Woodall and Lewis bury seven 3’s, score 33 points in Hawks’ win
MAXWELL — Prove it.
That’s what Collins-Maxwell said with its defensive strategy to South Hamilton guards Rylee Woodall and Emma Lewis during Tuesday night’s non-conference girls’ basketball game, the first of the season for the Hawks.
And that’s exactly what Woodall and Lewis did, over and over again.
While the Spartans sagged off the perimeter and jammed the paint to limit interior touches for South Hamilton forwards Sydney Friest and Breanne Diersen, Woodall and Lewis splashed in a combined seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points to propel the Hawks to a convincing 57-48 victory.
The guards both produced career highs. Woodall knocked down four 3’s and notched 17 points, and Lewis reeled off 16 points in her first start.
“I had a lot of confidence,” Lewis, a sophomore who went on her own eight-point run in the second quarter, said. “When I shot it I felt like it was going to go in every time. I didn’t have any doubts.”
It was South Hamilton’s highest offensive output in nearly seven years. The last time the Hawks scored more was in a 72-63 win over Manson-Northwest Webster way back on — are you ready for this? — Valentine’s Day 2012, a span of 136 games.
“I was a little nervous (at the start of the game), but then I made two in a row and Emma started hitting them too,” Woodall, who went 4 of 8 from behind the arc, said. “We got going.”
South Hamilton (1-0) canned 45 percent of its shots (20 of 44), including 38 percent from 3 (7 of 18). Had it not been for its struggles at the free throw line — a 10 of 26 performance (38 percent) — the contest would have been a runaway.
The Hawks shot 29 percent overall and 17 percent from long range a season ago.
“You can make all the shots you want in practice, but once you actually make some in a game then the confidence comes,” South Hamilton head coach Mark Henderson said. “That bucket looked huge to Rylee, and the thing that’s helping Emma the most with her shot is that she’s so much stronger this year.”
Friest got busy in the second half and scored 12 of her 13 points once Collins-Maxwell (1-1) had to turn its attention to the perimeter. Aneesa Balderas chipped in five points off the bench and Diersen netted just two points, but did everything else with 10 rebounds, three steals and four assists. Friest and Hailey Diersen collected eight caroms each, and Woodall registered three steals.
Reagan Franzen led the Spartans with 10 points.
It took the Hawks a while to get going, however. They missed their first eight shots from the floor and were stuck on zero for more than six minutes.
And then Woodall stepped up.
The senior ripped the nets from the left wing for her first triple and then buried another from the same spot just 20 seconds later to ignite the offense. South Hamilton made three of its final four shots of the period.
“(The first basket) was huge,” Henderson said. “Collins-Maxwell didn’t want Sydney to get the ball inside, so they were sagging in and making us shoot. We’ve had this same story for years.
“In the second half we were able to get the ball inside more because they had to worry about our shooters.”
Lewis rained in back-to-back 3’s and a long 2 in succession to give the Hawks a 19-12 lead at the midpoint of the second quarter and they never trailed again.
Ahead 23-19 at the break, South Hamilton extended its lead to double digits for the first time on five consecutive Woodall points in the opening four minutes of the third period. The advantage reached as many as 14 points with 2:10 remaining in the contest on Lewis’ final triple of the night.
“Emma is a girl that has been so excited for the season since the end of last season,” Henderson said. “She’s going to be a huge part of our team for the next three years.”
Collins-Maxwell went to a full-court press throughout the fourth quarter in an attempt to claw back into contention, but South Hamilton handled it and got easy looks in transition.
“I was very happy,” Henderson said. “It was good to see Rylee step up as that point guard and take leadership (against the press).”
South Hamilton will make its home debut on Tuesday when it entertains seventh-ranked (Class 2A) South Central Calhoun at 6 p.m.
South Hamilton 57,
Tuesday at Maxwell
South Hamilton (1-0) — Rylee Woodall 6 1-4 17, Emma Lewis 6 1-3 16, Breanne Diersen 1 0-0 2, Brookelyn George 1 0-0 2, Aneesa Balderas 2 1-2 5, Hailey Diersen 1 0-2 2, Kaylee Oskvig 0 0-2 0, Sydney Friest 3 7-13 13. Totals: 20 10-26 57.
Collins-Maxwell (1-1) — Emma Kahler 2 0-0 4, Gracie Cheville 3 0-0 7, Josie Wierson 2 4-6 8, Mikayla Markley 2 0-0 5, Mikayla Houge 2 5-10 9, Alexis Houge 2 1-3 5, Reagan Franzen 3 4-6 10. Totals: 16 14-25 48.
S. Hamilton 8 15 21 13 — 57
Col-Maxwell 8 11 15 14 — 48
3-point field goals — SH 7 (Woodall 4, Lewis 3), C-M 2 (Cheville, Markley). Rebounds — SH 33 (B. Diersen 10, H. Diersen 8, Friest 8). Steals — SH 12 (Woodall 3, B. Diersen 3). Assists — SH 11 (B. Diersen 4, Lewis 2). Turnovers — SH 18, C-M 19. Team fouls — SH 18, C-M 17. Fouled out — none.