Berg makes a splash in season debut, Hawks put clamps on R-S

Senior guard returns from knee injury, scores 11 points in just 10 minutes

South Hamilton senior Cole Berg (5) gets to the rim during his season debut against Roland-Story on Tuesday. Photo/Angela Hewitt

STORY CITY — Welcome back, Cole Berg.

Coming off a knee injury during the football season that left him on the sideline during South Hamilton’s opening three basketball games, the senior guard made his highly-anticipated return to the court here Tuesday night and played like he was in mid-season form.

Berg poured in 11 points and yanked down four rebounds in just 10 minutes of action to help the Hawks blow by Heart of Iowa Conference rival Roland-Story, 63-39, for their 20th consecutive league victory and 31st straight regular season win.

Now imagine what Berg will be capable of once he practices for a few days.

“It was definitely nice to have him back,” South Hamilton head coach Nathan Hill said. “I’m sure he was a little anxious, but you never would have known it. He had a total of one practice under his belt and he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.”

South Hamilton’s Doran Lutjen (11) glides to the basket during the Hawks’ 63-39 romp over Heart of Iowa Conference rival Roland-Story in Story City Tuesday night. The Hawks improved to 4-0 on the season. Photo/Angela Hewitt

Berg was one of four players in double figures for South Hamilton (4-0, 2-0 HOIC). Logan Peters led the balanced attack with 17 points to go along with four assists. Conner Hill joined Berg with 11 points, and Cade Balvanz produced 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds down low.

The Norsemen threw a box-and-one defense at Conner Hill and limited his attempts, but the senior point guard did plenty of other things. He pulled down four rebounds, distributed two assists and collected two steals.

South Hamilton dished out 15 assists on 24 made baskets, had nine players reach the scoring column and turned the ball over just nine times. Throw in a suffocating defense that limited Roland-Story (2-1, 1-1 HOIC) to single digits scoring in the second and fourth quarters and there was a lot for Nathan Hill to be happy about.

“I was very proud of our defensive effort,” Nathan Hill said. “Roland-Story has a lot of guys that can shoot the ball and to hold them to 39 points is a heck of a night. We got a lot of good minutes from a lot of guys and that’s fun to see as a coach.”

Dylan Matheason led Roland-Story with 12 points.

Ahead 14-11 after one quarter, South Hamilton seized control with a 19-9 second-quarter spurt to move in front 33-20 at the break. The Hawks increased the lead to 20 points, 50-30, after three quarters.

South Hamilton will head back out on the road Friday night for a conference date with Nevada (3-1, 1-1 HOIC). The Cubs lone loss was to Roland-Story, 62-60, last week.

South Hamilton 63, Roland-Story 39

Tuesday at Story City

South Hamilton (4-0, 2-0 HOIC) — Brock Galetich 0 0-0 0, Aaron Hegland 1 3-4 5, Carter Hewitt 1 0-2 2, Cole Berg 5 1-2 11, Sam Lewis 1 0-0 2, Doran Lutjen 0 2-2 2, Logan Peters 7 2-4 17, Quinton Grove 1 0-0 3, Freddie Lewis 0 0-0 0, Kyler Hodnefield 0 0-0 0, Zeke Balderas 0 0-0 0, Conner Hill 3 3-4 11, Cade Balvanz 5 0-1 10, Cade Flaugh 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 11-19 63.

Roland-Story (2-1, 1-1 HOIC) — Sam Skaar 1 2-2 5, Dylan Ihle 1 0-0 3, Kade Faga 2 2-2 6, Dylan Matheason 5 0-0 12, Eric Dowe 1 0-0 3, Jon Sansgaard 0 0-0 0, Colby Gray 2 0-0 4, Ben Chelsvig 3 0-0 6, Adam Mcilratk 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Bunn 0 0-0 0, Logan Elsberry 0 0-0 0, Zach Twedt 0 0-0 0, Tristan Balmer 0 0-1 0. Totals: 15 4-5 39.

S. Hamilton 14 19 17 13 — 63

Rol-Story 11 9 10 9 — 39

3-point field goals — SH 4 (Hill 2, Peters, Grove); R-S 5 (Matheason 2, Skaar, Ihle, Dowe. Rebounds — SH 32 (Balvanz 7, Grove 5, Berg 4, Hill 4). Steals — SH 9 (Grove 3, Lewis 2, Hill 2). Assists — SH 15 (Peters 4, Grove 3). Turnovers — SH 9. Team fouls — SH 14, R-S 15. Fouled out — none.

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