Huron boys hold on for win on home court


PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Above: Huron’s Dawsyn Rogers puts up a shot in the paint as Bennett Kortan of Spearfish defends during their game Friday at Huron Arena. Below: Huron’s Reilyn Zavesky handles the ball against defensive pressure by Antonio Serrano of Spearfish during their game Friday at Huron Arena.

HURON — The Huron Tigers only managed one field goal in the fourth quarter, but posted a sparkling 17 of 20 performance from the free throw line to hold off a determined Spearfish Spartan squad 63-58 Friday night in non-conference boys’ basketball at Huron Arena.

The Tigers improve to 5-8 on the season, while Spearfish falls to 4-7

“It’s good that we were able to hit our free throws down the stretch,” said Tiger coach Tim Buddenhagen. “The guys have been shooting them well, so it wasn’t a surprise. We played well on defense tonight, we were intense and engaged tonight.”

The first half was played pretty tight, as neither team could get a lead to stand up. The teams traded two and threes to open the game at 5-5, then Reilyn Zavesky scored on two straight possessions for the Tigers, the final bucket from distance and Huron held a 10-5 lead.

Spearfish got a basket from Smith Funke, a putback from Seth Hamilton and a three from Dylen Doren to take a 13-10 lead. Mason Davis drained his second three of the quarter for Huron to tie it up and a pair of CJ Gainey charity tosses gave Huron a 15-13 lead after one period of play.

During the quarter break, Buddenhagen got his team’s defense extended to the entire court and cranked up the intensity. And while the press didn’t force turnovers, it did place the Tigers in the defensive mindset and it forced Spearfish deep into the shot clock. The Spartans utilized a full-court press as well, which the Tigers handled with little trouble.

Colton McNeil got a bucket and Zavesky netted two free throws to retake the lead. After a Doran field goal - the sophomore guard would score an even dozen in the first half - Dylan Lichty drained a three pointer for the largest Tiger lead of the half, at 22-15.

From that point, however, the Spartans ran nine points while Huron managed a lone field goal from Zavesky and the teams went to the halftime break knotted at 24-all.

“I thought we did many things well in the first half, but we had too many turnovers,” Buddenhagen said. “We got into a rush and didn’t show patience when we needed it.”

Possibly the most telling stat of the first half, other than Doren’s ability to score in a variety of manners, was that both Zavesky and Dawsyn Rogers each collected two fouls and sat for the final minute of the half.

Huron got off to a good start in the third period, as Zavesky found a cutting Lichty for a layup, which was countered by Antonio Serrano, before Lichty and then Zavesky connected from behind the arc on consecutive possessions. Back-to-back baskets from the Spartans, however, cut the margin to a single point, at 32-31.

That is how the rest of the third quarter would play out; Huron would forge a lead and appear poised to break away, only to see Spearfish claw it way back.

A Gainey three pointer with a minute to play put the Tigers up by five, at 43-30, but Serrano beat the buzzer and Huron held a tenuous 43-40 lead headed to the final period.

Rogers hit the first two of Huron’s 17 fourth-quarter free throws one minute into the period, but baskets from Hamilton and Carter Lyon hit baskewts and cut the lead back to a single point and after Gavin Moeding hit one of two, a Serrano bucket tied the game at 46-46.

Zavesky hit two charity tosses at the 5:14 mark, but a three pointer from Smith Funke gave the Spartans their final lead, 49-48 with just under five minutes to play. Davis drained a three, Huron’s lone field goal that put Huron on top 51-49, and while they were never able to dispose of the Spartans, the Tigers sealed the win at the line, as Zavesky was seven of eight and both Gainey and Moeding were two for two.

The Tiger performance at the line allowed them to take the win, although the Spartans ended with seven more field goals in the game - three pointers were the same - but Spearfish only shot five free throws in the game, making three of them.

Zavesky led all scorers with 26 points and claimed six rebounds for the Tigers, while Lichty ended with 11 points in the contest. In total eight Huron players scored, earning notice from Buddenhagen.

“When Reilyn is scoring like he has been, he draws two or maybe three players,” Buddenhagen noted, “so if he is able to get a pass outside, those guys need to hit the shots and they did that tonight. Mason needs to keep hitting open shots, Dylan had a three and so did CJ. When those shots start going down, the loosens up the inside and the double teams go away.”

Doren netted 15 points and had six rebounds to lead the Spartans, while Funke scored 12 points - all three pointers - and Hamilton scored 11 points including all of the Spearfish free throws in the contest.

Huron will be back in action this afternoon, as the Sturgis Scoopers invade Huron Arena for a 1:30 p.m. tip. The Scoopers dropped a 57-31 decision to Mitchell Friday night.

Spearfish     13 24 40 58
Huron     15 24 43 63

Spearfish (4-7): Dylan Doren 6 0-0 15; Carter Lyon 3 0-0 7; Seth Hamilton 4 3-5 11; Antonio Serrano 4 0-0 8; Smith Funke 4 0-0 12; Bennett Kortan 1 0-0 2; Tayte Schatz 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 3-5 58.

Huron (5-8): Dylan Lichty 4 1-2 11; Mason Davis 3 0-0 9; CJ Gainey 1 4-4 7; Reilyn Zavesky 6 12-14 26; Dawsyn Rogers 0 2-2 2; Gavin Moeding 0 3-4 3; Colton McNeil 1 0-0 2; Anderson Porisch 1 0-0 3. Totals: 16 22-26 63.

FG: S - 23-51 45%; H - 16-40 40%. 3-pt FG: S - 9-20 (Funke 4, Doren 3, Lyon, Schatz); H - 9-22 (Davis 3, Lichty 2, Zavesky 2, Gainey and Porisch). Rebounds: S - 27 (Doren 6); H - 24 (Zavesky 6). Fouls: S - 17; H - 11.