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Hawks win game, lose HOIC title on same night

Lutjen, Busch and Balvanz combine for 43 points vs. Cubs

South Hamilton’s Austin Busch (14) looks to score over Nevada’s Kody Kruschwitz on Tuesday in Nevada. Photo by Angela Hewitt

NEVADA — It was a good news, bad news kind of night for the South Hamilton boys’ basketball team on Tuesday.

The good news: The Hawks were locked in at the defense end and efficient on offense in a relatively easy 57-38 road victory over Heart of Iowa Conference rival Nevada.

The bad news: The run atop the conference is over.

South Hamilton’s win didn’t help its chances of claiming a fourth consecutive league championship, as Gilbert clinched the crown with a home win over Prairie City-Monroe, 62-52, on Tuesday.

Gilbert (15-4, 12-2 HOIC) will finish at least one game in front of South Hamilton (12-6, 10-3 HOIC). The Hawks need to win at Roland-Story on Friday to clinch the outright runner-up spot.

Still, Hawks’ head coach Matt Juber was looking at the positives following Tuesday’s win, the team’s fourth consecutive triumph.

“A really tough, good win for the boys,” he said. “After the first quarter our defense was locked in and I’m really proud of the effort we played with.”

Ahead by three points after the opening quarter, South Hamilton increased its advantage to nine points, 25-16, at the intermission. The Hawks outscored Nevada (10-11, 7-4 HOIC) 32-22 in the second half.

Austin Busch continued to be a late-season surprise on the inside for South Hamilton, as he provided 14 points and eight rebounds playing alongside team leader Cade Balvanz, who put up 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Doran Lutjen took the lead on the perimeter with 16 points, including nine from behind the 3-point arc. Tycin Barkema notched five points and seven rebounds. Kyler Hodnefield added five points, four assists and three steals.

Tyler Sansgaard led Nevada with 13 points, but Juber was pleased with the way his team defended the Cubs’ leader.

“Both Kyler and Doran deserve a ton of credit for their defense on Sansgaard,” Juber said. “They were in his shorts all night hounding and frustrating him, and really made him work for his shots.”

South Hamilton will be at home this evening to take on Carroll Kuemper, followed by Friday’s short drive to Story City for the regular season finale.

South Hamilton 57, Nevada 38

Tuesday at Nevada

South Hamilton (12-6, 10-3 HOIC) — Brock Galetich 0 0-0 0, Carter Hewitt 0 0-0 0, Tycin Barkema 2 0-0 5, Sam McNally 0 0-0 0, Doran Lutjen 6 1-2 16, Austin Busch 7 0-0 14, Quinton Grove 1 0-0 2, Freddie Lewis 1 0-0 2, Kyler Hodnefield 2 0-0 5, Cade Balvanz 6 1-2 13, Cade Flaugh 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 2-4 57.

Nevada (10-11, 7-4 HOIC) — Colin Memmer 1 2-2 4, Chase Lycke 1 0-0 3, Ben Rima 0 0-0 0, Ty Dittmer 1 0-0 2, Kody Kruschwitz 1 0-0 2, Tyler Sansgaard 4 4-4 13, Ayden Rhodes 1 0-1 2, Henry Nelson 4 1-2 9 ,Cooper Bovee 0 1-2 1, Jarrett Fredin 1 0-0 2, Blake Bottorf 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 8-11 38.

S. Ham. 11 14 21 11 — 57

Nevada 8 8 14 8 — 38

3-point field goals — SH 5 (Lutjen 3, Barkema, Hodnefield); NEV 2 (Lycke, Sansgaard). Rebounds — SH 34 (Busch 8, Barkema 7). Steals — SH 6 (Hodnefield 3). Assists — SH 16 (Hodnefield 4, Balvanz 4). Turnovers — SH 13. Team fouls — SH 13, NEV 7. Fouled out — none.

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