No. 7 Hawks take Nevada’s best shot, prevail for 13-0

South Hamilton forward Logan Klemp defends against Nevada on Friday. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

JEWELL — Trailing by six points at the half, the seventh-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton boys’ basketball team was forced to do a little soul searching during the intermission Friday night.

And what did the Hawks find? A whole lot of 3-pointers, for starters.

It took South Hamilton 16 minutes to figure out the zone defense of the long and athletic players from Nevada, but once the Hawks did they were off to the races. They outscored the Cubs 31-15 in the third quarter and staved off the challenge, 65-56.

“Well, we survived another game,” South Hamilton head coach Nathan Hill said. “I give Nevada a lot of credit. They played extremely hard the whole game and gave us everything we could handle. But we were a different team in the second half.”

Seven of South Hamilton’s eight 3-point baskets came during the third quarter onslaught. Conner Hill, Quinton Grove and Logan Peters accounted for all of them, as they combined to pour in 26 of the team’s 31 points.

South Hamilton’s Cole Berg (5) drives into the lane and puts a shot up over Nevada’s Luke Merfeld on Friday in Jewell. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Conner Hill popped off for 15 of his game-high 20 points in the second half. Peters finished with 15 points and Grove scored a career-high 10 off the bench. Marco Balderas also pitched in 10 points and the senior all-state point guard distributed eight assists.

“Quinton Grove had a huge night off the bench for us,” Nathan Hill said. “He hit two big 3s and played some really good defense.”

Conner Hill also led unbeaten South Hamilton (13-0, 6-0 HOIC) on the glass with six rebounds. Peters collected five and two steals, and Cade Balvanz also came down with five caroms.

Nevada (5-7, 4-4 HOIC) engineered an 18-5 second-quarter run to build a 29-23 halftime lead.

Trent Stahl led the way for the Cubs with 16 points. Jack Higgins added nine.

South Hamilton will be at home on Tuesday to take on Saydel.

South Hamilton 65, Nevada 56

Friday at Jewell

Nevada (5-7, 4-4 HOIC) — Trent Stahl 6 3-4 16, Devin See 1 3-4 5, Kody Kruschwitz 0 0-0 0, Jack Higgins 4 1-6 9, Tyler Sansgaard 2 2-2 8, Luke Merfeld 4 0-1 8, Jakob Strottman 2 0-4 4, Om’Unique Wilkerson 2 2-2 6. Totals: 21 11-23 56.

South Hamilton (13-0, 8-0 HOIC) — Marco Balderas 3 3-5 10, Cole Berg 2 0-2 4, Logan Peters 7 0-1 15, Quinton Grove 4 0-0 10, Logan Klemp 1 0-2 2, Zeke Balderas 0 0-0 0, Conner Hill 5 6-6 20, Cade Balvanz 2 0-0 4. Totals: 24 9-16 65.

Nevada 11 18 15 12 — 56

S. Hamilton 15 8 31 14 — 65

3-point field goals — NEV 3 (Sansgaard 2, Stahl); SH 8 (Hill 4, Grove 2, Peters, M. Balderas). Rebounds — SH 31 (Hill 6, Peters 5, Balvanz 5). Steals — SH 6 (Peters 2). Assists — SH 16 (M. Balderas 8). Turnovers — NEV 13, SH 13. Team fouls — NEV 16, SH 20. Fouled out — SH: Berg.

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