Hill, Hawks too much for Gaels

There was no rust from the ninth-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton boys here Thursday night.

Behind the red-hot shooting of Marco Balderas and company, the Hawks stormed through St. Edmond, 74-45, in a non-conference makeup game.

Balderas, a junior, was 5 of 5 from the field and 4-for-4 at the free throw line for 17 points, while sophomore Conner Hill tallied a game-high 18 to lead South Hamilton (7-0 overall).

Senior all-stater Collin Hill, who has signed with Truman State University, added 11 points and Logan Peters 10. The five starting Hawks shot a combined 24-for-37 from the field.

“They are a very good team and they showed that against us,” SEHS head coach Adolph Kochendorfer said. “They have enough talent to move the ball around and you can’t focus on just one player. It seemed like even when we would play good, solid defense, they would still find an open guy.”

Nick Simpson led the Gaels (4-4) with 14 points, while Will Woodruff added 12 and Andrew Gibb 10. Woodruff, who was tasked with guarding Collin Hill much of the night, also had six rebounds.

“Will did a nice job on Hill, especially in the second half,” Kochendorfer said. “It seemed like he really took his defensive assignment to heart. He listened to what we wanted him to do and he executed.

“And Nick had a strong offensive game. These are still young players in terms of varsity experience, so the positives we can take from games like this are important.”

Simpson, a senior, had eight in the second half, but the Gael deficit only grew. South Hamilton came out of the break and hit its first seven shots, going 13-for-16 through one stretch.

Freshman Cade Balvanz hit all three of his shots in the third quarter, while Balderas and both Hill brothers combined for 15.

“We just couldn’t get any stops,” Kochendorfer said. “Credit South Hamilton for coming out and really jumping all over us.”

The Gaels will return to North Central Conference play tonight when they travel to Clear Lake (3-5, 1-2). St. Edmond, 3-1 in the league, swept the Lions last year.

SOUTH HAMILTON 74, ST. EDMOND 45

South Hamilton — Marco Balderas 5-5 4-4 17, Logan Klemp 3-4 0-0 6, Logan Peters 5-7 0-0 10, Collin Hill 5-10 0-0 11, Conner Hill 6-11 3-3 18, Cole Berg 1-1 2-4 4, Cade Balvanz 3-4 0-0 6, Jared Ullestad 0-1 0-0 0, Wesley Wynkoop 0-0 0-0 0, Colton Coy 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan McSparin 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 29-46 9-11 74.

St. Edmond — Andrew Gibb 4-4 0-0 10, Nick Simpson 6-11 2-2 14, Jake Heidenreich 0-0 0-0 0, Charlie Doyle 2-6 1-3 6, Will Woodruff 4-8 4-6 12, Nick Bennett 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson Kochendorfer 0-4 0-0 0, Sean Flaherty 1-1 0-0 2, Patrick Bocken 0-0 0-0 0, Sean Newell 0-0 1-2 1, Nick O’Brien 0-2 0-0 0, Mitchell Rasmussen 0-0 0-0 0, Isaac Lursen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-36 8-13 45.

Quarter scores: South Hamilton led 18-7, 39-21, 66-38. Three-point goals: South Hamilton 6-13 (Balderas 2-2, Col. Hill 1-3, Con. Hill 3-7, Coy 0-1); St. Edmond 3-11 (Gibb 2-2, Doyle 1-3, Kochendorfer 0-4, O’Brien 0-2). Total rebounds: South Hamilton 19, St. Edmond 17. Steals: South Hamilton 7, St. Edmond 1. Blocked shots: St. Edmond 1. Turnovers: South Hamilton 5, St. Edmond 15. Team fouls: South Hamilton 11, St. Edmond 11.

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