Pretty Enough

Explosive 2nd quarter all Hawks need to rock R-S

South Hamilton junior guard Cole Berg (5) hangs out on the back of Roland-Story’s Jon Sansgaard before crashing to the floor during the second quarter on Friday in Jewell. The Hawks handled the Norsemen, 57-33. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

JEWELL — Marco Balderas is never going to be a cheerleader, that rah-rah guy on the court that pushes the adrenaline of his teammates into the stratosphere. It’s just not his style.

But he will defend. And pass. And score. And make the 32 minutes of game time a living hell on the opponent.

“He doesn’t get excited, but you can really see that leadership from him,” South Hamilton head coach Nathan Hill said of his senior point guard. “He just does a lot of things that you expect out of seniors, but it really makes it tough on the other team. I really don’t know how you guard him.”

Roland-Story doesn’t have the answers either.

Balderas was buttery smooth at both ends of the floor Friday night, as he orchestrated all of the movements in South Hamilton’s 57-33 thumping of the Norsemen in Heart of Iowa Conference play. He outscored Roland-Story all by himself in the first half (13-12) and finished with a game-high 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting to go along with seven steals.

South Hamilton point guard Marco Balderas (2) drives into a crowd in the lane during the first half against Roland-Story on Friday in Jewell. He scored 19 points and had seven steals in the Hawks’ 57-33 victory. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

His steal count was at three less than two minutes into the contest and reached five by the half. And by that time it was game over.

“We’ve been concentrating on our defense a lot lately … we’re trying to be aggressive without fouling,” Balderas said. “I’ve always been aggressive like that, but (the steals) were just there (Friday night).”

It was three ho-hum quarters with a dominant second quarter sprinkled in for South Hamilton (2-0, 1-0). It led 13-8 after the opening period and then proceeded to outscore Roland-Story (0-2, 0-1) 23-4 in the second to take a 36-12 advantage into the intermission.

The Hawks’ offense came off their defense, as they ended the half on a 17-1 run.

“Our defense in that first half was excellent,” Hill said. “We just want to make it tough on the other team.”

South Hamilton sophomore Cade Balvanz (30) takes a turnaround jumper from the low block against Roland-Story on Friday. He had nine points and 11 rebounds in the win. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Roland-Story played right into the Hawks’ hands though by hoisting up a truckload of 3-pointers despite the fact that very few hit their mark. The Norsemen were just 4 of 26 (15 percent) from long range in the game and shot just 22 percent (11 of 49) overall.

“They’re a group that can get hot,” Hill said of the Norsemen, “but I wouldn’t call them real high percentage shots that they were taking.”

A 3-pointer from Mitchell Shorkey pulled Roland-Story within 19-11 with 6:22 remaining in the first half, but then the Norsemen couldn’t buy a bucket. Another 10:41 drained off the clock before their field goal drought ended on a Dylan Matheason jumper from the corner.

South Hamilton utilized an all hands on deck approach to put a chokehold on the game in the second quarter. Balderas scored seven points during the spurt, Cole Berg got loose in transition, Conner Hill scored on a second-chance opportunity from close range and Cade Balvanz controlled the paint.

Balvanz put up nine points and 11 rebounds off the Hawks’ bench. Logan Peters added seven points and 11 boards. Berg produced six points and two assists, while Conner Hill and Logan Klemp both finished with five points. Conner Hill also had three steals and a pair of assists.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

But outside of the second quarter, it was an offensive struggle for the Hawks. Long range shots that usually fall simply didn’t, and the free throw line wasn’t a fan either. South Hamilton connected at a respectable 42 percent clip overall (23 of 55), but was just 2 of 10 from 3 (20 percent) and a dismal 9 of 21 at the charity stripe (43 percent).

Coach Hill says his team needs to learn to walk before it can run.

“Their effort is outstanding, but sometimes we need to slow ourselves down a little bit, especially at the offensive end,” he said. “We’re just trying to go so fast that we don’t have the proper spacing and we’re having some silly turnovers.”

Balderas thinks it’s just going to take some time before the defending HOIC champion and Class 2A state qualifier Hawks are hitting on all cylinders.

“We’ve just got to get used to playing together again and we’ll grow,” he said. “There are still some things we need to work on, but we’ll improve.”

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Austin Hobbs dropped in 11 points in a losing effort for Roland-Story, which played South Hamilton to a 21-all tie in the second half. Jon Sansgaard added six points.

South Hamilton 57, Roland-Story 33

Friday at Jewell

Roland-Story (0-2, 0-1 HOIC) — Marcus Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dylan Ihle 1 0-0 3, Kade Faga 0 1-4 1, Austin Hobbs 4 2-5 11, Gradyn Dowling 0 0-0 0, Jon Sansgaard 2 2-3 6, Carter Greenfield 0 0-0 0, Dylan Matheason 1 0-0 2, Ben Chelsvig 1 1-1 3, Sam Skaar 1 0-0 3, Eric Dowe 0 0-1 0, Nic Hansen 0 1-2 1, Mitchell Shorkey 1 0-1 3. Totals: 11 7-17 33.

South Hamilton (2-0, 1-0 HOIC) — Marco Balderas 8 1-1 19, Aaron Hegland 1 0-0 2, Cole Berg 3 0-2 6, Sam Lewis 0 0-0 0, Doran Lutjen 0 2-2 2, Logan Peters 2 3-4 7, Quinton Grove 0 0-0 0, Logan Klemp 2 1-4 5, Cade Flaugh 0 0-0 0, Zeke Balderas 1 0-0 2, Conner Hill 2 1-3 5, Cade Balvanz 4 1-5 9, Garrett Grady 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 9-21 57.

Roland-Story 8 4 7 14 — 33

S. Hamilton 13 23 11 10 — 57

3-point field goals — R-S 4 (Ihle, Hobbs, Skaar, Shorkey); SH 2 (M. Balderas 2). Rebounds — SH 50 (Balvanz 11, Peters 11). Steals — SH 12 (M. Balderas 7, Hill 3). Assists — SH 9 (Berg 2, Hill 2, Balvanz 2). Team fouls — R-S 21, SH 18. Fouled out — none.