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NETS SIZZLE

Hawks catch fire, pull away from Spartans

South Hamilton guard Tycin Barkema (5) pulls up for a midrange jumper against Collins-Maxwell on Monday in Maxwell. He scored 10 points in the Hawks’ 77-52 victory over the Spartans. DFJ photo/Angela Hewitt

MAXWELL — Matt Juber found himself splitting hairs a little bit here Monday night.

On one hand, he wasn’t thrilled with the defensive consistency of his South Hamilton boys’ basketball team in its non-conference tussle with Collins-Maxwell. But on the other hand, how could he complain about what was easily the Hawks’ best offensive performance of the season?

“It was nice to go down to Maxwell and get a win on the road,” Juber, the Hawks’ head coach, said following a 77-52 romp. “I thought we did some really good things, but definitely have room to grow.”

South Hamilton (8-3) claimed its fourth consecutive victory by outscoring the Spartans (4-8) 23-5 in the fourth quarter to pull away. The Hawks blistered the nets with 51 percent accuracy (31 of 61) and knocked down 91 percent of their free throws (10 of 11). They shared the ball to the tune of 19 assists and hand four players score in double figures.

“Offensively we played a really solid game,” Juber said. “A lot of guys made some nice plays (and) some really nice ball movement.”

Austin Busch gets to the rim against Collins-Maxwell on Monday. He was one of four South Hamilton players to score in double figures. DFJ photo/Angela Hewitt

Freddie Lewis was the biggest beneficiary of the sharing philosophy, as he torched Collins-Maxwell for 18 points. He drained four 3-pointers.

Clayton Ubben finished with 12 points, Austin Busch dropped in 11 more, and Tycin Barkema had a nice floor game with 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Kyler Hodnefield chipped in seven points and distributed a season-high eight assists.

“Tycin did a really nice job penetrating the gaps and finding good looks, and Kyler’s overall floor game was really solid,” Juber said. “He distributed the ball really well and got us going in transition really well.”

Carter Hewitt added six points and six rebounds in the lane. Chase Friest came off the bench to score five points.

The fourth quarter onslaught eased the tension, but Juber was most pleased with his team’s defensive intensity over the final eight minutes, something he felt was lacking at times during the initial three quarters.

Collins-Maxwell’s Mason Markley buried five first-half three quarters to keep his team within shouting distance — South Hamilton led 34-28 at the break — but the Hawks limited him to just two points following the break. Busch got the primary defensive assignment on Markley in the second half and more than held his own.

“Defensively we are still struggling to find consistency,” Juber said. “We can be really good and lock teams down for a quarter, then have a quarter of very average defense.”

The Spartans drained eight 3s in all, but shot just 37 percent from the floor (19 of 52). South Hamilton also forced 18 turnovers, keyed by a combined five steals from Hodnefield and Lewis.

The Hawks will return to their home floor — Coach Jim Marsh Court — on Thursday to take on Heart of Iowa Conference rival Saydel.

S. Hamilton 77, Collins-Maxwell 52

Monday at Maxwell

South Hamilton (8-3) — Freddie Lewis 6 2-2 18, Tycin Barkema 4 2-2 10, Carter Hewitt 3 0-0 6, Austin Busch 5 1-2 11, Landen Skartvedt 0 0-0 0, Kyler Hodnefield 3 0-0 7, Teagan Trask 2 0-0 4, Chase Friest 2 1-1 5, Landon Grove 0 0-0 0, Carter Balvanz 1 0-0 2, Aiden Johnson 1 0-0 2, Clayton Ubben 4 4-4 12. Totals: 31 10-11 77.

Collins-Maxwell (4-8) — Ethan Hau 0 0-0 0, Dane Beattie 0 0-0 0, Austin Kopple 4 2-2 11, Caleb Dvorak 2 0-0 4, Mason Markley 6 2-2 19, Jace Huntrods 2 2-4 6, Weston Kahler 2 0-0 5, Luke Huntrods 3 -1 7, Blake Huntrods 0 0-0 0, Brayden Bartleson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 6-9 52.

S. Hamilton 17 17 20 23 — 77

Col-Max 14 14 19 5 — 52

3-point field goals — SH 5 (Lewis 4, Hodnefield); C-M 8 (Markley 5, Kepple, Kahler, L. Huntrods). Rebounds — SH 37 (Barkema 9, Hewitt 6). Steals — SH 10 (Hodnefield 3, Lewis 2). Assists — SH 19 (Hodnefield 8, Barkema 5). Turnovers — SH 14. Team fouls — SH 13, C-M 10. Fouled out — none.

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