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No. 13 Hawks can’t catch Norse

STORY CITY — In a battle between Heart of Iowa Conference rivals, the No. 13-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton girls’ basketball team couldn’t quite contain Roland-Story in a 69-59 contest held on Tuesday evening at the North Gym on the campus of Roland-Story High School.

The Hawks (14-4, 9-3 HoI) had troubles with the Norse (11-7, 10-2 HoI) in the third quarter, as Roland-Story got hot behind the arc and outpaced South Hamilton, 23-10. The loss also marked South Hamilton’s second consecutive conference setback, having dropped a 56-40 matchup against Nevada on Jan. 27.

According to Mark Henderson, SH head girls’ basketball coach, the Hawks had a couple of players out while giving others some valuable time on the hardwood. Despite the loss, Henderson expressed optimism for his team.

“It was a tough loss, but I loved our girls’ fight in this one,” Henderson said. “We are adjusting to playing some different lineups with a couple girls out, and I definitely saw some growth tonight. We are having some kids step up and take on bigger roles, and I think they’re responding well.”

“I have to give credit to everyone who played on both sides, it was a well-played game,” Henderson added. “I liked our execution on offense, we shot well and were aggressive going to the hoop. We had a few more turnovers than I’d like to see. In general, I thought we handled their press well.”

The Hawks will be in for a test on Friday, when they travel to State Center to face No. 4 (Class 3A) West Marshall. The Trojans come in with an 11-1 mark within the Heart of Iowa, and 18-1 overall.

“In the second half, Roland-Story just got hot from three,” Henderson said. “We were over helping a little bit on their drives, and that led to some uncontested threes. Those are shots you just can’t give them, because they rely on their outside shooting so much in their offense.”

South Hamilton was led by junior Ashlyn Erickson’s near double-double of 19 points and nine rebounds. Senior Hallee Feaker contributed with 16 points, five boards and three steals, followed by junior Tanna Thompson’s 13 points, two steals and two rebounds.

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