Posted On: 01/19/17 9:31 PM
South Hamilton 67, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 61
South Hamilton beat Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a good non-conference contest on Tuesday night in Reinbeck, 67-61. After falling behind 16-13 after the first quarter, the Hawks were pretty much in control the rest of the way, keeping the Rebels at a safe distance for much of the last 24 minutes of the game.
South Hamilton (10-1) was led by Collin Hill, who led three in double figures with 19 points. Younger brother Conner Hill had 13 and Cole Berg added 12 off the bench. Gladbrook-Reinbeck (8-2) was led by Joe Smoldt with 24 and Caden Kickbush, who had 15. Smoldt was held six below his season average and held to just 7-19 from the floor in the loss.
South Hamilton: Collin Hill 19, Conner Hill 13, Cole Berg 12, Logan Klemp 9, Marco Balderas 8, Logan Peters 4, Cade Balvanz 2
Gladbrook-Reinbeck: Joe Smoldt 24, Caden Kickbush 15, Matt Roeding 9, Tyler Pierce 5, Walker Thede 2, Thomas Mussig 2, Mason Skovgard 2, Jackson Kiburis 2
MVP: Conner Hill (South Hamilton)
You could make a valid argument for either Hill brother for MVP in this game, but we’ll give the nod to the younger Conner, who played some phenomenal defense on Joe Smoldt throughout the game, “holding” Smoldt to 24 points on 7-19 shooting. Smoldt had come in averaging 30+ on 55.6% shooting, so limiting him to 7-19 was a big accomplishment. Hill also added 13 points, knocking down three 3s as well as all four of his free throw attempts to help seal the game in the final minutes.
Best offensive performance: Collin Hill (South Hamilton)
The older Hill had a great second half for South Hamilton, scoring 13 of his team-high 19 points in the final 16 minutes. At 6-6, he’s able to get his shot whenever, and when Gladbrook-Reinbeck finally came out of their zone defense and went man-to-man, the Hawks’ offense turned largely into Hill isolations, where he scored frequently with a dynamite mid-range game. He also showed the ability to facilitate for others with his penetration. The Truman State commit has a bit of an odd looking hitch in his jumper, but his ability to shoot from the mid-range is unquestioned.
Best defensive performance: Conner Hill (South Hamilton)
As mentioned in the MVP portion, Conner Hill was the key defender on Smoldt throughout the game, faceguarding him from end-to-end and forcing Smoldt into some difficult shots. He was in his jersey all night, and limiting Smoldt’s production was the reason the Hawks were victorious.
Best underclassman: Conner Hill (South Hamilton)
He was second on his team in scoring and played great defensively against one of the state’s best scorers. Despite his small stature, he proved he’s capable of defending talented opposition, and he’s a pretty good shooter from the arc.
Best shooter: Joe Smoldt (Gladbrook-Reinbeck)
Although his numbers don’t necessarily reflect it (7-19 shooting), Smoldt’s jumper is a thing of beauty, and he routinely knocks down tough shots. He’s got the ability to create his own space with his dribble, is a great shooter off the bounce and has extended range. He had a number of shots rim out, and the 7-19 could’ve easily become a 12 or 13-19 type night with a few more bounces going his way.
Best player off the bench: Cole Berg (South Hamilton)
The 6-0 wing came off the bench to provide a spark for the Hawks with his relentless attacking of the rim. He shot 4-5 from the floor en route to his 12 points, and he scored almost exclusively off of dribble penetration. He also knocked down some free throws late in the game to help ice it.
Best rebounder: Collin Hill (South Hamilton)
The 6-6 wing pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. He’s got the strength to outmuscle other players in the paint, and the size and athleticism to outreach them, especially at the 2A level. He’s got a nose for the ball and is an effective rebounder both in and out of his area.
Best passer: Marco Balderas (South Hamilton)
Balderas dished out eight assists in the win for the Hawks, showing off impressive court vision. He does a nice job keeping his hand up and active during his own dribble penetration, finding open teammates for easy layups.
Best intangibles: Marco Balderas (South Hamilton)
The 5-7 point guard stuffs the stat sheet night-in, night-out, and this game was no different – eight points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals. He’s got great defensive instincts and fast hands, has a really nice floater game and he’s fearless competing on the glass against players half-a-foot or a foot taller than him. He does a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor for South Hamilton.
Story to watch moving forward: Can Caden Kickbush and the rest of Gladbrook-Reinbeck provide enough support for Joe Smoldt?
Smoldt is a phenomenal player, and he can certainly carry the Rebels to the state tournament and possibly even to a win there like he did last season. However, he’ll need to get some help if the Rebels are going to win their second title in three years. Caden Kickbush was really good in the first quarter, scoring 10 points for G-R before getting injured. He made his way back and finished with 15, but as the season progresses, the teams will get better and have better ways to defend Smoldt, so the role players will need to come to play every night.