SULLY — Colfax-Mingo boys’ basketball coach Nick Noring has aspirations of one day guiding his program to a South Iowa Cedar League championship.
He also knows that the current leader in that league is Lynnville-Sully. And knocking them off the top of the conference won’t be easy.
The Tigerhawks showed at times Tuesday that they can play with the defending conference champions, but Lynnville-Sully’s fast start was too much to overcome.
The Hawks got a double-double from senior Jesse Van Wyk, and a solid defensive performance led the home team to a 52-39 victory during SICL play.
“We struggled a little bit offensively, but that’s where as a coach you talk about playing good solid defense and rebounding the basketball. And if you do those things then even when the offense isn’t there, you can still get a win at the end of the night.”
That’s exactly what happened Tuesday.
Neither team lit up the scoreboard with efficient offense. Both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket consistently.
The Hawks came out on top because it got off to a better start.
Colfax-Mingo scored only two points in the first quarter and trailed by 16 at halftime. The Tigerhawks used an 11-0 run to get within seven in the third quarter but ran out of gas in the fourth.
“We were in a big hole and got to within seven against the top team in our conference by far,” Noring said. “That showed something to me. We have to move forward and not take two steps back after tonight. The rally showed our character though.”
Van Wyk led the Hawks with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Senior Brevin Hansen put in 14 points on four made 3-pointers. Hansen also had five steals.
Van Wyk scored seven of his 17 points in the first quarter, and Lynnville-Sully (3-1 overall, 3-0 in the SICL) led 12-2 after one quarter.
Hansen hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to help extend the Hawks’ lead to 16 at halftime.
“The guys worked hard defensively to hold them to 11 points in the first half,” Harthoorn said.
The lead grew to as big as 18 in the third quarter, but seniors Jarod Nichols and Jonathan Jacobs triggered an 11-0 run for the Tigerhawks. Nichols answered another Hansen 3-pointer with back-to-back buckets, and then Jacobs scored on consecutive possessions to trim the deficit to 10.
Senior Reegan Van Dyke then hit a 3-pointer to make it 33-26.
Harthoorn took a timeout after Jacobs’ first bucket. He wanted his team to get back to being patient on offense.
“They went to a man-to-man defense, and we didn’t move the ball real well,” Harthoorn said. “I felt like we needed to have more patience and move the ball better, and when we did that, we got better looks.”
The Hawks answered the Tigerhawks’ run with a 9-0 spurt of their own. Senior Tanner Foster hit two free throws to end the third quarter and then he followed a three-point play by Van Wyk with a bucket inside the lane and another free throw.
Foster finished with nine points and four rebounds, and that final free throw gave L-S a 42-26 lead.
The Tigerhawks got back within 11 following a three-point play by sophomore Brady Berkey and a jumper by Nichols.
Berkey played significant minutes for the first time this season but is still playing with a splint on his right hand. A right-hand shooter, Berkey is forced to shoot with his left until the splint comes off in two weeks.
Nichols tried to keep Colfax-Mingo (1-2, 1-2) close, but L-S pulled away with some late free throws. The Hawks pulled the ball out and forced the Tigerhawks to guard them well beyond the 3-point line.
Harthoorn wanted to potentially open some driving lanes.
“We just needed to be patient. Them coming out to guard can open up some driving lanes, and it helped us get some high percentage shots,” Harthoorn said. “We feel confident, too, that we can have five guys on the floor who can make free throws if it gets to that.”
It got to that. The Hawks hit six free throws in the final three minutes and won by 13.
Nichols recorded his third straight double-double, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jacobs added eight points, six assists and four rebounds and senior Alex Lewis made 7-of-8 from the free-throw line and scored seven points.
Senior Reegan Van Dyke grabbed eight rebounds, but the Tigerhawks made only 13-of-46 from the floor. Eleven of their 16 turnovers came in the first half.
We are playing too fast. Our motto is to play quick not fast. We need to be able to pull the trigger on a dime and not be going 100 miles per hour all the time,” Noring said. “We need to have more confidence with our shots. We aren’t shooting the ball with our feet set. We are fading or going forward.”
L-S junior Rylan James also scored nine points. and junior Tyson Vander Linden added five assists and three rebounds.
Colfax-Mingo 2-9-15-13 — 39
Lynnville-Sully 12-15-9-16 — 52
Colfax-Mingo (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Brady Berkey 2-1-4-5, Misha Seebeck 0-0-2-0, Reegan Van Dyke 1/1-0-4-3, Jonathan Jacobs 4-0-4-8, Holister Koenig 0-0-1-0, Alex Lewis 0-7-0-7, Jarod Nichols 6-5-4-17. Totals 13/1-12-19-39.
Lynnville-Sully (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Brevin Hansen 4/4-2-1-14, Jesse Van Wyk 6/1-4-2-17, Drake Ehresman 0-1-3-1. Tanner Foster 2/1-4-4-9, Rylan James 4-1-2-9, Corey McCoy 0-1-3-1. Totals 16/6-14-16-52.