JEWELL - John Hegland could feel it, whatever it is Friday night.
His first-year coach and teammates hope the 6-foot-3 senior forward stays infected. Heck, it would be better than OK if he was even a little contagious.
Hegland did almost everything right at both ends of the Jim Marsh Court in South Hamilton's 85-67 victory over Saydel in Heart of Iowa Conference play. He ran the floor, he knocked down open shots, he converted second-chance opportunities, and it all added up to a career night.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
South Hamilton senior John Hegland (30) goes to the left hand to score two of his career-high 38 points on Friday during the Hawks’ 85-67 victory over Saydel in Jewell.
Hegland poured in 38 points, as he canned 12 shots from the field and 14 of 18 free throws to send the Hawks (1-1, 1-1 HOIC) to their first win of the season. He was joined in double figures by teammate Josh Doering, who scored 13.
"John didn't miss many shots," South Hamilton rookie head coach B.J. Terrones said. "But what impressed me the most and the reason he had such a good night was his effort, the way he ran the floor and got after it with second-chance points. And the players definitely respond to John. He keeps them in a flow offensively and a lot of things we run offensively go through him."
Terrones' aggressive defense and up-tempo attack worked flawlessly in the first half when South Hamilton raced out to a 47-29 lead. The Hawks outscored first-year conference member Saydel (1-1, 1-1 HOIC) 26-12 in the second quarter and they forced the Eagles into 14 first-half turnovers.
South Hamilton 85, Saydel 67
Saydel (1-1, 1-1 HOIC) - Alex Gustafson 7 1-2 18, Kyle Walter 3 2-3 10, Hunter White 2 2-2 6, B.J. Freeman 4 4-4 12, Clayton Summers 1 1-2 3, Matt Stone 3 0-2 6, Justin Carr 2 1-3 5, Zane Martin 2 1-3 5, Brandon Hill 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 12-21 67.
South Hamilton (1-1, 1-1 HOIC) - Trevor Ullestad 0 0-0 0, Matt Hislop 3 3-4 9, Justin Shepherd 4 0-0 8, Jordan Lutjen 2 0-0 4, Ross Enderson 2 1-2 6, Alex Bristow 1 3-4 5, John Hegland 12 14-18 38, Josh Doering 6 1-4 13, Lucas Olson 0 0-0 0, Andrew Wintermote 1 0-0 2, Jacob Heeren 0 0-0 0, Andy Cook 0 0-0 0, Nate Maile 0 0-0 0, Caleb Olson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 31 22-32 85.
Quarter scores - SH led 21-17, 47-29 and 66-51. 3-point field goals - Saydel 5 (Gustafson 3, Walter 2); SH 1 (Enderson) Team fouls - Saydel 25, SH 18. Fouled out - Walter.
The lights were turned out in those initial 16 minutes.
"We had a really good first half," Terrones said. "We got into a better flow in transition and with our secondary transition. We were able to make a couple passes and still be able to make our layups."
Saydel tightened up in the second half and played the Hawks even (38-38), as Alex Gustafson canned all three of his 3-pointers during the stretch on his way to a team-high 18 points.
"Saydel is a good team and they showed that they can shoot the basketball in the second half," Terrones said. "They made some adjustments and slowed us down, but we were able to weather their run in the third quarter, so I was proud of the guys for that."
Kyle Walter also knocked down a pair of triples and finished with 10 points for the Eagles.
Matt Hislop checked in with nine points for South Hamilton, and Justin Shepherd had eight. The Hawks also outscored Saydel 22-12 at the charity stripe.
South Hamilton will travel to take on Prairie City-Monroe Tuesday night.