Aberdeen Central claims victory against Tigers

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HURON — The Huron Tigers had no answer to a tall, very physical Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles team Thursday night, dropping a 52-39 ESD Conference game at Huron Arena.

“It was kind of a replay of Tuesday’s game (in Pierre), right?” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “We played a very good first half defensively, we executed our game plan, got the double teams and kept Hermansen in check. Offensively, we struggled, but you have games like that.”

The Tigers hit their first two shots of the game, as Hylton Heinz laced a long three from the right wing, before Aly Davis hit a short jumper for a quick 5-0 lead. And that is where the score stayed until the 2:11 mark, when Taryn Hermansen got the Golden Eagles on the board with a bucket in the paint.

Heinz hit two free throws seconds later and Taylor like hit a deuce for Aberdeen, as the Tigers held a 7-4 first quarter lead.

Defensively Huron came out very aggressive against the twin towers of Hermansen and 6-foot, 1-inch freshman Lauryn Burckhard, forcing six first quarter turnovers and hitting the boards to limit the offensive opportunities.

On the offensive end, however, after starting hot, the Tigers cooled considerably, ending the period hitting two of 13 from the field.

Central tied the score seconds into the second quarter as Caydi Withers hit from distance, but Heinz hit another three, this one from the left wing. Hermansen scored inside, by Hamtyn Heinz hit a three for Huron for a 13-9 lead at the 5:55 mark of the half.

Burckhard began to find the range, hitting a three pointer, a pair of free throws and a short baseline jumper as the Golden Eagles forged a 16-13 lead.

Hylton Heinz was forced to the bench with her third foul with 3:49 to play in the half and substitute Allison Janes came in to replace her, immediately hitting a free throw and adding a three pointer seconds later to give Huron a 17-16 lead headed to the break.

While the offense picked up in the second quarter, neither team was able to establish any dominance.

The teams traded points and the lead over the first four minutes of the third quarter and a Lizzy Heinen basket in the lane tied the game at 23-23. Central scored the next five points, however, all from the free throw line as the fouls began to mount on the Huron side of the scorebook.

Hamtyn Heinz converted a conventional three-point play at the the 1:23 mark to cut the lead to two and the teams traded field goals, however the Golden Eagles hit a pair of three pointers and Huron’s were of the two-point variety. A running bank shot by Burckhard gave Aberdeen Central a 36-30 lead.

The inside power play by the Golden Eagles began to take hold in the fourth quarter, as Hermansen hit the first of her five fourth-quarter field goals in the opening seconds of the period. The game turned further in the Golden Eagles’ favor as Heinen, Hylton Heinz and Kenzie Siemonsma all picked up their fourth fouls within a two-minute gap. Hermansen took advantage with a bucket, which was answered by Hamtyn Heinz, but the next two Golden Eagle possessions sealed the deal.

Burckhard scored on the right hand block, drawing Heinen’s fifth foul in the process. The next possession, Aberdeen moved the ball, got it to Hermansen and she scored and drew Siemonsma’s fifth foul, sending both of Huron’s six-footers to the bench for the final two minutes of the game, as the deficit stretched to double figures.

Hamtyn Heinz hit a three pointer with 1:45 to play, but the rest of the period shots would not fall for the Tigers, who were forced to foul and Aberdeen hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

“We let our frustration of not making shots show in the second half,” Kopfmann said. “It took its toll and we didn’t stick together and we didn’t execute at all. They hit some outside shots, which forced us spread the defense a bit and then they attacked inside.”

Hermansen led all scorers with 17 points, 11 of them in the fourth quarter, and also claimed nine rebounds in the contest. Burckhard added 14 and Caydi Withers scored 10 points. Both Hamtyn Heinz and Hylton Heinz scored 13 points for Huron and Heinen led with six rebounds. Central owned a large 34-23 advantage on the rebounding stats.

For Huron, the Tigers get a week off, as they will seek to get their earlier mojo back before hosting Sioux Falls Lincoln on Thursday in a cold-weather makeup game from mid-January, before heading to Watertown next Friday.

Aberdeen earned a 42-36 win in the sophomore contest and holding on for a 48-42 win in the JV matchup.

Aberdeen Central     4 16 36 52
Huron         7 17 30 39

ABERDEEN CENTRAL (8-6): Caydi Withers 3 1-2 10; Lauryn Burckhard 4 5-5 14; Taryn Hermansen 7 3-5 17; Taylor Lyke 2 1-2 5; Emma Dohrer 0 3-4 3; Ava Yeske 1 0-0 3. Totals: 17 13-18 52.

HURON (6-9): Aly Davis 2 0-0 4; Hylton Heinz 3 5-7 13; Hamtyn Heinz 4 1-1 11; Lizzy Heinen 1 0-0 2; Allison Janes 1 1-4 4; Tatum Peterson 1 3-4 5. Totals: 12 10-16 39.

FG: AC - 17-42 41%; H - 13-39 31%. 3-pt FG: AC 5-17 (Withers 3, Burckhard, Yeske); H - 5-19 (Hamtyn Heinz 2, Hylton Heinz 2, Janes). REB: AC - 34 (Hermansen 9); H - 23 (Heinen 6). TO: AC - 13; H - 13. Fouls: AC - 20; H - 20 (Heinen, Siemonsma out).