All-state guard scores 23, No. 7 Hawks bury Norsemen by 25

Marco Balderas (2) reacts after making a bucket in transition while being fouled during the second half against Roland-Story on Friday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

STORY CITY — Be warned future South Hamilton opponents: Marco Balderas is back.

After missing six games in December, it’s taken the Hawks’ all-state point guard a while to find his own footing and his place inside the team. But he found his groove in the second half Friday night and once he did it was goodnight Roland-Story.

Balderas took over during a 22-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters, as he led the charge that put the Norsemen in the rearview mirror for good in a 62-37 South Hamilton rout.

Balderas scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and he also led the seventh-ranked (Class 2A) and unbeaten Hawks (15-0, 10-0 HOIC) in rebounds (six), steals (three) and assists (four).

“It was nice to see him break out of the mini-slump the he was maybe having,” South Hamilton head coach Nathan Hill said of Balderas. “When he came back after missing those games, he was trying to fit in with the rest of the guys. I just told him that you have to be who you are and the team needs you to be who you are. He just went out and played (Friday night), and once a couple shots went down you could see that confidence grow.”

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

South Hamilton led 34-27 when Balderas hit the first of back-to-back traditional 3-point plays that ignited a quick 8-0 burst. The Hawks scored 14 of the final 16 points of the quarter and then rattled off the first eight points of the fourth. Balderas scored six of those eight points to extend the margin to 56-29 with 5:33 remaining.

The decisive end was welcomed by Hill, who wasn’t all that pleased with the way his team ended the first half. After building a 16-5 lead after one quarter behind its ball-hawking defense, South Hamilton ran into foul trouble in the second quarter and allowed Roland-Story (5-10, 2-8 HOIC) to close to within five points, 25-20, at the intermission.

” The disappointing part in that second quarter was the lack of discipline,” Hill said. “We got caught up in the moment … we have to continue to do the things we do and do them the right way.”

Logan Peters was a one-man show for much of the first quarter, as he scored nine of South Hamilton’s points. He finished with 11 points, three steals and three assists.

The Hawks’ full-court pressure gave Roland-Story fits at times. The Norsemen finished with 20 turnovers.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Cole Berg added nine points in the win and Conner Hill chipped in seven. Quinton Grove came off the bench to provide a spark with three points and five rebounds.

Carter Greenfield led Roland-Story with 10 points.

South Hamilton 62, Roland-Story 37

Friday at Story City

South Hamilton (15-0, 10-0 HOIC) — Marco Balderas 9 4-4 23, Aaron Hegland 0 0-0 0, Cole Berg 3 2-2 9, Sam Lewis 0 0-0 0, Doran Lutjen 1 0-0 3, Logan Peters 5 1-3 11, Quinton Grove 1 1-1 3, Logan Klemp 1 0-0 2, Cade Flaugh 0 0-2 0, Zeke Balderas 0 0-0 0, Conner Hill 2 3-4 7, Cade Balvanz 2 0-0 4, Garrett Grady 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 11-16 62.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Roland-Story (5-10, 2-8 HOIC) — Kade Faga 3 1-3 7, Austin Hobbs 2 0-0 6, Jon Sansgaard 2 0-0 4, Carter Greenfield 3 3-4 10, Ben Chelsvig 1 0-1 2, Sam Skaar 1 0-0 3, Eric Dowe 0 3-4 3, Nick Hansen 1 0-1 2, Mitchell Shorkey 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 7-13 37.

S. Hamilton 16 9 23 14 — 62

Rol-Story 5 15 9 8 — 37

3-point field goals — SH 3 (M. Balderas, Berg, Lutjen); R-S 4 (Hobbs 2, Greenfield, Skaar). Rebounds — SH 30 (M. Balderas 6, Grove 5). Steals — SH 10 (M. Balderas 3, Peters 3). Assists — SH 12 (M. Balderas 4, Peters 3). Turnovers — SH 7, R-S 20. Team fouls — SH 19, R-S 16. Fouled out — none.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning