No. 6 Hawks take care of Saydel, share HOIC lead

Gilbert loss sets up Tuesday showdown

South Hamilton’s Doran Lutjen (11) puts up a fadeaway jumper from the baseline against Saydel on Friday in Des Moines. Photo/Angela Hewitt

DES MOINES — Victory No. 14 was the meal. What the South Hamilton players and coaches learned afterwards was the dessert.

The sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Hawks raced out to a sizable first-quarter lead and never relinquished the advantage en route to a 64-40 pasting of Heart of Iowa Conference rival Saydel here Friday night.

South Hamilton’s win, coupled with seventh-ranked (3A) Gilbert’s 68-57 upset loss to Roland-Story in overtime — the aforementioned dessert — deadlocked the rivals at the top of the league standings heading into their showdown Tuesday night in Jewell.

Gilbert handed South Hamilton (14-1, 10-1 HOIC) its lone loss of the season, 70-65, and its only regular season loss in more than two years when they met in Gilbert back on Dec. 14.

Against Saydel (3-13, 0-10 HOIC), the Hawks received plenty of production from their starting unit and also a big lift from reserve guard Aaron Hegland, who buried three first-half 3-pointers to thwart the Eagles’ plans to sit in a zone defense. Conner Hill also canned three triples early on to help lift South Hamilton to a 33-17 halftime advantage.

South Hamilton’s Conner Hill (front) is fouled on his way to the basket against Saydel on Friday. Photo/Angela Hewitt

But even with the large cushion, Hawks’ head coach Nathan Hill wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s performance over the opening 16 minutes.

“Saydel did a nice job on the defensive end of being the tougher team,” he said. “We missed a lot of shots around the rim which caused us to be a little tentative at times, but overall I have to give Saydel a lot of credit for their effort.”

South Hamilton canned nine 3s in all, led by Conner Hill with five on his way to a game-high 18 points. The senior point guard also collected three steals.

“I thought Conner shot the ball with a lot more confidence, which the team definitely needed,” Nathan Hill said.

Cole Berg showcased his versatility with 14 points and eight rebounds in the romp. Cade Balvanz pitched in 10 points and three assists, and Hegland finished with the nine points from behind the arc.

Saydel limited Logan Peters to just four points, but the senior supplied seven rebounds and three assists. Quinton Grove chipped in six points.

Colton Myers (12 points) and Dakota Ellsworth (nine points) led Saydel.

South Hamilton 64, Saydel 40

Friday at Des Moines

South Hamilton (14-1, 10-1 HOIC) — Brock Galetich 0 0-0 0, Aaron Hegland 3 0-0 9, Carter Hewitt 0 0-0 0, Cole Berg 5 4-4 14, Sam Lewis 0 0-0 0, Doran Lutjen 1 1-2 3, Logan Peters 2 0-0 4, Quinton Grove 2 1-2 6, Kyler Hodnefield 0 0-0 0, Conner Hill 6 1-2 18, Cade Balvanz 5 0-0 10, Cade Flaugh 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 7-10 64.

Saydel (3-13, 0-10 HOIC) — Kobe Moriarty 1 0-2 2, Luke Vitiritto 0 1-2 1, Camden Lo 0 1-2 1, Colton Myers 4 3-3 12, Billy Burr 1 0-0 3, Chaise Martin 0 0-0 0, Zach Bobenhouse 3 0-0 8, Chris Malone 0 0-0 0, Garrett Shinn 0 1-3 1, Mikel Nuzum 0 0-0 0, Dakota Ellsworth 4 1-4 9, Nick Garrison 0 0-0 0, Dakota Ellis 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14 7-16 40.

S. Hamilton 15 18 14 17 — 64

Saydel 6 11 12 11 — 40

3-point field goals — SH 9 (Hill 5, Hegland 3, Grove); SAY 5 (Bobenhouse 2, Myers, Burr). Rebounds — SH 43 (Berg 8, Peters 7). Steals — SH 9 (Hill 3). Assists — SH 15 (Peters 3, Balvanz 3). Turnovers — SH 10. Team fouls — SH 17, SAY 11. Fouled out — none.

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