COLFAX — The Colfax-Mingo boys’ basketball team hasn’t lost a game since Dec. 5. And putting the ball into the basket at a better percentage than the first three games is ultimately the reason.
The Tigerhawks got another double-double from senior Jarod Nichols. Three other Tigerhawks joined him in double-figure scoring for the game during a 76-45 home win over Sigourney on Thursday in South Iowa Cedar League action.
Colfax-Mingo has won six straight games. The Tigerhawks are giving up 39 points per game this season.
And the offense is starting to catch up during the six-game win streak.
“We are in the flow,” C-M boys’ coach Nick Noring said. “We set the tone defensively and then offensively we are getting into rhythm. We are getting a lot of transition buckets, too.”
The Tigerhawks are averaging 56.3 points per game through the first nine games. That number has risen to 64 points per game in the last six wins.
And with their best player fully healthy through most of those games, it’s only natural to think the Tigerhawks will keep it going after the break.
“Being healthy and just being able to play with this team has been amazing,” said Nichols, who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. “We have great team chemistry, and that is making this fun.”
Nichols scored the first four points of the game inside the lane and then sophomore Brady Berkey made it 9-0 with a putback and a 3-pointer.
Senior Alex Lewis then got a layup following a steal to put the Tigerhawks up 11-0 and the rout was on.
Lewis finished with 17 points and five steals.
The Tigerhawks led 20-6 after one quarter. Senior Reegan Van Dyke took an alley oop from Berkey and threw it down with two hands just before the buzzer. Van Dyke finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards.
Nichols and Van Dyke entered the game 1-2 in rebounding in the SICL at 12.5 and 10.8 per game, respectively. They combined for 20 more against the Savages (3-6 overall, 3-5 in the SICL).
“Reegan and I go at each other in practice. It’s a battle,” Nichols said. “We push each other around but it’s all in fun. It makes us better. To be first and second in rebounding in the conference in back-to-back years is something to be proud of. I think we are one of the best rebounding duos in the state.”
The Tigerhawks didn’t let up in the second quarter. Van Dyke and Nichols started the period with buckets that they got fouled on. Then junior Holister Koenig buried a pair of jumpers.
Nichols added four free throws and another 3-point play opportunity. He scored eight of his 20 points in the second quarter and 14 of his 20 in the first half, guiding the Tigerhawks to a 44-15 lead at halftime.
Ninety-nine percent of the teams we play, play zone against us,” Noring said. “We struggled to make shots early in the year but are starting to get into a rhythm. And we are confident in the shots we are taking. We are pretty good inside and pretty good outside right now.”
The starters only played together through the first three quarters. Nichols and Lewis buried back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third to trigger the 35-point continuous clock. Lewis’ trey put C-M (7-2, 6-2) up 57-20.
Lewis added back-to-back buckets later in the quarter, and the Tigerhawks led 68-27 after three. Lewis scored 12 of his 17 in the second half and nine came in the third.
Senior Jonathan Jacobs also had a big third quarter, scoring eight of his 16 points in that frame. He also had seven assists and four steals in the win.
Noring left Nichols in the game to start the fourth. That gave him an opportunity to play with his younger brother Jacob. Nichols went over to his freshman brother and whispered something in his ear right away.
“I just told him to play defense and don’t make any freshman mistakes. I wanted him to stay calm and get the rebounds,” Jarod Nichols said. “I have never been on the same team with him before so it’s been cool. To be able to mess with him a little bit has been fun.”
The last time Colfax-Mingo dealt with a loss was against Class 1A No. 9 Lynnville-Sully a little more than two weeks ago.
The current win streak has pushed the Tigerhawks into third place in the SICL West Division at 6-2. They trail 8-0 Lynnville-Suilly and 7-1 Montezuma.
“We made a goal after losing to Lynnville-Sully that we wanted to be 7-2 at the break,” Jarod Nichols said. “That gives us a better chance at the conference title and helps us with our postseason seeding, too.”
The Tigerhawks still have stuff to work on as they head into the holiday break. Noring wants to tune up the fundamentals.
“We’ll have some good practices and we’re going to a scrimmage at Saydel, too,” Noring said. “We’ll have a lot of opportunities to get better. We just want to keep this ride going.”
Berkey and junior Holister Koenig each scored six points. Koenig also grabbed three boards off the bench. The Tigerhawks hit five 3-pointers in the game and finished with 16 steals.
Sigourney 6-9-7-18 — 45
Colfax-Mingo 20-22-26-8 — 76
Sigourney (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Brett Striegel 0-2-2-2, Spencer Magill 5/1-2-3-13, Brady Powers 5/1-1-2-12, Dawson Baumert 1-0-3-2, Kyler Weber 2/1-0-1-5, Nick Groad 0-0-1-0, Ben House 0-0-2-0, Cole Weber 5/1-0-4-11. Totals 18/4-5-18-45.
Colfax-Mingo (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Brady Berkey 2/1-1-3-6, Reegan Van Dyke 5-0-2-10, Jonathan Jacobs 5/1-5-0-16, Alex Lewis 7/2-1-1-17, Jarod Nichols 8/1-5-2-20, Misha Seebeck 0-1-0-1, Holister Koenig 3-0-1-6, Jake Nichols 0-0-1-0, Zach Yoakum 0-0-1-0. Totals 29/5-13-11-76.