No. 1 O'Gorman cruises past Tigers

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HURON — When the top defensive team in the state matches up against a team that struggles at time on the offensive end of the floor, the results are somewhat predictable.

The Huron Tiger girls’ basketball team got to see where the competitive bar is set, as the top-ranked, undefeated O’Gorman Knights invaded Huron Arena and took home a 73-20 win in the final home game for the Tigers in the 2023-24 season in a non-conference tilt Tuesday night..

“Well, they’re good, but we knew they were good,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann after the contest. “I thought we had a good effort here on Senior Night, but things got away from us early and we were never able to gather ourselves.”

Hamtyn Heinz came out firing to open the game, draining a three point field goal 20 seconds after the opening tip for a 3-0 Huron lead. The Knights ran the next eight points, with none of the shots coming from outside the paint for an 8-3 lead after two minutes of play.

And that is the way most of the first quarter played out.

Huron wasn’t bothered a great deal by the vaunted O’Gorman press - the Knights got six first half points off backcourt turnovers - but simply couldn’t get a shot to fall on the home end.

At the same time, O’Gorman’s shooters were dialed in, as they closed the quarter hitting 11 of 12 from the field for a 28-7 lead after the first stanza.

The forecast didn’t improve for Huron in the second quarter, as the Knights ran the first eight points of the quarter, before Heinz and Lizzy Heinen scored on back-to-back Tiger possessions. O’Gorman closed the half on a 9-2 run and controlled a 45-13 cushion at the halftime break.

Facing the Mount Everest of mountains to climb to get back into contention, the Tiger offense continued to struggle, going scoreless for the first seven minutes of the third quarter, while the Knights ran off the first 11 points of the quarter before Heinz connected on a short jumper, which proved to be the only points that the Tigers could muster in the period as O’Gorman carried a 61-15 lead to the final quarter.

With a running clock and liberal substitutions, the Knights ran out the clock for the 73-20 win.

O’Gorman was led by Lucy Moore’s 15 points and six assists, while Mahli Abdouch and Sydney Terveen each added 11 points. Aweng Akoi claimed five rebounds for O’Gorman as the Knights improved to 19-0 on the season with only a matchup with No. 2 Mitchell on their regular season schedule.

Heinz scored 11 points to lead the offense for Huron. Heinen, Kenzie Siemonsma and Heinz all had four rebounds. Hylton Heinz had three assists for the Tigers, which fall to 7-12.

Huron will close the regular season Thursday night at Brandon Valley.

The stat sheet bears out the story the scoreboard tells, as O’Gorman shot a toasty 68% (28-for-41) from the field for the game, after finishing the first half hitting 73%. Those numbers make more of an impact if you remove their three-point shooting (4-13), leaving the Knights with a 24-28 night from the field.

The Tigers struggled, connecting on 7 of 45 from the field, including a 1-for-19 effort from behind the three-point arc.

“I would have like to see a little bit better execution on offense, particularly at the start of the game,” Kopfmann said. “We had looks, but sometime we shot pretty quickly and we didn’t get set as we should.”

The Tigers currently hold the No. 13 spot in the Class AA standings, which would pit them against the Jefferson Cavaliers, if the season ended today. Huron had its biggest win over the season over Jefferson in January at Huron Arena.

O’Gorman 2 8 45 61 73
Huron 7 13 15 20

O’GORMAN (19-0): Lucy Moore 5 4-5 15; Mahli Abdouch 5 1-1 11; Sydney Terveen 4 1-4 11; Julie Eggert 4 0-0 8; Aweng Akoi 3 0-0 6; Tyla Mauney 0 2-2 2; Paydyn Peterson 2 0-0 5; Clare Benson 1 0-0 2; Ruth Dvoracek 1 2-2 4; Ruby Moore 3 0-0 6; Lizzie Kattman 0 3-4 3. Totals: 28 13-18 73.

HURON (7-12): Hylton Heinz 0 4-6 4; Hamtyn Heinz 5 0-0 11; Lizzy Heinen 2 0-2 4; Kenzie Siemonsma 0 1-2 1. Totals: 7 5-10 20.

FG: O - 28-41 68%; H - 7-45 16%. 3-pt FG: O - 4-13 (Terveen 2, L. Moore, Peterson); H - 1-19 (Hamtyn Heinz). Rebounds: O - 36 (Akoi 5); H - 22 (Heinen 4, Siemonsma 4, Hamtyn Heinz 4). TO: O - 5; H - 15. Fouls: O - 9; H - 15 (Heinen out).