Huron girls rally to get past Cobblers


HURON — The Huron Tiger girls’ basketball team dug themselves out of a huge first quarter hole, clamped down on the defensive end of the court and scratched out a 47-40 win over the Rapid City Stevens Cobblers Friday night at the Huron Middle School Gymnasium.

“Boy this was a battle tonight,” said Tiger coach Kody Kopfmann after the come-from-way-behind win. “We got what we expect from our two main scorers, but everyone else also really stepped up and contributed to this huge win for us.”

Huron improves to 6-5 on the season, spoiling the head coaching debut of Jacqee Schaefer for the Cobblers, who fall to 4-8. Schaefer replaced Josh Mach earlier this week, after Mach was forced to resign suddenly due to a medical situation.

As has become their MO midway through the season, the Tigers got off to a slow start. A Hamtyn Heinz three, along with a free throw from Bryn Huber gave Huron a 4-2 lead with two and a half minutes gone, but the Cobblers went on a 14-0 run over the next five minutes, as Teila Jiron hit a pair of threes , Aaliyah Jones scored twice from midrange and eighth-grader Leah Landry owned the paint. Only a late three point play by Isabelle Ellwein cut the margin below double digits, 16-7, at the quarter stop.

Kopfmann made adjustments at the break and the Tiger defense suddenly began to force Central into tougher shots on the defensive end, while a post player set up on the free throw line facilitated ball movement for Huron on the offensive end against the Cobbler 2-3 defense. Both began to pay dividends, as Ellwein hit a pair of charity tosses and Heinz laced another three. Ellwein, playing that free line post, turned, found nobody on her and drained the shot and then hit a three from the left wing on the next possession and the lead was suddenly down to three, at 20-17.

But Landry responded with a basket and free throw to right the ship for the Cobblers. The teams traded buckets the rest of the half, and Huber closed the period with a pair of free throws, which cut the margin to five points, 26-21.

“We got down again,” Kopfmann said, “but there was never anything said about ‘Keep fighting, don’t quit.’ These girls don’t know quit.”

Heinz laced a three to open the second half, but Landry post a basket and free throw. A basket from Karsyn Kopfmann, and Ellwein basket and a Huber bucket off an offensive rebound gave Huron its first lead, 30-29, since the opening minutes of the game.

The teams see-sawed the remainder of the quarter, with RCC taking a 38-36 lead to the final stanza.

That is when the Tiger defense that had been causing problems throughout the second and third quarters went into lockdown mode. Huron scored only two field goals in the final period - both by Hylton Heinz, one of them a three-pointer. But that was double the number of field goals that the Cobblers were able to convert against the stingy Tiger defense. A Landry field goal three minutes into the quarter were the last points that Huron gave up and Hylton Heinz’s three put Huron ahead 42-40 and they never trailed again in the game.

Down the stretch, Ellwein and Hamtyn Heinz went 5 of 6 from the line to pull out the win.

In the game, Hamtyn Heinz scored 16 points to lead all scorers, and Ellwein added 15.

“That’s what we get is about 30 points a night from Isabelle and Hamtyn,” coach Kopfmann noted. “But it was the rest of the team stepping up, giving us those other 16 points tonight that gave us this win.”

Jones scored 15 points and Landry added 12 points for RCC .

It’s a quick turn-around for the Tigers, as the R.C. Stevens Raiders are in town this afternoon, with a 1:30 p.m. tip back at the Huron Middle School Gymnasium.

RC Central         16 26 38 40
Huron           7 21 36 47

RC Central (4-8): Marielle Colhoff 0 1-2 1; Aaliyah Jones 6 1-2 15; Leah Landry 5 2-7 12; Teila Jiron 3 0-0 8; Tracelyn Strand 1 0-0 3; Leila Roybal 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 4-11 40.

Huron (6-5): Bryn Huber 1 3-4 5; Hamtyn Heinz 4 4-7 16; Karsyn Kopfmann 1 0-0 2; Isabelle Ellwein 4 6-7 15; Heavan Gainey 2 0-2 4; Kristen Janes 0 0-2 0; Hylton Heinz 2 0-0 5. Totals: 13 13-22 47.