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Jasper County Tribune

Third-quarter surge sends C-M boys past Tri-County

COLFAX — It took a while for Colfax-Mingo junior Brady Berkey to get going on Jan. 11.

But his own personal 9-0 run helped the Tigerhawks pull away from Tri-County in the third quarter during a 57-43 home win in South Iowa Cedar League action.

Berkey did not score in the first quarter, was held to five points at halftime but finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, eight steals and five assists in the win.

“I get points when they come to me. Whenever the defense allows me to shoot it and try to score it, that’s what I usually do,” Berkey said. “That happened to be after the first quarter and after the first half tonight.”

With the Tigerhawks clinging to a 34-33 lead, Berkey hit a pair of free throws, converted two putbacks and then drained a 3-pointer to put the home team up 10.

Colfax-Mingo (3-10 overall, 3-7 in conference play) ended the third quarter on a 14-0 run after a three-point play by senior Zarek Hill and a layup by sophomore Jordan Lundin.

Hill finished with 14 points and five rebounds in the win for the Tigerhawks, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

“His energy is always there defensively. He just needs to continue to be confident in his shot,” C-M boys coach Mark Rague said of Hill. “Just being in space helps him offensively.”

Rague and the C-M coaching staff had to weave their way through foul trouble most of the night. The Tigerhawks were called for nine first-half fouls to only two for Tri-County.

Berkey and sophomores David Rague and Jake Nichols all had two fouls early in the second quarter. Nichols picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth and Hill eventually fouled out with 3:01 to play after being whistled for a foul and a technical foul on the same play.

“I would love to just let it go and have them manage things on their own. But our kids need a chance to de-escalate a little bit,” Coach Rague said. “So it’s best for this group of guys for me to sit them down a few minutes to decompress. That’s a learning process for all of us.”

The Tigerhawks led 10-2 early in the game but a 12-0 run to end the quarter put Tri-County up 14-10 after eight minutes.

The game was then tied at 14, 17 and 19 in the second quarter. Hill banked in a 3-pointer to put C-M up 22-21, Berkey made it 24-21 with a layup and another 3-pointer by Hill made it 29-24. The Tigerhawks led 29-25 at halftime.

Nichols opened the third quarter with a jumper and a 3-pointer that banked in from the top of the key. That stretched the lead to six, but Tri-County answered with five in a row.

That’s when C-M broke the game open with the final 14 points of the quarter and a 16-0 run in all.

“Just before that run, we talked about maybe calling a timeout there but didn’t,” Coach Rague said. “We were able to get out and run a little bit and that’s when we are at our best.”

The closest the Trojans (0-12, 0-11) got in the fourth was 50-41, but Berkey made four straight free throws and connected on a three-point play to finish off the win.

Berkey was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in the game. He scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half.

“It feels good to get on the right track. Hopefully this can help us get going in the right direction,” Berkey said.

While not every game has resulted in a win, Coach Rague likes how his team has played the last four games. One of those games was a win, another ended in a two-point loss and a third was competitive most of the way.

“I feel like three out of our last four games, we have competed well and shown growth,” Coach Rague said.

Nichols hit two 3-pointers and scored eight points while grabbing nine rebounds. Freshman Cole Bracewell scored five points, Lundin chipped in four points and five steals and David Rague added three points and five rebounds.

Colfax-Mingo hosted HLV on Jan. 15. The Tigerhawks play English Valleys at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 in North English and play Class 1A No. 3 and undefeated Montezuma at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 in Montezuma.

Belle Plaine 76, Colfax-Mingo 48

BELLE PLAINE — The Tigerhawks hung tough in two of the four quarters against Belle Plaine on Jan. 8. Unfortunately, the other two periods weren’t close.

Belle Plaine outscored the Tigerhawks 20-11 in the second and 22-8 in the fourth during a 76-48 home win. Colfax-Mingo was only outscored by five in the other two quarters.

Berkey had a tough shooting night from the floor but was 9-of-10 from the free-throw line and scored 16 points. Sophomore Zach Steenhoek added 11 points and Lundin scored 10 in the loss.

Berkey also dished out six assists and swiped three steals, sophomore Jake Nichols grabbed eight rebounds and Hill finished with eight points, four assists and three rebounds.

Steenhoek collected two boards, two assists and two steals and Lundin chipped in three rebounds. Junior Wyatt Gull also had three boards.

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