Roland-Story at South Hamilton: Takeaways
On Friday, Roland-Story paid South Hamilton a visit and topped the Hawks 57-35. It was a 5-point game in the third quarter, but the Norse pulled away for what eventually became an easy win. After Tuesday’s results, Roland-Story is now…
On Friday, Roland-Story paid South Hamilton a visit and topped the Hawks 57-35. It was a 5-point game in the third quarter, but the Norse pulled away for what eventually became an easy win.
After Tuesday’s results, Roland-Story is now 10-4 and ranked No. 11 in 3A, while South Hamilton is now 3-11. Here’s what stood out:
This girl is gonna be good
It takes about two possessions of watching Roland-Story freshman Reagan Barkema to realize that her ceiling is high. Very high. The 5-foot-11 9th grader moved well and was smooth with the ball and in her decision-making. Through the first three quarters, she had the looks of a very capable player, but only had 2 points. Then, in the fourth she scored 9 points — mostly on elbow jumpers — to put the Hawks away.
“I’ve been working on it in practice,” she said of her mid-range jumper.
Then, on Tuesday night, she scored a career-high 19 points in a win at PCM. Barkema and Gilbert’s Ava Hawthorne are two freshmen in the Story County area who are making a big splash in their freshman years. Hawthorne already has a scholarship offer from UNI and it wouldn’t be shocking for Barkema to earn a scholarship in the not-so-distant future.
“She has a very, very big skillset,” Roland-Story coach Justin Morton said of Barkema. “She’s extremely skilled. Great shooter, in practice she’s usually shooting around 70 percent from 3-point range.”
A big night for Kylie
Roland-Story junior Kylie Tjernagel came off the bench to lead Roland-Story in scoring with 18 points. A 5-foot-5 guard, Tjernagel entered the game averaging 4.6 points and shooting just 3-of-23 from 3-point range on the season. But she doubled her season total by knocking down three longballs and also scored at the rim to spearhead the Norse.
“She’s so fast. Sometimes she plays too fast and struggles. We always tell her, ‘Kylie, your slow is everybody else’s fast,’ so to slow down and play,” Morton said.
Tjernagel grabbed 7 rebounds, but it was her offense that particularly stood out. Her 18 points were a career-high.
“I’ve been really working on finishing at the rim more, and I actually finished today. And I actually shot with confidence. Normally, I don’t,” she said.
The Norse are rare in that they are a good team with no double-digit scorer. Tjernagel led them on Friday and Barkema led them on Tuesday, but it was Susie Weaver in the previous game and Juliann Clark a couple games prior to that.
“We don’t depend on just one person,” as Tjernagel said.
Morton loves the 3-point shot and encourages his team to take plenty of them, which has made Weaver extra valuable. The senior is leading the team in 3-pointers and percentage (22-of-58 for 38 percent) and knocked down a couple triples against South Hamilton. She also displayed deft ball-handling skill.
It wasn’t Clark’s shooting night when I saw the Norse play on Friday. She made only 1-of-8 shots — with the one make being a layup on a nifty pass from Barkema — but she contributed 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
South Hamilton’s do-it-all forward
South Hamilton was plagued by turnovers on Friday, but in the half-court offense, they got some good looks which kept them in the game for the first two-and-a-half quarters. Breanne Diersen was effective in the middle of the zone, contributing a team-high 11 points.
Sydney Friest, a fellow senior, also shined for the Hawks. She finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds and could have scored more had she been a bit more selfish (only 6 field goal attempts).
Multi-skilled with good size, Friest can do a bit of everything on the court, including rebound and pass. She leads the Hawks in scoring, rebounds, assists and blocks.