HILL THE 8TH HAWK TO REACH 1,000 POINTS
Senior joins older brother, uncle in club late in second quarter during No. 8 SH’s 16-point win over HOIC?rival Mustangs
JEWELL — Conner Hill has long professed his indifference towards individual accomplishments, which has always brought a smile to the face of his dad and head coach Nathan.
But both had to admit that Friday’s milestone moment for the youngest of the Hill clan was pretty danged cool.
Off a steal with 28 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Conner Hill glided to the basket and scored the 999th and 1,000th points of his career on Coach Jim Marsh Court during eighth-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton’s 69-53 rout of Heart of Iowa Conference rival Prairie City-Monroe.
He became just the eighth player in program history to reach 1,000 points and the third member of his family, joining his older brother, Collin, and uncle, Peter, on the distinguished list. That particular fact gave him reason to celebrate the achievement, if only momentarily.
“To have three 1,000-point scorers in my family, that’s awesome,” Hill, who finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win over the Mustangs, said. “My teammates, my family, everyone, they’ve gotten me to where I am today.”
The South Hamilton student section held up “1,000” signs to signal the achievement, and it was the third time in three years that a new member has been added to the club. Collin Hill joined two seasons ago and Marco Balderas accepted membership at the state tournament last season.
All three of the most recent members played together for two or three seasons.
Think about that for a moment.
“Having three 1,000-point scorers on one team, to me that’s incredible,” Conner Hill, who will likely finish his career fifth on the all-time scoring leaderboard, said. “Everyone had to defer at some point in their careers, but when it was their time they stepped up and they took that opportunity.”
South Hamilton (10-1, 6-1 HOIC) shook off the Christmas break rust by outscoring PCM (6-3, 5-2 HOIC) 40-26 in the second half. It didn’t hurt that the Hawks out-rebounded the Mustangs 42-23 and limited Reed Worth to just eight points on 2 of 11 shooting. Worth entered the game leading the league in scoring at 23.6 points per game.
“Quinton Grove and Doran Lutjen had the primary job of trying to shut down Worth … they really did a good job of frustrating him,” Nathan Hill said. “The thing I’m most proud of is (how) we out-rebounded them. That was a dominating performance against a big, strong team.”
Cade Balvanz was the biggest of men. The Hawks’ 6-foot-5 junior canned 11 of 15 shots and scored 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
“Cade had a big night for us,” Nathan Hill said. “He was able to dominate on the low block against PCM’s zone.”
For the sixth time this season, South Hamilton had four players score in double figures. Cole Berg and Logan Peters joined Conner Hill with 12. Peters also corralled a team-high nine boards.
South Hamilton has registered at least three double figures scorers in nine outings.
Andrew Van Ryswyk led PCM with 21 points and Isaac Telfer pitched in 17. But the Hawks limited the Mustangs to just 23 percent shooting from behind the 3-point arc by establishing their brand of aggressive defense.
The win also pushed South Hamilton into sole possession of second place in the HOIC behind seventh-ranked (3A) Gilbert, the only team to beat the Hawks in the regular season in almost two years.
Conner Hill said the win meant more than his achievement.
“We didn’t want to have another hiccup to start the second half of the season and this gets us back on track for what we want to accomplish later in the season,” he said. “(The loss to Gilbert in December) was our reality check and we don’t want to have another one of those.”
South Hamilton 69, PCM 53
Friday at Jewell
PCM (6-3, 5-2 HOIC) — Sage Burns 0 0-0 0, Jason Stafford 1 1-1 4, Reed Worth 2 3-4 8, Gatlin Boell 0 0-0 0, Andrew Van Ryswyk 9 0-1 21, Isaac Telfer 6 5-7 17, Derek Brown 1 1-2 3. Totals: 19 10-15 53.
South Hamilton (10-1, 6-1 HOIC) — Aaron Hegland 1 0-0 2, Cole Berg 4 4-4 12, Sam Lewis 1 0-0 2, Doran Lutjen 1 0-0 2, Logan Peters 4 2-4 12, Quinton Grove 2 1-3 5, Conner Hill 5 2-2 12, Cade Balvanz 11 0-0 22. Totals: 29 9-13 69.
PCM 12 15 13 13 — 53
S. Hamilton 11 18 21 19 — 69
3-point field goals — PCM 5 (Van Ryswyk 3, Stafford, Worth); SH 2 (Peters 2). Rebounds — SH 42 (Peters 9, Hill 8, Balvanz 8). Steals — SH 6 (Grove 2, Hill 2). Assists — SH 18 (Hill 5, Balvanz 5). Turnovers — SH 10. Team fouls — PCM 13, SH 18. Fouled out — SH: Berg.