Redhawks boys offense impressive, not enough against Spartans

Starting senior guard Devin McKinley (5) successfully weaves his way to the basket during the Dec. 14 North Tama vs. Collins-Maxwell boys basketball match-up in the Redhawks Nest. McKinley's drives to the basket showcased a set of skills he's clearly carried with him from the football field to the hardwood – running routes in both arenas with ease and determination. Photos by Ruby F. Bodeker

The Redhawks boys basketball team displayed a strategic and smart offense against the Spartans in the Redhawks Nest on Tuesday, Dec. 14 but still came up short losing 77-73 to Collins-Maxwell.

“I thought we played really hard and we got it going offensively [in the second half],” North Tama Head Coach Alex Tagtow said in a text-based interview following the game. “We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole in the first half. We’ve got to be better defensively to start games.”

The Redhawks starting bench was also missing a player Tuesday night – senior forward Adam Greiner was out sick.

“We’ve had a lot of illness going through the team,” Coach Tagtow said. “That continued last night. … we’ve been short handed for, I think, our last four games.”

Despite losing one of their starting players, the Redhawks offense led by senior guards Devin McKinley and Gabe Kopriva kept the ball moving much of the night with McKinley powering his way to the basket repeatedly as if he was back running routes as a wide receiver on Dennis Field and Kopriva sinking three-pointers much like he fired off football passes into the pocket.

Thomas Hulme (24) wins the tipoff for North Tama against Collins-Maxwell’s Lane Oswalt on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Despite displaying stellar ball handling offensively, North Tama ultimately lost to the Spartans 77-73. Photos by Soren M. Peterson

Kopriva led the offense with 35 points – including seven three-pointers – and four offensive rebounds, while McKinley had 14 points and six assists.

Starting center Thomas Hulme was also part of the offensive action after winning the tipoff against the Spartans. Hulme put up 17 points for the Redhawks offense, while also leading the defense with 10 rebounds (19 overall).

Starting junior forward Michael Schrier had seven points and 11 rebounds, while starting sophomore guard Jared Dvorak had seven rebounds and three assists.

“We’ve got a lot of areas to grow, especially defensively but I like where we are offensively and we are close to putting it all together,” Coach Tagtow said. “When we do that I think we are going to be a tough team to beat.”

The Redhawks dropped their Friday game on the road against the Baxter Bolts 72-48 and are now 3-4 heading into their scheduled Tuesday, Dec. 21 game on the road against Gladbrook-Reinbeck (6-0).

Photo by Soren M. Peterson

Following winter break, North Tama will next take to the hardwood on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at home against Clarksville beginning at 7:45 p.m. The girls also play that evening at home with tipoff set for 6:30 p.m.

North Tama’s starting senior guard Gabe Kopriva (1) quickly squares up for a field goal against Collins-Maxwell on Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the Redhawks Nest. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Redhawks starting center Thomas Hulme (24) looks to pass as the Spartans defense swarms him during North Tama’s Tuesday, Dec. 14 home game against Collins-Maxwell. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

North Tama starting center Thomas Hulme is barely visible behind the Collins-Maxwell defense as he looks to shoot during the Redhawks Dec. 14 home game. Photo by Ruby f. Bodeker

The Redhawks starting five ready themselves for the tipoff against the Collins-Maxwell Spartans on Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the Redhawks Nest. Photo by Soren M. Peterson