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Local Sports

Hawks denied 4th consecutive state appearance by Pella Christian

MARSHALLTOWN — Cade Balvanz had an entourage waiting for him just steps outside of the South Hamilton locker room Saturday night. There were hugs, handshakes and photos taken, and all of it eventually put a smile on his face. Quinton Grove had his people there too. He was wrapped in a hug ...

LET’S SUBSTATE

JEWELL — If you believe in curses, then South Hamilton will face two difficult opponents on Saturday when it attempts to qualify for the Class 2A boys’ state basketball tournament for a fourth consecutive season. Pella Christian (12-10) is a no-brainer. Don’t be fooled by the ...

South Hamilton takes graduation hits in stride, somehow continues to thrive

JEWELL — Matt Juber went into this with his eyes wide open. South Hamilton’s first-year head boys’ basketball coach was given the keys to, in recent years, one of the premier Class 2A programs in the state. Now, don’t screw it up, young man. “I stepped in the room on Day 1 ...

THEY’VE BEEN THERE

IOWA FALLS — Act like you’ve been there — it’s one of those often-used sports clichés, usually in a critical way to tell athletes to play the game the right way. South Hamilton took a different approach with the phrase Tuesday night though. You see, the Hawks had been there. Many ...

Ballard gives Lynx no chance in substate quarters

ALGONA — For seven minutes, Webster City played right with Ballard in a Class 3A Substate 2 quarterfinal Monday night inside Bulldog Gymnasium. Things started to go off the rails for the Lynx in the eighth minute and there was only one place to go from there — a complete train ...

UNANIMOUS, OF COURSE

WEBSTER CITY — They entered high school together, battled against each other for four years, and now they leave together. Right on top. Three of the premier girls’ basketball players in central Iowa, not to mention three of the biggest talents the North Central Conference has seen in ...

PERFECTION!

DES MOINES — Sitting on the cold concrete with his back against the wall in the bowels of Wells Fargo Arena Saturday night, Cam Phetxoumphone took just a moment to stare at the fruits of his labor. Clutching the medal he had just received in both hands, he simply stared at it, transfixed ...

Tilt-A-Cam: A ride many wrestlers experience against their will

Every opponent thinks he’ll be the one, the guy that won’t take a ride on the Tilt-A-Cam. And one by one, there they go, their eyes growing wide with the realization that their ride is just beginning. Cam Phetxoumphone has become a master of what some wrestling instructors call the ...

Gasca bows out one win shy of a medal

DES MOINES — A state wrestling medal wasn’t in the cards for Webster City junior 145-pounder Nick Gasca on Friday, but he may have gained something just as valuable. Confidence. Gasca came up one win shy of the Class 2A podium when he dropped a consolation second-round match to ...

Hawks’ Swenson collects 7th-place medal at 170 pounds in Class 1A

DES MOINES — The days of Lane Swenson flying under the wrestling radar are long gone. Seriously. Not a chance in you know where of that happening again. Not many wrestling enthusiasts may have known about the South Hamilton junior 170-pounder when the tournament began on Thursday, but ...

Lynx the underdog against Ballard in substate quarters

WEBSTER CITY — It’s taken three months and 20 regular season games, but Marty McKinney is ready to wave the metaphorical white flag. The defense-first head coach of the Webster City boys’ basketball team has a pretty good idea of what it will take for his Lynx club to be successful in ...

Hawks know nothing a given against Hudson in 2A district final

JEWELL — Back in the South Hamilton High School parking lot after a trip to Parkersburg Thursday night, Matt Juber forced his players to spend a few extra minutes on the cold, dark school bus while he delivered a pointed message. A few hours earlier, third-seeded South Hamilton had ...

Top-ranked Phetxoumphone needs only 42 seconds to reach quarters

DES MOINES — Playing the takedown game didn’t interest Cam Phetxoumphone yesterday inside Wells Fargo Arena. Webster City’s top-ranked 106-pounder usually enjoys piling up a handful of takedowns before he sends another victim to the showers, but, in a way, West Delaware lanky freshman ...

Hawks’ Swenson survives 15-11 thriller, advances to 170-pound quarters

DES MOINES — Lane Swenson emptied the gas tank on Mat 7 inside Wells Fargo Arena last night. There was just one problem — the indicator light in his brain came on with two minutes remaining in his Class 1A 170-pound first-round match against sixth-ranked Cael McLaren of Council Bluffs ...

BOYS BASKETBALL BRIEFS

HAWKS HALFWAY TO STATE: The South Hamilton boys’ basketball team took another step towards a fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament and earned a little payback in the process last night in Parkersburg. The Hawks (14-7) limited South Hardin to 10 first-half points and rolled to a ...

BUSINESS TRIP

WEBSTER CITY — Here comes the chuckle and eye roll, followed by a whisper sigh — clear signs he’s had to broach this topic many, many times before. The last name — it’s the first thing people talk about when they see the name Cam Phetxoumphone on a bracket sheet. If you’re ...

Hawks’ Swenson, Thompson walk similar paths in first trip to state

JEWELL — Lane Swenson is the kid with the shorter brown hair, while Trevor Thompson is a bit taller with the lighter mop on the top of his head. It’s obviously not hard for South Hamilton wrestling fans to differentiate between the program’s two state wrestling qualifiers, but for ...

Frigid first quarter dooms Lynx in regional

WEBSTER CITY — The fight, the grit, the refusal to give in — those things brought the happy tears from Webster City girls’ basketball coach Nicole Muhlenbruch as she sat in her office late last night. But the first quarter — oh, that first quarter — is what brought the tears of ...

IT’S NOW OR NEVER

WEBSTER CITY — Leah Kasch has a basketball memory to last a lifetime thanks to the last time Webster City faced Boone. But the junior would prefer a less dramatic ending when the two teams get together again this evening inside the WCHS gymnasium. Boone (5-16) will come to town to take on ...

IN THE ZONE

JEWELL — A few of the guarantees in life — the sun will rise, the sun will set, and opposing teams will play a packed in zone defense against the South Hamilton boys’ basketball team. Quinton Grove knew it was coming Monday night and the Hawks’ senior guard was ready. No fear, ...