Huron’s Will Carr brings the ball up the floor against pressure by Watertown’s Tanner Heiser during their game Tuesday at Huron Arena. In the next photo, Huron’s James White applies full-court pressure during a game against Watertown on Tuesday at Huron Arena. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — The Huron Tigers closed the regular season with a 56-53 victory against the Watertown Arrows on Tuesday at Huron Arena.
The victory helped the No. 5-ranked Tigers avenge an earlier loss and gave them a 14-6 through the regular season with a 9-5 mark in the Eastern South Dakota Conference.
Huron emerged from the opening quarter with a 16-11 lead, but the Arrows, who also received votes in the latest Class AA rankings, poised a comeback during the second stanza.
The two teams were knotted at 26-26 at the half.
The Tigers scored the first five points of the second half to move back in front, but Watertown rode the hot hand of Tanner Heiser to work its way back in it. Both teams sat on 42 points heading into the final quarter.
Watertown established control in the final quarter, but Huron stayed within striking distance.
Justin Decker converted on a pair of free throws to pull the Tigers even at 49-49 with under two minutes to play.
The Arrows used a field goal to regain the advantage, but it would be the final time they would lead in the contest.
Decker answered with 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 52-51 with 1:12 remaining in the game.
“That was a huge shot,” Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen said of Decker’s long-range jumper.
Decker rose to the occasion again on the next possession for the Tigers, converting on a conventional 3-point play to stretch the lead to 55-51.
The Arrows pulled back to within two points, but that would be as close as they would get, as JP Noonan pushed the lead back to three at 56-53 with just 12.3 left on the clock.
Decker, who had nine points in the opening half, finished with 30 points to lead Huron. Lucas Morrison and JP Noonan added eight and seven points, respectively. Adam Zwanziger had a team-high nine rebounds.
Heiser led all scorers with 36 points for Watertown, which ended the regular season at 10-10 overall and 7-7 in the ESD.
“Our kids played hard all night,” Buddenhagen said. “The intensity and enthusiasm was there.”
The Tigers will open the postseason on Tuesday in the District 3AA Tournament at Huron Arena. The most likely opponent is the Mitchell Kernels.
Watertown 11 26 42 53
Huron 16 26 42 56
Watertown: Tanner Heiser 9 13-14 36; Trevor Jutting 1 0-1 2; Jesse Poppen 0 1-2 2; Brody Ries 3 0-0 8; Harrison Jones 0 2-2 2; Nate Davis 0 4-4 4. Totals: 13 20-23 53.
Huron: JP Noonan 2 1-2 7; Will Carr 0 2-2 2; Lucas Morrison 3 2-3 8; Adam Zwanziger 1 0-0 2; Justin Decker 11 7-9 30; Caleb Carr 0 2-6 2; Hayden Busch 2 0-0 5. Totals: 19 14-22 56.
Rebounds: W 25 (Heiser 10); H 37 (Zwanziger 9). 3-point goals: W 7 (Heiser 5, Ries 2); H 4 (Noonan 2, Decker 1, Busch 1). Turnovers: W 17; H 17. Assists: W 6 (Jones 3); H 6 (Morrison 2, Zwanziger 2). Steals: W 7 (Heiser 4); H 9 (W. Carr 3; Zwanziger 3). Fouls: W 18; H 18. For the complete article see the 02-20-2013 issue.
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