Balderas, Hawks start fast and bury Titans by 26 points in opener

ROCKWELL CITY — Nathan Hill couldn’t have scripted a better opening eight minutes of the season and it shouldn’t be a surprise that his talented veteran point guard played the biggest role in the period.

Marco Balderas scored nine of his 15 points in the first quarter to help South Hamilton put South Central Calhoun away early here Tuesday night. The Hawks led 20-4 after the quarter and were never threatened in a 67-41 rout.

Balderas, a four-year starter and third-team all-state (Class 2A) guard last season, was happy to defer to his teammates for much of the final three quarters. In addition to his points, he distributed six assists while playing turnover-free.

Conner Hill put up a game-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds and two steals. He rained in three 3-pointers.

Logan Klemp gave South Hamilton a third double-digit scorer with 10 points. Logan Peters added eight points, five assists and two steals.

South Central Calhoun (0-2) kept it respectable over the final three quarters, but the damage had already been done.

“We got off to a good start. We came out with a lot of intensity in the first quarter,” Nathan Hill, the Hawks’ head coach, said. “After that it dropped off a little at times.”

South Hamilton (1-0) shot 52 percent (25 of 48) from the field and nine players jumped into the scoring column. Still, Nathan Hill said there were plenty of things that need to be fixed.

“We’re still trying to find our identity on the offensive end,” he said. “I think we have too many guys trying to do too much, but once we get some of those little things cleaned up we’ll be fine.”

Cade Balvanz and Zeke Balderas gave solid contributions off the South Hamilton bench. Balvanz registered seven points; Zeke Balderas didn’t score, but he grabbed four rebounds and came up with two steals.

Zane Neubaum (12 points) and Jacob Nicholson (8 points) led the Titans.

S. Hamilton 67, SC Calhoun 41

Tuesday at Rockwell City

South Hamilton (1-0) — Marco Balderas 7 0-0 15, Aaron Hegland 0 0-0 0, Cole Berg 1 0-0 2, Sam Lewis 0 4-4 4, Doran Lutjen 0 0-0 0, Logan Peters 4 0-0 8, Quinton Grove 1 0-0 2, Logan Klemp 3 4-4 10, Cade Flaugh 0 2-2 2, Zeke Balderas 0 0-2 0, Conner Hill 7 0-0 17, Cade Balvanz 2 3-4 7, Garrett Grady 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 13-16 67.

South Central Calhoun (0-2) — Landon Schleisman 0 0-0 0, Matthew Clark 1 0-0 3, Josh Henkenius 2 0-0 5, Zane Neubaum 4 3-4 12, Colten Morenz 0 0-0 0, Jared Birks 1 0-0 2, Bryce Smidt 0 0-1 0, Colton Bahr 0 2-2 2, Chase Scheidegger 1 0-0 2, Mitchell Clark 1 0-0 2, Jacob Nicholson 3 2-2 8, Sam Musselman 1 0-0 3, Jacob Schultz 0 0-0 0, Andrew Wescott 1 0-1 2, Zach Batta 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 7-10 41.

S. Hamilton 20 18 19 10 — 67

SC Calhoun 4 11 15 11 — 41

3-point field goals — SH 4 (Hill 3, M. Balderas); SCC 4 (Clark, Henkenius, Neubaum, Musselman). Rebounds — SH 29 (Hill 6, Z. Balderas 4). Steals — SH 8 (Peters 2, Z. Balderas 2, Hill 2). Assists — SH 22 (M. Balderas 6, Peters 5). Turnovers — SH 16, SCC 16. Team fouls — SH 15, SCC 15. Fouled out — none.

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