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Hawks get stingy in 2nd half, fly by Comets

NP just 13 points after break; Balvanz pours in 18 in win

Cade Balvanz (30) hits a short turnaround jumper for two of his 18 points in South Hamilton’s win over North Polk on Tuesday. Photo by Angela Hewitt

ALLEMAN — Matt Juber’s halftime speech must have been rousing. Because whatever he said worked.

After surrendering 38 points in the first half and trailing by seven, the South Hamilton boys’ basketball team buckled down and smothered North Polk over the final 16 minutes for a 65-51 Heart of Iowa Conference victory here Tuesday night.

The Hawks (9-6, 8-3 HOIC), who ended a two-game slide, surrendered just 13 second-half points — less than they allowed in either of the first (17) or second (21) quarters.

“The first half for us defensively was not pretty,” Juber, South Hamilton’s head coach, said. “You can’t give up 70 percent shooting and expect to be in a good position. We made some small adjustments at halftime and it paid off big time.

“When we play with the pride we played with in the second half, good things will happen for this team. When we put together quarters like the third quarter, we are tough to beat.”

South Hamilton’s Doran Lutjen (left) is hacked by North Polk’s Austin Parkins (12) on a pull up jumper Tuesday night in Alleman. Photo by Angela Hewitt

South Hamilton outscored North Polk (5-10, 5-7 HOIC) 20-4 in the eight minutes following the intermission to seize the upper-hand for good.

Despite a bevy of defensive challengers, Cade Balvanz still got loose for 18 points in the win. Doran Lutjen popped off for 12, while Quinton Grove and Austin Busch both chipped in nine.

Busch has seen his minutes increase over the past two weeks and he’s thrived. He led the Hawks on the glass against the Comets with eight rebounds and also dished out a team-high six assists. Grove collected seven caroms. Kyler Hodnefield had a solid overall performance as well with six points, three steals and three assists.

“Overall, offensively we played a really solid game,” Juber said. “Balvanz had a big game inside, but we had a good balance around him.”

Talented sophomore Jevin Sullivan, the No. 2 scorer in the HOIC, paced North Polk with 18 points. No other Comet reached double figures.

South Hamilton will be back on its home floor Friday night to face Prairie City-Monroe.

South Hamilton 65, North Polk 51

Tuesday at Alleman

South Hamilton (9-6, 8-3 HOIC) — Brock Galetich 2 2-2 8, Aaron Hegland 0 0-0 0, Carter Hewitt 0 0-0 0, Tycin Barkema 1 0-0 3, Doran Lutjen 5 2-7 12, Austin Busch 4 1-1 9, Quinton Grove 3 2-5 9, Freddie Lewis 0 0-0 0, Kyler Hodnefield 2 0-0 6, Cade Balvanz 7 4-7 18. Totals: 24 11-22 65.

North Polk (5-10, 5-7 HOIC) — Coby Bouchard 0 1-2 1, Nathan Crabb 0 0-0 0, Hunter Manock 0 0-0 0, Luke Maring 3 2-3 8, Trevor Mathis 0 2-3 2, Austin Parkins 3 0-0 8, Thomas Jones 1 0-0 2, Marcus Haupert 2 0-0 4, Andrew Weig 2 2-2 8, Jevin Sullivan 7 2-2 18. Totals: 18 9-12 51.

S. Ham. 15 16 20 14 — 65

N. Polk 17 21 4 9 — 51

3-point field goals — SH 6 (Galetich 2, Hodnefield 2, Barkema, Grove); NP 6 (Parkins 2, Weig 2, Sullivan 2). Rebounds — SH 27 (Busch 8, Grove 7). Steals — SH 3 (Hodnefield 3). Assists — SH 18 (Busch 6, Hodnefield 3). Turnovers — SH 5. Team fouls — SH 15, NP 18. Fouled out — NP: Maring, Mathis.

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