COLFAX — The Colfax-Mingo boys’ basketball team started its season 3-0 after winning just one game all of last season.
But first-year head coach Michael Hunsberger knew he’d learn a lot about his team this week as the Tigerhawks start a gauntlet of games against the South Iowa Cedar League’s best teams.
That stretch began Tuesday night against perhaps the best team in the league and state-ranked Lynnville-Sully used a huge run midway through the first quarter to grab momentum and never looked back during a 59-19 road victory.
“One of the biggest things we are working on is getting this team to respond to a challenge,” Hunsberger said. “We have to take our whooping, learn from it and move on. We play the other two best teams in the conference next so we’ll learn a lot about ourselves. But it’s a long season. And it’s a process.”
The Tigerhawks hung around early as the two teams traded buckets.
Brandon Kite scored the first basket of the game to put C-M in front, but the Hawks countered with six straight inside the lane from Klayton Van Dyke and Dawson James.
Harrison Rhone canned a 3-pointer and Elias Hostetter answered another bucket inside by Van Dyke with a baseline jumper that made it a one-point game.
But the Hawks used a 25-0 run to go in front for good. Leading 8-7, L-S scored 29 of the final 31 points of the half to take a 37-9 lead at halftime.
Five different Hawks scored in the first and four contributed points in the second. But it was a three-quarter court pressure defense that ignited the visitors.
“We went to our three-quarter court press and for whatever reason that kind of changed the momentum of the game,” L-S head boys’ basketball coach Nick Harthoorn said. “We were able to turn up the intensity defensively and that kind of got us going on both ends of the floor.”
The Hawks outscored Colfax-Mingo 16-2 in the second and 13-2 in the third. Van Dyke scored 15 points in the game and seven of those came in the third.
The Tigerhawks had their best frame in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to keep the team unbeaten.
“We have to believe and not put our heads down and assume it’s the same as last year,” Hunsberger said. “They have conditioned themselves to be ‘here we go again’ but they are learning that it’s not who we are anymore. We have to pick ourselves up and move forward.”
Lynnville-Sully scored more than half of its total points (32) inside the lane. Outside of five free throws, the Hawks scored the rest from beyond the 3-point line.
“We have some strong guys inside so we want to get the ball to them,” Harthoorn said. “But if we do shoot a 3 we want it to be a quality 3 and then hopefully our bigs can get in position to get an offensive rebound if we don’t make it.”
The win for the Hawks was their seventh straight over Colfax-Mingo. L-S is 15-2 against the Tigerhawks since 2015.
Van Dyke led the Hawks with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Mitchell Miller added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.
James chipped in nine points and six rebounds, Lucas Sieck had six points, two rebounds and four steals and Hendrick Lowry tallied six points, three rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Corder Noun Harder collected four points, five assists and two rebounds, Carson Maston grabbed eight boards and Jack Bowlin contributed three rebounds and three assists.
The Hawks (4-0, 3-0 in the SICL) made half of their shots from the field, connected on 6-of-16 from 3 and hit 5-of-9 from the free-throw line.
“I think we’re a team that’s going to get better every week,” Hunsberger said. “There’s been years of bad habits that we’re trying to correct in the three weeks we’ve had. They’ve come so far, but we still have a long way to go.”
Lynnville-Sully 57, HLV 29
SULLY — An off night still resulted in a 28-point win for Lynnville-Sully on Dec. 1.
The Hawks shot just 35 percent from the floor and made only three 3-pointers against HLV but routed the Warriors 57-29 in part because they turned the ball over just 12 times and grabbed 47 rebounds.
“We weren’t as sharp as we would like to be, but we were able force some turnovers and get on the offensive boards to create a few more opportunities for ourselves,” Harthoorn said. “I liked the way our guys stepped up to the free-throw line and knocked them down tonight.”
The Hawks pulled down 21 offensive rebounds and made 16-of-22 from the foul line in the SICL win.
The hosts led the Warriors 22-8 after one and outscored HLV 11-5 in the second and 18-8 in the third. The visitors won the fourth 8-6.
The Hawks, who were just 3-of-16 from 3 in the win, have won seven straight in the series and 26 of the past 27. They are 28-3 against HLV (1-3, 0-3) since 2008.
James led the Hawks with 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Van Dyke added 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals and five blocks and Noun Harder chipped in eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
Keegan DeWitt finished with seven points and four rebounds, Maston registered four points and seven boards and Miller tallied three points and four rebounds.
Lowry scored six points and swiped two steals and Sieck corralled three boards.
Lynnville-Sully 64, East Marshall 47
LE GRAND — A balanced offensive attack and a strong start led the Hawks to a non-conference road win over East Marshall on Saturday.
Lynnville-Sully led 21-10 after one and outscored the Mustangs 16-7 in the second before cruising to a 64-47 victory.
Van Dyke led the Hawks with 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and three blocks, while Miller added a team-best 14 points and two boards.
“We did a lot of nice things tonight,” Harthoorn said. “We did a good job of moving the basketball against the zone. A bunch of guys chipped in for us offensively. I liked the way our guys competed and executed on the defensive end of the floor.”
Lowry posted a career-best 10 points and dished out two assists, Maston had eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Noun Harder tallied five points, four rebounds and eight assists.
James registered nine points, four boards and two steals, Sieck collected three points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals and DeWitt had three points, six rebounds and two steals before leaving the game with an injury.
The Hawks, who claimed their third straight win over East Marshall, shot 45.6 percent from the floor, made 5-of-19 from 3 and connected on 7-of-18 from the foul line. L-S turned the ball over 13 times and out-rebounded the Mustangs 42-29.
Jackson Bidwell led East Marshall (0-3) with 15 points, while Landen Neuroth added nine points and six rebounds.
The Mustangs struggled from the floor and turned the ball over 21 times. They shot 34 percent from the floor, missed 18 of their 23 attempts from long range and sank only 4-of-11 from the foul line.