Late rally falls short for Tiger boys


HURON — A furious comeback attempt over the final three minutes of play came up just short for the Huron Tiger boys’ basketball team Tuesday night, as they dropped a 56-52 non-conference decision to the Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders at Huron Arena.

Roosevelt, ranked 3rd in Class AA basketball, improves to 9-3 with the win, while Huron falls to 7-6.

“We didn’t execute well tonight at times,” said Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen. “We weren’t passing well , not anticipating and we weren’t aggressive in getting to the rim. Roosevelt played with urgency and we didn’t.”

The teams traded baskets to begin the game, then Huron hit three straight three pointers, from Anderson Porisch, CJ Gainey and Porisch again over a three-minute stretch, to forge an 11-3 lead. The Riders had opportunities, although weren’t able to get either field goals or free throws to fall.

Hayden Goff got Roosevelt going, as he hit two free throws with 2:53 to play in the quarter. A minute later, Goff scored on a layup and then he duplicated the effort with 10 seconds to play and Huron held an 11-9 lead after one quarter.

The momentum that Goff’s six point run gathered for Roosevelt in the first quarter continued in the second, as Jamre Tiger hit a three, which was countered with a deuce by Blake Ellwein. The Rough Riders, however, got back to back baskets from Akeem Moko and a three-point play from Goff with 4:59 to play to cap a 16-2 run over two quarters.

Trace Wenz hit a three from the right corner for Huron and Gainey added a layup on the next Tiger possession before Isaiah Garang hit a three pointer for Roosevelt that made it 22-18, Riders.

The teams traded points until Porish hit a driving layup with 36 seconds to play that cut the lead to a single point, at 26-25.

But Roosevelt had the final word of the half, as screens cleared a spot for Garang and the 6-foot, 3-inch junior drained the three as time ran out, and the Rough Riders took a 29-25 lead to the halftime break.

“We had too many guys looking to do things that we don’t need them to do,” Buddenhagen noted. “We spent too much time just passing the ball instead of looking to pass the ball to create offense.”

The third quarter saw Roosevelt come out and push the lead to 10, as Naser Ismail hit a pair of three pointers and Logan Nielsen hit a bucket to counter a basket by Ellwein. But while the Riders owned the first half of the quarter, the final four minutes belonged to the Tigers.

Ellwein scored on a driving layup and Wenz added a put-back to cut the lead to six points, 37-31. Moko hit two free throws, but Huron closed with a basket from Porisch, and a pair of free throws by Ellwein cut the margin to four points with 24 seconds to play. Colt McNeil made a steal on the press as time was running down and he fed Ellwein who dunked at the buzzer to make it a two-point game at the end of the third quarter.

The momentum established by the late third quarter run didn’t last through the break, as Goff hit a pair of field goals, Tiger hit a three and Ismail converted a three-point play to establish an 11 point lead, at 50-39.

Ellwein hit a runner in the lane, but Tiger dialed long distance again and the lead was 12-points, 53-41, with 3:04 to play.

But out of a timeout, the Tigers again caught fire. Ellwein hit a shot in the paint, the hit a long three with 1:25 to play. Garang scored for the Riders, but Gainey drove coast-to-coast for an easy layup and then Ellwein hit another three to cut the lead to four points, at 55-51 with 21 seconds to play.

But Nielsen hit one of two from the line and although Ellwein hit a late free throw, a three pointer for the Tigers was wide and Roosevelt escaped with the win.

Ellwein led Huron with 23 points - 19 of them in the second half - while Porisch added 12 points and had five rebounds. Gainey chipped in 10 points as well for the Tigers.

Goff led the Riders with 19 points and Tiger added 12 - all from behind the three-point line, while Moko led Roosevelt on the boards with five caroms.

“We will go back to the drawing board and try to get ourselves right before we head west on Friday,” Buddenhagen said. “Spearfish is very athletic and can cause us problems if we don’t play up to our capabilities.”

Huron travels West River to play Spearfish Friday night and then tangles with Sturgis on Saturday afternoon.

In lower level games, Roosevelt completed the sweep, taking the JV contest 75-37 and adding a win in the Sophomore game 69-51.

Score by quarters
S.F. Roosevelt 9 29 39 56
Huron 11 25 37 53

S.F. ROOSEVELT (9-3): Ismail Naser 2 2-3 7; Hayden Goff 7 3-3 19; Isaiah Garang 3 0-2 8; Akeem Moko 2 2-6 6; Jamre Tiger 4 0-0 12; Logan Nielsen 1 1-2 3; Elijah Johnson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 19 9-18 56.

HURON (7-6): Gavin Moeding 1 0-0 2; CJ Gainey 4 0-0 10; Blake Ellwein 9 4-5 23; Anderson Porisch 5 0-0 12; Trace Wenz 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 4-5 52.

FG: SFR - 19-42 45%; H - 21-48 44%. 3-pt FG: SFR - 9-19 (Tiger 4, Goff 2, Garang 2, Ismail); H 0 6-23 (Gainey 2, Porisch 2, Ellwein, Wenz). REB: SFR - 28 (Moko 5); H - 26 (Porisch 5). TO: SFR - 15; H - 18. Fouls: SFR - 9 (Nielsen out); R - 15.