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Joe Lynch starts tenure as girls' basketball coach; Raiders start 0-2

The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team entered a new era this year under new head coach Joe Lynch after the departure of former head coach Padrick Judd. Judd resigned after last season to pursue professional opportunities elsewhere and Lynch was hired this past summer to replace him. The girls' season began this past weekend in a tournament in Red Wing on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24. They played and lost to Red Wing and River Falls (Wis.) to start its non-conference schedule.

The new coach

Lynch spent the past nine years at Cretin-Derham Hall and was the head coach for the last four years. Before that, he coached at all the lower levels of high school basketball, was a multi-sport athlete in high school and played collegiate basketball at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse after attempting to walk-on to play football for the Wisconsin Badgers.

In his four years as head coach at Cretin-Derham Hall, his teams went 6-3 in the section playoffs including a state tournament run last season that saw them win the consolation bracket. In the regular season, Cretin-Derham Hall won five, 16, 16 and 18 games including two-straight Suburban East Conference championships. Despite his record, Cretin-Derham Hall decided not to bring Lynch back for the 2018-19 season.

Lynch said that his experience playing Hastings and playing at Hastings High School for section games ultimately led to him applying for the Raiders' coaching job.

"One of the things that's happened along the way is we would play our section playoff games at Hastings," he said. "We had been able to experience the facilities at Hastings as our sections location and then I got to know Trent Hanson, the athletic director, during the process. I was impressed with both the facilities and Trent, who is very welcoming and who is a great communicator, made sure that we were always well-taken care of. And then geographically, it works for me in terms of where I'm coming from at work, I'm only 15 minutes away so it was a collision of all three of those."

Lynch emphasized three areas that define him as a coach. He said he is first-and-foremost a defensive-minded coach that runs a man-to-man defense, with principles that can then be carried over to any other trap, zone or pressure defense. Second was hard work and communication, the second part of which he said will take time as he and the team get used to each other. Third, Lynch wants to push the pace and as a result likes developing a deep bench, something the Raiders started to experience a little bit last season but in general were unused to under Judd.

Red Wing tournament

Hastings began its regular season with two games in Red Wing as part of a two-day tournament. They played Red Wing on Friday and lost 75-54. The next day they fell to River Falls (Wis.) 77-67 to start the winter 0-2. No stats were available.

The Raiders continue their non-conference schedule with four-straight road games between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4. They went to Burnsville on Tuesday and then travel to Rosemount on Thursday, Nov. 29. On Saturday, Dec. 1, they travel to East Ridge to take on the Raptors and then Tuesday, Dec. 4, they play at Eagan.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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