8 from the field (2-of-2 from 3) and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line to fend off a Northeast comeback attempt.

Northeast staked an early claim to be the best team in Lincoln with a 10-0 start to the season including wins over other city contenders in Lincoln Southwest, Lincoln East and Pius.

Pius, on the other hand, got off to a somewhat disappointing start after entering the season with big expectations, dropping four of its first 10 games including two in a row heading into Saturday’s game (falling 51-48 to Northeast and then 64-62 at Southwest on Friday).

Yet Pius showed what it’s capable of on Saturday, marching into Northeast’s gym and hading the Rockets a 10-point loss.

Still, as the Northeast student section reminded the Pius faithful, you don’t get a trophy for winning a regular season game like you do for winning the conference tournament, so the advantage still goes to the Rockets at this point.

Double Trouble

The top two scorers in the game both played for Pius, and they shared the same last name as well. The Hastreiter twins, Jack and Sam, combined for an efficient 37 points to lead the Bolts to victory.

Jack, a South Dakota State commit, was a nonfactor in the first half, missing both of his shot attempts and scoring two points from the free-throw line. The Thunderbolts trailed 24-21 at halftime, but Jack took over in the third, hitting four of his five shots including a pair of triples for 10 points. He scored seven more points in the fourth, hitting all five of his free throws, to finish with 19 points on 5-of-8 from the field (2-of-3 from 3) and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Sam, a North Dakota State commit and the team’s leading scorer, added 18 points on 7-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from the foul line. He pulled down seven rebounds (four offensive) and he was the one who set up his brother for both of his 3s during the team’s big third quarter.

Lincoln East graduate and North Dakota State junior Sam Griesel was in the crowd watching his future teammate lead his team to victory as well. The Bison won at Omaha earlier on Saturday and Griesel took advantage of his free time before the team left for Denver to check out some Lincoln high school hoops.

Sam’s production has been steady all season long, but Jack has been incredibly up and down. If he can find more consistency and play like he did on Saturday, the Thunderbolts should have a good chance at making a run come March.

From Shooting Blanks to a Shootout

To put it bluntly, the two teams could have built a new gym with the number of bricks they threw up in the first half.

Northeast shot 11-of-28 from the field and 2-of-6 from the charity stripe with six turnovers for 24 first-half points. Pius shot 7-of-19 from the field and 6-of-10 from the line with nine turnovers for 21 points. The teams shot a combined 1-of-13 from 3, with Pius owning the only make.

Something changed at halftime, however, and the game turned into a shootout. The Thunderbolts put up 20-plus in each of the last two quarters while shooting 14-of-22 from the field (6-of-9 from 3) and 12-of-16 from the free-throw line.

The Rockets couldn’t match Pius’ overall efficiency, and that’s why they lost, but they did connect on six of their 12 3-pointers — two apiece from senior Adonis Jones and juniors Christian Winn and Porter Bazil. From 1-for-13 to 12-for-21 is quite a swing in 3-point shooting, but it definitely made for a fun second half.

Dominating the Glass

One of Pius’ biggest advantages over many of its opponents is its size and athleticism. The Thunderbolts start 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7, 6-foot-7 across the frontline and bring a 6-foot-8 sophomore off the bench. They used that size to their advantage on Saturday to dominate the glass, out-rebounding the smaller Rockets by 20.

Senior Brady Christiansen, a Division II Washburn commit, grabbed 14 rebounds by himself — the same number Northeast had as a team. Sophomore Treyson Anderson snagged nine boards off the bench. Pius had 22 chances to rebound the ball on the offensive end and secured the ball on 10 of them while Northeast pulled down just nine defensive rebounds.

Balanced Production

Northeast uses a seven-man rotation, and all seven players are averaging between five and 14 points. All seven have hit double digits at least once this season. That balance was on display again on Saturday as five of those seven finished in the nine to 12 range in points.

Senior G Gatnoor was the hero of the HAC final, scoring a game-high 19 points to lead the Rockets to victory. Gatnoor never got going on Saturday, finishing with just four points, but fellow senior Adonis Jones picked up the slack with nine points off the bench including eight in the fourth quarter as the Rockets tried to rally.

The Rockets didn’t have a great day offensively, but they got contributions from enough players to give themselves a chance. Coach Monte Ritchie said after the HAC final that the team’s strength is its defense, and the Rockets allowed just 50.4 points per game in their first 10. They nearly gave up that many points in the second half alone against the Thunderbolts as Northeast gave up a season-high 67 points. The only other team that has cracked 60 against them this season was Southwest, and it took overtime to get there.

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap