Huron’s Calla Rounds, right, blocks the shot of Aberdeen Central’s Jamie Larson during the first half of Tuesday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN DAVIS/ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS
ABERDEEN — Aberdeen Central made Huron play ball on the Golden Eagles’ terms.
Central jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the night leaving the visiting Tigers to play catch-up basketball, something they couldn’t quite accomplish as the Golden Eagles sprinted away with a 55-42 win Tuesday night in Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ basketball at Golden Eagles Arena.
“I thought we came out and were very, very composed in that first quarter,” said Central head coach Dawn Seiler. “We got great looks, got to the basket, and from there they were just able to relax and play solid basketball. We didn’t do anything flashy, but I thought that what we did was very fundamental and effective.”
Central junior Maddie Goetz started the night with a three-pointer on the first possession of the game and from there, the Golden Eagles made effective use of the fast break to carve out a comfortable advantage, leading by double digits at every quarter break.
Seiler noted that a fast-break transition game needs both starters and finishers and the Golden Eagles got both in the form of sophomores Brianna Kusler and Ally Steckler.
“That’s what (Kusler) does. She makes good decisions with the basketball, and I think that’s why Ally got off to such a good start. We were able to get her out in transition, and then she just gained some confidence shooting the basketball,” said Seiler.
Steckler finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor, a line that included one of three first-half three-pointers for the Golden Eagles.
Goetz chipped in the other two treys, both in the first quarter.
“I think now that we’ve gotten a couple wins, we have the confidence and we’re working as a team more,” said Goetz. “We’re not anywhere close to where we’re going to be at the end, but we’ve gotten a lot better.”
Huron, which had won three straight heading into Tuesday’s match-up, recovered with five quick points to start the second quarter, cutting the Aberdeen Central lead to nine. The Golden Eagles responded with back-to-back buckets in transition by Mia Bergan and Steckler, and the Tigers would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
“I think the problem was, we didn’t get off the bus right away and we got down 10, and then we kind of got scattered and lost our composure and we panicked,” said Huron head coach Allen Steffen.
“It went that way for three quarters.”
Huron did out-score the Golden Eagles 26-20 in the second half, but could not climb out of the early hole.
“We wanted to do some trapping, but you’ve got to score to get into those kinds of full-court traps and we couldn’t do that until the fourth quarter,” said Steffen. “That’s just kind of how the game snowballed.”
The full-court pressure in the fourth quarter resulted in some late turnovers for the Golden Eagles, who finished with 17 turnovers on the night after having just seven in the first half.
“We did turn it over a little more in the end,” said Seiler. “I thought we got real sloppy because we weren’t being aggressive anymore. But we’re beginning to handle the ball, and when the ball moves, you’re going to get some open looks. You’re going to be able to catch the ball in rhythm and score.”
In addition to Steckler’s 19 points, Central got a 15-point, 12-rebound effort from Kusler and eight points apiece from Goetz and Leah Beringer.
Huron was led by 12 points and eight boards from Sara Carr, one of three sophomores in the starting line-up for the Tigers.
Aberdeen Central, now 3-6 on the season, moves on to face Sioux Falls Roosevelt in a non-conference match-up on Friday night at Golden Eagles Arena. Huron will face 8-0 Mitchell — one of two undefeated teams left in Class AA — in Mitchell on Thursday.
Huron 4 16 25 42
Aberdeen Central 18 35 42 55
HURON (4-5): Bailey Rathjen 1 0-0 2, Jacey Hupp 0 2-2 2, Jazmin Newton 1 7-9 9, Calla Rounds 2 2-4 6, Sara Carr 4 2-4 12, Kiana Larson 1 0-0 2, Taya Butterfield 2 0-0 5, Lexi Eckmann 2 0-0 4. Totals 13-47 13-17 42.
ABERDEEN CENTRAL (3-6): Maddie Goetz 3 0-0 8, Brianna Kusler 5 5-8 15, Mia Bergan 1 0-0 2, Ally Steckler 8 2-4 19, Leah Beringer 3 1-2 8, Madisyn Waage 0 1-2 1, Renee Bragg 1 0-0 2. Totals 21-41 9-16 55.
3-point field goals — Carr 2, Butterfield, Goetz 2, Steckler, Beringer. Total fouls — Huron 18; Aberdeen Central 16. Fouled out — Bergan. Rebounds — Huron 30 (Carr 8); Aberdeen Centrl 30 (Kusler 12). Assists — Huron 5; Aberdeen Central 16 (Goetz 6). Turnovers — Huron 20; Aberdeen Central 17. Steals — Huron 8; Aberdeen Central 9.For the complete article see the 01-16-2014 issue.
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