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No. 1 Aberdeen Central gets past feisty Tigers

Posted: Friday, Feb 1st, 2013

Huron’s Kaitlyn Allerdings, left, and Aberdeen Central’s Samantha Knecht, center, go after a rebound as Huron’s Brittany Steffen, right, looks on during the first half of Tuesday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. A jump ball was ruled on the play. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN DAVIS/ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS

ABERDEEN — The shorter Huron team forced the taller Aberdeen Central to find its focus in the second half.

 Aberdeen (14-0, 10-0 ESD) led from start to finish on the way to a 65-49 win over Huron (2-12, 2-8 ESD) on Tuesday in a high school girls’ basketball game at Golden Eagles Arena. The Tigers stayed within striking distance in the Eastern South Dakota Conference game.

 The Golden Eagles, ranked number one in this week’s State AA poll, led 15-6 at the end of the first quarter.

 “We want to play to our size against a team like Huron. I didn’t think we did a very good job doing that,” said Aberdeen girls’ coach Dawn Seiler. “We had some opportunities where I thought we could deliver the ball a little bit better to our bigs. I was a little frustrated with our passing.”

 The Tigers forced the issue with a seven-point run to open the second quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Brittany Steffen and Bailey Rathjen were followed by a free throw by Kaitlyn Allerdings to close the deficit to 17-13.

 The Golden Eagles outscored the Tigers 12-5 to build the lead back to 29-19. An offensive rebound and field goal by Maddy Goetz and a basket by Sara Niederbaumer to close out the second quarter gave Aberdeen a 35-24 halftime lead.

 “Give Huron some credit. They knocked down some shots. They are one of those teams that are never really out of it because they have so many good shooters,” said Seiler.

 The third quarter belonged to Central as the home team outscored Huron 15-8 to compile an 18 lead at 50-32 heading into the final quarter.

 “We had some turnovers trying to get the ball inside,” said Seiler. “We got to the foul line a ton (34 attempts) but didn’t convert at the foul line (18 made) so the kids were frustrated. I didn’t think we played with very much focus tonight (Tuesday). Some of the fundamental things that we need to get done on a consistent basis, I didn’t think we got done. We weren’t very good fundamentally.”

 Huron outscored Central 17-15 in the final quarter as both teams used their bench players.

 Rathjen led Huron with 17 points and Kaitlyn Allerdings grabbed up eight rebounds. Aberdeen outrebounded Huron 43-28.

 Huron’s outside shooters concerned Aberdeen.

 “We wanted to close out really well on their outside shooters,” said Brianna Kusler who scored five points to go along with seven rebounds off the bench. “We wanted to execute our stuff the way we wanted to and not worry about them as much. The pace was fast and then slow motion. We didn’t really get into a rhythm. Then, we got it in the second half.”

 Central leaders were Brynn Flakus with 17 points, and Samantha Knecht with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Sara Niederbaumer added 10 points and nine rebounds.

 Aberdeen Central will remain at home and host Yankton in an ESD game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Golden Eagles Arena. The game time has changed from the original schedule. Huron will host a non-conference game against Spearfish on Friday.

For the complete article see the 01-31-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-31-2013 paper.

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