Coming off a runner-up finish at state in Class 3A last year, the Ballard boys basketball team opened its 2021-2022 season with victories over Norwalk Dec. 2 and Adel-Desoto-Minburn Friday.
The Bomber girls, ranked third in Class 3A, improved their record to 4-1 overall and by taking down the same two schools.
The Ballard boys defeated Norwalk in their opener, 79-50, at Norwalk. The girls handed the Warriors a 54-42 setback.
The boys pulled off a 56-46 victory at A-D-M. The Bomber girls defeated the Tigers by a 53-32 margin.
Here is what we learned from the two Bomber sweeps during the week:
Hermann goes off
All-state guard Ashton Hermann was something special over the first two games for the Ballard boys. The quick and athletic 6-3 guard averaged 32 points over the two games.
Hermann lit up Norwalk for a career-high 36 points. He made 13 of 25 field goals, including three 3-pointers, and all seven of his free-throw attempts and added five rebounds and three assists.
Hermann scored half of Ballard's points against A-D-M. He scored 28 on 11 of 24 shooting and also pulled down seven rebounds.
Mason Gorsh added 14 points against Norwalk and 10 versus A-D-M. Jacob Ihle pulled down 11 rebounds and came up with four points and three assists and steals apiece against A-D-M and he finished with 11 points and three assists and rebounds apiece versus Norwalk.
Colby Calvert chipped in nine points against Norwalk and six versus A-D-M.
Defense delivers for Bomber boys
The Ballard boys held Norwalk to 35.6 % and A-D-M to 29.6 % shooting from the field.
The Bombers forced Norwalk into committing 18 turnovers and A-D-M 14. Ballard only averaged 11 turnovers over the two games.
Ballard also held a slim 28-26.5 rebounding advantage over the two games combined.
Ballard girls finish strong
The difference in the two games for the Ballard girls was how well they played down the stretch.
The Bomber girls outscored Norwalk 18-10 in the fourth quarter to turn a tight game into a double-digit victory. They outclassed A-D-M over the entire second half, outscoring the Tigers 33-17 over the final 16 minutes to pull away for the victory.
Girls hit their free throws
Ballard head girls coach Kelly Anderson puts a big emphasis on making free throws. That played a big role in both victories last week.
The Bomber girls were 23 of 29 from the line over the two games (79 %).
Turnovers make a difference
A big advantage in the turnover battle played a big role in the Ballard girls winning both games by a comfortable margin.
Ballard forced 21.5 turnovers per game and only averaged 11. The Bombers forced 24 miscues by A-D-M and 19 from Norwalk.
Sharing pays off
The Ballard girls had great balance on offense in each game.
Brooke Loewe went for 15 points, 10 steals and five assists versus A-D-M. Kylie Rigby added 10 points, Lily Beall eight points, Lily Hillebrand seven points and Meg Rietz six points and rebounds apiece versus the Tigers.
Hillebrand had 14 points and three assists to lead three Bombers with double-figure scoring totals versus Norwalk. Rigby finished with 11 points and seven rebounds and Loewe 10 points and five assists.
Rietz tacked on six points and five rebounds against Norwalk. Alliyah Thompson added six points and Brooklyn Baumgardner four points and rebounds apiece off the bench and Beall netted three points and chipped in three steals versus the Warriors.
This article originally appeared on Ames Tribune: Bomber boys, girls sweep A-D-M and Norwalk in basketball