Crushing loss for Hawk girls

SOUTH HAMILTON’S ASHLYN ERICKSON drives against Grundy Center in a Class 2A regional semifinal. (DFJ photo by Angela Hewitt)

GRUNDY CENTER — The season came to a bitter end for the South Hamilton girls here in a Class 2A, Region 8 semifinal.

The Hawks were unable to get their offense on track, falling to Grundy Center, 38-29.

For South Hamilton seniors Anna Holm, Makena Galetich, Ashlyn Erickson, Tanna Thompson, Kailyn Northrop, Grace Neuberger and Kendra Hoversten, it marked the finale for a group credited with helping turn the program around.

After just one 10-win season between 2012-2020, the Hawks (14-8 overall) won at least that many games each of the past four years.

“It’s always sad when the season comes to an end, but for me, this year is especially tough,” South Hamilton head coach Mark Henderson said. “I was very lucky to coach this group of seniors. They are phenomenal kids who treated their teammates great. They were dedicated, hard working and competitive.

“They have made such a positive impact on our program and I am forever grateful to them.”

Thompson scored a team-hig 13 points with Erickson adding 11 and Neuberger five rebounds. Northrop also had five rebounds and three steals.

“I was really proud of how our girls competed in this game,” Henderson said. “We defended really well and worked very hard, but we just couldn’t get enough shots to fall. Grundy Center is a good team as you can see by their record, and we were within five points in the fourth quarter. We were just never able to get the big stop and score that we needed.

“Both teams played really solid defense. Grundy Center decided to double Ashlyn everytime she got the ball in the lane and we struggled to play off of that. We weren’t able to get an open shooter in Ash’s line of vision, so she ended up having to take some difficult shots against taller girls.

“On the other end, we decided to guard their post one on one. I thought we defended her pretty well, but we got called for a few fouls that sent her to the free throw line, where she is very good.”

For Grundy Center, Carlie Willis had a game-high 17 while adding 15 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. They advance to face Nodaway Valley (20-3) in Ballard for the regional title Wednesday night.

The Spartans (20-2) led 5-3 after a low-scoring first before taking control of the contest with a 14-7 run in the second. The two both scored 19 points each over the final 16 minutes of play.


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