CRUISE CONTROL: Hawks never trail, 4 reach double figures vs Saydel

JEWELL – It took Collin Hill all of nine seconds to stop, pop and swish a 3-pointer from the right wing Friday night. The South Hamilton freshman then spent the next 31 minutes, 51 seconds playing like anything but a freshman.

So what else is new?

Savvy beyond his years, the 6-foot-4 rookie scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and scraped the glass for seven rebounds to help the Hawks bury Heart of Iowa Conference foe Saydel, 68-51, on Coach Jim Marsh Court.

It’s not often that a freshman leads his team in scoring – particularly one as good as South Hamilton (9-2 HOIC) – but Hill says his confidence comes from his teammates.

“The guys have really accepted me and we’ve just really bonded together,” Hill, who averages 16.5 points per game, said. “The guys have confidence in me and I have confidence in myself. With both of those things it just makes me feel good about my game.”

Hill received plenty of help against an Eagles team that trailed the entire way. Zach Puls knocked down all five of his shots in the first half and joined Hill with 14 points. Trevor Ullestad canned three 3-pointers and notched 12, as did Matt Hislop, who also distributed five assists.

“(The balanced scoring) is a nice luxury to have, but we don’t take it for granted,” South Hamilton head coach B.J. Terrones said. “The players work very hard and they work very well together.”

The Hawks opened the game on an 8-0 spurt and outscored Saydel (4-6, 4-6 HOIC) 23-11 in the second quarter to build a 37-23 cushion. Puls’ presence in the paint was instrumental to the big lead; he collected three of South Hamilton’s nine offensive rebounds during the first 16 minutes and was simply too much for the smaller Eagles to contain.

“Zach really stood up to the challenge,” Terrones said. “We really wanted to get him in rebounding position to take advantage of his size and that really opened some things for other players.”

Ullestad opened the third quarter with one of his long range bombs, part of a quick 9-0 run that gave the Hawks their biggest lead of 23, 46-23.

Saydel trimmed its deficit to as little as 15 on an Alex Gustafson triple early in the fourth quarter, but South Hamilton never let its foot off the gas en route to its second win of the season against the Eagles.

A suffocating half-court press, coupled with seven 3-pointers, allowed the Hawks to cruise. Zach Zoske came off the bench to score seven points and Andrew Wintermote contributed six points, seven boards and two steals.

“We tried to get after it and double team more in more areas of our press and that was the difference in those first couple of quarters,” Terrones said. “We kept them on their heels and it paid off for our players.”

Clayton Sommers (13) and Kyle Walter (11) scored in double figures for the Eagles.

Big third quarter, nine 3s push SH boys past No. 7 Belmond-Klemme

BELMOND – The South Hamilton boys’ basketball team picked up the signature win it’s been looking for on Saturday, as the Hawks sprinkled in nine 3-point baskets in a convincing 63-45 thumping of seventh-ranked (Class 1A) Belmond-Klemme in non-conference play.

Tied 28-28 at half, the Hawks (10-3) went on a 15-4 third-quarter run to seize control for good.

The backcourt trio of Collin Hill (four), Trevor Ullestad (three) and Matt Hislop (two) made all nine triples. Hill scored a team-high 15 points and snared eight rebounds; Hislop finished with 14 points, Ullestad nine.

Forward Zach Puls recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

Court Christianson (16), Elijah Kinseth (11) and Colin Lane (10) scored in double figures for the Broncos (7-3).

South Hamilton will go for a second straight key win on Tuesday when it hosts fifth-ranked (2A) and HOIC leader PCM.