Still Kickin’: Hawks blitz Ogden early, breeze to district win

JEWELL – Night after night of facing zone defenses during the regular season came in quite handy for South Hamilton last night on Coach Jim Marsh Court.

Ogden probably thought its 1-3-1 scheme would force the Hawks to offer up a constant barrage of long-distance bombs, but the plan backfired.

Big time.

Crisp cuts inside the lane and laser-like passes allowed South Hamilton to dissect the zone and the Bulldogs in a Class 2A District 3 quarterfinal. The Hawks scored 16 of their first 20 points inside the lane and finished with 40 in all from close range in a 76-53 thumping.

“We’ve played against that 1-3-1 type of defense all season and our players are finally getting to the point where they’re executing,” South Hamilton head coach B.J. Terrones said after his team wrapped up its fourth win in its last five games. “They moved well, they passed well and they took advantage of things inside.”

Senior forwards John Hegland and Josh Doering did the brunt of the dirty work inside, particularly early on. They combined for 22 first half points; Hegland finished with a game-high 24 and Doering added 15.

“We moved the ball well and found the open gaps,” Hegland, who improved upon his average of 18 points per game, said. “Josh hit me with some good passes early on, and so did some of the other guys, so it was good.”

South Hamilton (14-8) led 14-10 after one quarter on the strength of 12 points in the paint. A 16-0 run over the initial 5 minutes, 10 seconds of the second quarter put the Hawks on easy street for good.

Matt Hislop – one of four Hawks to score in double figures – caught fire during the second-quarter spurt. He buried a deep 3-pointer from the wing and followed it up with a jumper in the lane on the next possession to extend the lead to 27-10. Lucas Olson joined the party moments later with a 3 of his own from the other side of the court to give South Hamilton a 20-point cushion, 30-10.

Olson rained in three triples on the night and joined Hislop with 10 points.

“Those (3-pointers) seem to go down a little easier once you start in the paint,” Terrones said. “Once we established the inside then we went outside, and that’s one of the things that we try to stress.”

Olson cashed in on his final 3 in the closing moments of the third quarter to give the Hawks a 61-35 advantage. They pushed the margin to 30 in the fourth quarter before Terrones called off the dogs.

South Hamilton rattled in seven 3s; Trevor Ullestad (five points), Justin Shepherd (seven) and Hegland all hit shots from behind the arc.

Ogden (11-11) received 16 points from Cayce Good, and 13 from Cody Good and Grant Heineman.

South Hamilton’s next task will be much more difficult, as the Hawks will travel to Fort Dodge on Thursday to tackle 2012 state runner-up St. Edmond (13-8) inside the Gaels’ home gym at 7 p.m.

St. Edmond handled the Hawks 57-40 when the two teams met in Fort Dodge on Dec. 15, and for the Hawks to contend this time Terrones says his team will need to do a better job of making each possession count.

“You have to value the basketball and value the possessions against St. Edmond,” he said. “We have to be ready to execute and we have to be ready to attack.”

The Gaels limited Hegland to just eight points in the first encounter – one of only three times he failed to reach double figures this season.

“They’re going to be in our grill, so we just have to try to be strong with the basketball and play the same type of defense,” Hegland said.