Timid SH girls struggle to keep up with Tigers

GILBERT – Kathi Fisher insists the light is always – always – green, and yet all too often her players apply the brakes anyway.

Timid is not the way to win games, the coach of the South Hamilton girls’ basketball team insists.

“I’ve never had a group of kids that don’t want to shoot the ball … when you’re wide open at the elbow, put it up,” Fisher said after the Hawks latest disappointment, a 51-27 thumping at the hands of short-handed Gilbert Friday night. “They all have the green light. They don’t all have the green light to shoot 3s … It’s coming, but a little slower than I’d like it to be.”

Gilbert (7-2, 6-1 HOIC) won its sixth straight contest despite the absence of starters Paige Hoiberg and Katie Reed, who combine to average 16.4 points. But there were plenty of players willing and able to step up and fill the voids.

Olivia Tibben scored a game-high 10 points, keyed by a pair of third-quarter 3-pointers. The bombs were a part of a 12-0 spurt that pushed the Tigers in front 32-11 before South Hamilton (1-6, 1-6 HOIC) finally found its sea legs.

The Hawks scored 10 of the next 12 points to climb within 32-20, but it was too little, too late.

“We have to be consistent with our effort,” Fisher said. “We can’t afford to dig ourselves in a hole and then come back with a spurt of energy and expect to come back on good teams. And let’s face it, (the Heart of Iowa Conference) is full of good teams.”

Gilbert put the Hawks back on their heels early on with a 9-2 run to close out the first quarter to give the host a 14-5 lead. South Hamilton didn’t notch its first field goal of the second quarter until the three-minute mark on a banked 3-pointer from Kayla Monthei.

South Hamilton went the first 5:10 of the third quarter without a field goal as well. Carly Swenson ended that drought with a second-chance bucket from the left block.

Swenson led South Hamilton with nine points and eight rebounds. She hit the team’s other triple and unlike many of her teammates she was at least willing to put up shots.

“If she has a good look, put it up,” Fisher said. “But we can’t sit there and just watch the shot go up either. We’ve got to crash the boards.”

Savana Stangeland chipped in six points, Kaitlin Fisher added five and Monthei finished with four. Allyson Ervin came off the bench to supply eight boards and two assists.

Hillary Mosiman, Elise Powers and Jane Brown all scored eight points for the Tigers.

SH girls no match for 5th-ranked Gaels

JEWELL – Fifth-ranked (Class 2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond applied the pressure early and never gave South Hamilton a puncher’s chance to pull off the upset in a non-conference girls’ basketball game Saturday evening on Coach Jim Marsh Court.

Powered by 22 points from Alli Huss and 16 from Anna Yung, the Gaels (7-0) led wire-to-wire for a 63-32 rout. The visitors stormed out to a 19-4 lead after one quarter and were up 38-15 at the half.

Megan Flattery added six points and Jaci Stumpf had five.

Savana Stangeland paced South Hamilton (1-7) with 10 points. Kayla Monthei canned the Hawks two 3-pointers and tallied eight points. Kayla Lucas finished with six.

“I thought the girls did a lot of good things on offense,” South Hamilton head coach Kathi Fisher said. “Defensively, we tried three separate looks, but they have too many horses. We had to pick our poison on who to try and stop.”