Huron girls drop close contest against Cobblers


HURON — The Huron Tigers fell behind in the first half, staged a second half comeback, but couldn’t get a shot to fall or a stop down the stretch and ultimately dropped a 43-39 decision to the Rapid City Central Cobblers Friday night at Huron Arena.

Central improves to 1-2 on the season while Huron drops to 1-3 with the loss.

“I really feel that we beat ourselves here tonight,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann after the close loss. “They (Central) wants to play fast and cause chaos and we played right into their hands. They are quick and they were on us after every rebound tonight and gained themselves some extra possessions."

Neither team could generate much offense in the first quarter, as Huron jumped out 6-2 on a basket by Aly Davis and charity tosses from Kenzi Siemensma and Lizzy Heinen. But that all took place in the first four minutes of the game.

While Central didn’t get on the board until the 4:21 mark, on a jumper in the lane from Vilique Fallis, they also scored the final four points of the quarter, on a free throw and then a three pointer by Aaliyah Jones, as the teams ended the first period knotted at 6-6.

Siemonsma got Huron started in the second quarter, as she ran the pick-and-roll with Hylton Heinz to perfection, but Central ran the next 11 points, keyed by Leah Landry and Jones, as the shots that weren’t falling for the Cobblers in the opening quarter began to find the bottom of the net.

RCC led 17-8 by the time Heinen broke the run with a nice shot in the lane, and then Hamtyn Heinz scored on the next Tiger possession to cut the lead to five points. However, just as she did to close the first period, Jones dropped a long three and Central took a 20-12 lead to the halftime break.

“Our execution in the first half was not good,” Kopfmann said. “We were back to standing and watching and not doing the things that we had done all season. But that was the message in the locker room. We told them, ‘Look, we played our poorest half of the season and we can still win this game.’ And we almost got it accomplished.”

A quick Huron basket from Heinen was counted with a three from Fallis and a Landry charity toss and the lead fluctuated between 10 and 14 points for a majority of the third quarter, before Hamtyn Heinz was whistled for a technical foul at the 4:03 mark of the quarter, with the Cobblers up 28-17 after Jones made the free throws. A three on the ensuing possession by Jones pushed the lead to 14, before the Tigers began to chip away.

Hamtyn Heinz returned and hit both free throws on a driving layup attempt, before Allison Janes grabbed a rare offensive rebound and scored. Hylton Heinz hit a pair of charity tosses and then hit a nice runner in the lane with her left hand to cut the lead to six, at 31-25.

Elise Nopola hit two free throws for RCC as the Cobblers held a 33-25 lead headed to the final quarter.

Hylton Heinz scored the first five points of the final quarter, on a short jumper and a rainbow three pointer and the Tigers were within three points, the closest they had been since midway through the second quarter.

Landry hit a free throw and then got a big basket on a jumper in the lane to push the lead back to six, but Heinen countered with a deuce in the lane, and Hamtyn Heinz hit two more free throws as the clock rolled past the four minute mark in the game, to get the lead to two points, at 36-34.

But charity tosses by Jones and another bucket from Landry pushed the margin back to six with 2:41 to play.

Out of a timeout, Kopfmann set up a play for Hamtyn Heinz and the senior drained a three from the left side of the top of the key. Fallis hit one-of-two, then Hylton Heinz hit a pair of charity tosses with 51 seconds to play that cut the lead back to two points, 41-39.

The Tiger played sticky defense, forcing a tough shot from Landry that appeared to glance off a Central player and go out of bounds, but the call gave the ball back to Rapid City Central. Huron was forced to foul, and Fallis made both attempts with 16.5 to play and Huron wasn’t able to get a shot to fall on its final possession.

“We got down so far and burned a lot of energy getting ourselves back into it,” Kopfmann said. “But the girls’ never stopped fighting. In fact, if we could play the way we did in the last half of the third quarter and the start of the fourth, it’s a different outcome. But it’s hard to play the way we did for two-and-a-half quarters then try to come back and win.”

Aaliyah Jones led all scorers with 16 points and Landry added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cobblers. Neither team shot particularly well - Central hit 32% from the field and Huron was a cool 29%.
Huron was led by the sisters Heinz - as both Hylton and Hamtyn netted 11 points in the game. Heinen claimed six rebounds.

Central had one more field goal than Huron 12 to 11, but had three more three-pointers. Both teams hit their free throws as Huron was 15/18 and the Cobblers with 14-of-17.

Huron will need to regroup quickly, as the Rapid City Stevens Raiders will invade Huron Arena to close out the West River weekend, with a 12:30 p.m. tip scheduled this afternoon.

In lower level games, it was a Tiger sweep, as Huron’s Sophomore team came out with a 41-20 win and the JV team ran away with a 57-25 victory.

R.C. Central     6 20 33 43
Huron         6 12 25 39

RC CENTRAL (1-2): Aaliyah Jones 4 5-5 16; Vilique Fallis 2 3-4 9; Leah Landry 3 4-6 10; Maroielle colhoff 2 0-0 4; Elise Nopola 1 2-2 4. Totals 12 14-17 43.

HURON (1-3): Aly Davis 1 1-2 3; Hylton Heinz 3 4-4 11; Hamtyn Heinz 2 6-6 11; Lizzy Heinen 3 2-2 8; Kenzie Siemonsma 1 2-2 4; Allison Janes 1 0-2 2. 11 15-18 39.

FG: RCC - 12-37 32%; H - 11-38 29%. 3-pt FG: RCC - 5-12 (Jones 3, Fallis 2); H - 2-13 (Hylton Heinz, Hamtyn Heinz). Reb: RCC - 28 (Landry 7); H - 25 (Heinen 6). Fouls: RCC - 15; H - 15 (Siemonsma out).