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Cubs crush Tigerhawks to snap 7-game skid

Nevada’s Zach Hansen tries to get a shot off near the basket between two South Hamilton players during the first half of the Cub’s 61-45 loss to the Hawks Jan. 14 in Nevada. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Zach Hansen tries to get a shot off near the basket between two South Hamilton players during the first half of the Cub’s 61-45 loss to the Hawks Jan. 14 in Nevada. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Bennett Thompson dribbles toward the basket during Nevada’s game with South Hamilton Jan. 14. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Bennett Thompson dribbles toward the basket during Nevada’s game with South Hamilton Jan. 14. Photo by Joe Randleman

NEVADA – It took a half to get going, but once the Nevada boys’ basketball team started clicking, there was no stopping them in a 61-27 victory over Colfax-Mingo Friday at the Nevada High School Field House.

Nevada struggled with the winless Tigerhawks in the first half. After getting a small edge after one quarter, the Cubs were outplayed in the second quarter as they had to settle for a slim 23-18 lead at the break.

But everything changed in the second half. The Cubs overwhelmed the Tigerhawks on both ends of the floor, outscoring them by 13 points in the third quarter and 16 points in the fourth to break the game open and snap a seven-game losing streak.

Nevada overcame a poor 5 of 22 shooting from 3-point range by coming up with a whopping 22 steals and also winning the rebounding battle by a 31-19 margin. The Cubs also held Colfax-Mingo without a 3-pointer and they made three times as many free throws as the Tigerhawks, going 16 of 23 at the line compared to Colfax-Mingo’s 5 of 12 showing.

Cole Gidel led a balanced Cub scoring attack with 13 points and he also tallied four rebounds and three steals. Alex Merfeld was the only other Cub to score in double figures as he hit 4 of 5 field goals and ended up with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

Joseph Heintz hit 3 of 4 3-pointers, finishing with nine points off the bench and Riley Huhn came up with seven points. Bennett Thompson tacked on six points, A.J. Strottman had four points and six rebounds, Jake Barker registered four points and three steals, Noah Stowe recorded three points and two assists and Patrick Stephenson came up with two points and five steals.

Zach Hansen also scored two points and T.J. Fey added four assists and four steals for Nevada as the Cubs improved to 2-8 both overall and in the Heart of Iowa Conference.

Colin Lourens finished with 12 points and three blocks and Jacob Lietz dished out five assists for Colfax-Mingo.

Nevada 61, Colfax-Mingo 27

C-M 9 9 5 4 – 27

N 15 8 18 20 – 61

Colfax-Mingo (27) – Jared Myers 0-3 2-2 2, Blake Summy 2-5 0-0 4, Juan Gonzales 0-3 0-1 0, Jacob Lietz 0-5 1-2 1, Jacob Buehrer 0-0 0-0 0, Marcus Tomlonovic 0-0 0-2 0, Nate Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Colin Lourens 5-5 2-3 12, Michael Deal 1-1 0-2 2, James Stoecker 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 11-29 5-12 27. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (19): Smith 5. Assists (9): Lietz 5. Steals (9): Lietz 2. Blocks (5): Lourens 3.

Nevada (61) – Cole Gidel 5-13 2-3 13, Patrick Stephenson 1-4 0-0 2, Riley Huhn 2-4 2-2 7, T.J. Fey 0-1 0-0 0, Duncan Westphal 0-5 0-0 0, Zach Hansen 0-3 2-2 2, Noah Stowe 0-1 3-3 3, Alex Merfeld 4-5 3-6 11, Joseph Heintz 3-4 0-0 9, Jake Barker 1-1 2-2 4, Erik Fevold 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett Thompson 2-9 2-3 6, A.J. Strottman 2-4 0-2 4, Chris Dobernecker 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Kapustka 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 20-55 16-23 61. 3-point field goals (5): Heintz 3, Gidel, Huhn. Rebounds (31): Merfeld 7. Assists (11): Fey 4. Steals (22): Stephenson 5. Blocks (3): Merfeld 3.

NEVADA – Nevada couldn’t cope with South Hamilton’s size and strength in a Heart of Iowa Conference boys’ basketball affair Jan. 14 at the Nevada High School Field House as the Cubs suffered a 61-45 setback.

With 6-4 freshman Collin Hill causing Nevada all kinds of matchup problems on the wing, and 6-6 Zach Puls and 6-5 Andrew Wintermote banging on the inside, a Nevada team with only one player listed over 6-1 was facing an uphill battle all night. It was made extra difficult by the fact the Cubs were without top outside shooter Cole Gidel, who sat out after suffering a leg injury the night before in a loss at Prairie City-Monroe.

“We’re not very big, we’re not very strong and people take advantage of that on us around the basket,” Nevada head coach Joel Fey said. “Tonight they did a really good job around the hoop on us. We have a really hard time defending that all the time. The effort is there, but you can’t coach guys to be taller.”

South Hamilton ended the first half on a 6-1 run to take a 31-21 lead. The Hawks then started the second half on a 15-5 spurt to take a 20-point lead and put the nail in the coffin early.

Nevada fought its way back within 46-35 by the end of the quarter as Duncan Westphal hit a 3-pointer, Jake Barker and Bennett Thompson each scored a basket and A.J. Strottman hit two free throws for Nevada.

“The fun part about this team is the effort is there all the time,” Fey said. “We’ll hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to be down 15 and the whole bench is clapping like it’s a tie game. The enthusiasm is there – we just need to make a few more baskets.”

Matt Hislop quickly scored to start the fourth quarter for South Hamilton, and Hill followed with a three-point play to put the Hawks back up 16 and Nevada never recovered.

Nevada dropped to 1-8 both overall and in the conference. The Cubs were outrebounded 43-25 and they made just 11 of 23 free throws.

Strottman led the Cubs with 12 points and he also had three rebounds and one assist. Westphal finished with nine points off the bench; Patrick Stephenson had eight points, three assists and two steals and Alex Merfeld delivered six points and three rebounds.

Hill finished with a game-high 22 points for South Hamilton. He made 8 of 14 field goals – including a pair of 3-pointers – and all four of his foul shots.

Wintermote added seven points and eight rebounds and Puls finished with six points and 12 boards.

Ullestad and Hislop provided nice complements on the perimeter for South Hamilton to help the Hawks improve to 7-2 in the HOIC and 7-3 overall. Ullestad had 11 points, five assists and two steals and Hislop finished with 10 points, seven assists and one steal.

South Hamilton 61, Nevada 45

SH 13 18 15 16 – 61

N 12 9 14 10 – 45

South Hamilton (61) – Trevor Ullestad 4-9 1-1 11, Matt Hislop 3-9 2-2 10, Trevor Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Ross Enderson 1-5 0-0 2, Collin Hill 8-14 4-4 22, Trey Woodall 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Ratzke 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Zoske 1-2 0-0 2, Zach Puls 3-7 0-1 6, Andrew Wintermote 3-6 1-2 7, Landon Quam 0-1 1-2 1, Nathaniel Maile 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan McSparin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-54 9-12 61. 3-point field goals (6): Ullestad 2, Hislop 2, Hill 2. Rebounds (43): Puls 12. Assists (15): Hislop 7. Steals (5): Ullestad 2, Enderson 2. Blocks (3): Hill 2.

Nevada (45) – Patrick Stephenson 3-6 1-3 8, Riley Huhn 0-3 0-0 0, T.J. Fey 0-4 1-2 1, Duncan Westphal 3-8 1-2 9, Zach Hansen 0-4 0-0 0, Noah Stowe 1-1 0-0 3, Alex Merfeld 2-4 2-5 6, Joe Heintz 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Barker 1-1 0-0 2, Erik Fevold 1-1 0-1 2, Bennett Thompson 1-4 0-2 2, A.J. Strottman 3-5 6-8 12, Chris Dobernecker 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Kapustka 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-42 11-23 45. 3-point field goals (4): Westphal 2, Stephenson, Stowe. Rebounds (25): Fey 6. Assists (10): Huhn 2, Fey 2, Barker 2. Steals (7): Stephenson 2, Hansen 2. Blocks: None.

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