Hastings High School last played in a district tournament in 1958 – the final year Hastings had a high school.
But, the school was the first Jefferson County school to make an appearance in a state basketball tournament.
The town of Hastings, which was once known as Bayard, was established in 1902.
When the area was opened for settlement as part of the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache reservation, it was discovered the name of Bayard already existed in Indian Territory.
This forced the locals to come up with another name when the post office was established in 1902. Two residents suggested the community be named for their hometown – Hastings, Nebraska.
Hastings was a thriving community in those early years. Several businesses including a pair of banks, cotton gins and grain elevators along with a brick company were part of the new town.
There was even a Baptist college located in Hastings, but it was relocated to Mangum, Oklahoma by 1912.
The community hit its population high in 1910 when 727 residents were counted.
Since that time, the community has dwindled.
As early as 1914, however, Hastings had a high school boys’ basketball team.
The first district tournament appearance by the Bulldog roundballers came in 1924 when the squad lost to Lawton, 40-7, at Waurika.
No district tourney results are available from that time until 1929 when Hastings dropped a 19-17 decision to Waurika in the first round of the tourney at Waurika.
It was not until 1934 that the Hastings boys picked up their first win in district tournament play. The opponent and score are not available for the semifinal game.
The Bulldogs fell to Union Valley-Randlett in the finals at Walters, 34-30.
The first district title won by the Bulldog came in the banner year of 1939.
Hastings won three straight games to claim the district crown at Waurika.
In the first two games, the Bulldogs picked up wins over Ahpeatone and Union Valley-Ryan. Hastings edged Terral, 39-37, in overtime, in the championship game.
With the district title in hand the Bulldogs headed to the Class C regional tournament at Comanche to continue the quest for a state tournament berth.
In the first round of the regional tourney, Hastings eliminated Burrow School, located near Foster in Garvin County. Hastings moved into the regional finals with a 46-36 victory.
This set up a meeting with Orr, a small community in Love County, and the Bulldogs rolled to a 52-20 victory to qualify for the state tournament.
In the first round of the state tournament played at Central High School in Oklahoma City, Hastings met up with Caddo County school Bridgeport. Bridgeport came into the tourney as the second seed, but the Bulldogs whipped Bridgeport, 36-10, to move into the Class C semifinals.
The Bulldogs met Butner of Wewoka in the semifinals. Hastings held a slim 12-9 advantage at the half. Butner’s missed free throw with five seconds remaining in the game helped Hastings advance with a 21-20 victory.
Earlier in the contest Butner had called a timeout without possession of the ball which resulted in a technical foul. Roy Johnson, the star forward for the Bulldogs, calmly sank the free throw.
In the championship game Hastings met Nuyaka, which was located near Okmulgee.
Nuyaka came into the game undefeated and kept an unblemished record for the season with a 39-36 win over Hastings. Nuyaka finished 34-0 for the year.
Hastings actually led, 11-4, after the first quarter, but Nuyaka rallied in the second frame to take the lead at the half.
Johnson had 18 points in the losing effort for Hastings. Johnson and Elmer Kincannon were named to the all-tournament team for the Bulldogs.
That proved to be the only district title won by the Bulldogs and the only regional and state tourney appearance for the Hastings boys.
The first appearance in a district tournament for the Hastings girls came in 1929 when the Lady Bulldogs fell to Comanche, 25-6, in the quarterfinals of the tourney at Waurika.
After only one known appearance in a district tourney from 1929 to 1945, the Lady Bulldogs were able to pick up their initial district tourney win – a 34-30 victory over Addington in the tournament at Waurika.
The only district tournament won by the Lady Bulldogs came in 1957 – just a year before the high school was closed.
Hastings scored a 54-36 victory over Geronimo in the semifinals of the Class B tournament played at Walters.
In the championship game the Lady Bulldogs defeated Union Valley-Randlett, 55-37, to advance into the regional tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs traveled to Marlow for the Class B regional and in the first round, Hastings managed a 41-34 victory over Middleberg.
In the semifinals, Hastings nipped Leon, 33-31, to earn a spot in the regional finals.
Sickles, which is now consolidated with Lookeba to form Lookeba-Sickles schools, edged the Lady Bulldogs, 44-42, in the finals and moved on to the state tournament.
While success for the Hastings basketball squads was limited, the town can always say they were the first from Jefferson County to make the state basketball tournament.
Here’s a brief summary of the playoff history of Hastings High School.