COLO - It got a little dicey for a moment, but the Colo-NESCO boys’ basketball team managed to hold steady under pressure for a 70-61 victory over GMG Friday at Colo.
The Royals led by as many as 17 in the first half and held a 47-31 lead midway through the third quarter, following a 3-pointer from Jacob Clatt. But GMG hit five 3-pointers to close out the quarter on an amazing 19-3 run.
The Wolverines tied the score at 53-53 on a three-point play by Aaron Fleming. Clatt scored to briefly put the Royals back on top, but Justin Savadty answered with a 3-pointer to give GMG its first lead of the game.
It turned out to be the Wolverines’ only lead. Clatt and Matthew Hill scored back-to-back baskets and Philip Bower followed up a Hunter Smoldt bucket for GMG with a score to give the Royals a 61-58 lead.
GMG hung around until there were three minutes left in regulation. But Colo-NESCO ended the game on a 6-0 run to raise its record to 11-6 overall and 8-1 in the Iowa Star Conference South Division.
“We knew we had to guard the 3-point line better,” Clatt said of the strong finish. “That’s literally what we had to do because they were chucking them.”
GMG ended the game with 12 3-pointers. But Clatt and Hill were too much inside, combining for 45 points.
Hill played both in the low post and on the perimeter, even running the Royal offense for several positions, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Moving Hill to the perimeter for stretches was a luxury Colo-NESCO could afford by still having Clatt in the low post as Clatt went for 21 points, five rebounds, two assists and one block.
“I had to play wing a little bit today since we had senior night and we wanted the seniors to get some playing time,” Hill said. “I played outside and looked inside for Jake and that worked (well).”
Hill was also happy to run the offense when point guard Philip Bower got in foul trouble.
“I like going out there,” Hill said. “That way I can look to drive and dish it off.”
Sean Cutler also did a great job distributing the ball for the Royals. Cutler dished out eight assists and he also scored 10 points and pulled down four rebounds.
Bower tacked on nine points and seven assists. Bryce Niemeyer finished with four points, six rebounds and two assists and Mason Lytle two points and five rebounds.
GMG dropped to 6-9 overall and 3-6 in the ISC South Division. Fleming scored 19 points, Brayden Peterson 10, Blaze Krull nine and Smoldt and Kolton Gill eight apiece for the Wolverines.
Colo-NESCO 70, GMG 61
GMG 3 22 25 11 - 61
CN 16 21 14 19 - 70
GMG (61) - Aaron Fleming 19 points, Brayden Peterson 10, Blaze Krull 9, Hunter Smoldt 8, Kolton Gill 8, Justin Savadty 6, Adam Cox 1.
Colo-NESCO (70) - Kelly Gray 0-2 0-0 0, Philip Bower 4-7 1-2 9, Sean Cutler 2-10 4-4 10, Mason Lytle 1-1 0-0 2, Matthew Hill 10-14 4-8 24, Jacob Clatt 9-15 2-2 21, Bryce Niemeyer 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 28-52 11-18 70. 3-point field goals (3): Cutler 2, Clatt. Rebounds (30): Hill 8. Assists (24): Cutler 8. Steals (4): Gray, Lytle, Hill, Clatt. Blocks (1): Clatt. Fouls: 15.