No. 3-ranked Warriors claim win against Huron


HURON — The Huron Tigers played a gutsy game, but fall behind in the third quarter and never could climb back into contention Thursday night, as they dropped a 61-45 non-conference girls’ basketball game to the third-ranked Sioux Falls Washington Warriors, at Huron Arena.

A moment of silence was held before the action began, in recognition of the passing of long-time Huron educator, Peggy Heinz, the mother of Tiger basketball players Hamtyn Heinz and Hylton Heinz. Peggy Heinz passed away Tuesday night.

“It was tough here tonight,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “With what has been going on we weren’t able to really practice, so we played one of the top teams in the state to sixteen points, strictly on effort.”

The inside/outside game of Ava Brink and Grace Peterson staked the Warriors to an early 6-3 lead, as Peterson drained a three from the corner and Brink hit a charity toss and then added a putback bucket to counter a three pointer from Hamtyn Heinz.

The Tigers rallied, as Lizzy Heinen made a nifty move down the lane, hitting the lefty layup before Hylton Heinz hit a pair of free throws to give Huron a 7-6 lead. Peterson hit another three for Washington, but Heinen hit one of two from the line to keep the score close, but back-to-back baskets in the paint by Brink pushed the Warrior lead to five points and only a late layup from Hylton Heinz cut the lead to three points, 13-10, as the first quarter buzzer sounded.

The Huron inside paint took a hit nearly immediately in the second quarter, as Heinen picked up her second foul. Peterson scored on an offensive rebound, but Kenzie Siemonsma hit one of two, then Hamtyn Heinz hit her second three of the half to draw within one point, 15-14. On the next Tiger possession, Hamtyn Heinz launched another three, which missed, by Isabel Carda of Washington fouled her on the attempt and Hamtyn Heinz hit two of the three charity tosses.

Washington, however, went on an 8-0 run, led by a three pointer and a pair of free throws from Peterson, and took a 23-16 lead, as Heinen was whistled for her third foul. The team traded baskets over the final three minutes of the half, and Washington controlled a 30-23 score at the halftime break.

Huron’s Makenzie Siemonsma puts up a shot against Sioux Falls Washington’s Ava Brink during their game Thursday at Huron Arena.

Offensive rebounds was the most telling stat of the first half, as Washington found themselves with several instances of multiple field goal attempts, converting numerous attempts in the paint.

“The girls really fought for each other tonight,” Kopfmann said, “but it is really hard to prepare in practice for that size and athleticism.”

The pace of the game slowed considerably in the third period - each team only netted two field goals in the quarter - but Washington hit a sparkling 12-of-13 free throws, as the Warriors increased their cushion to 16 points, 46-30, after three quarters of play.

The lead swelled to 20 points over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, as Claire Woods hit a three and Dana Harpe hit a pair of free throws, before the Tigers began to mount a comeback. Hamtyn Heinz hit a short jumper, then notched a pair of free throws on the next Huron possession. Peterson hit a three for Washington, which was matched by Hamtyn Heinz, then Hylton Heinz scored on a driving layup that cut the margin to 14 points, 54-40.

Woods hit another three, but Hamtyn again countered with a bomb from distance and after Heinen hit one-of-two charity tosses, the margin was down to 13 with just under two minutes to play in the game, but Huron never got closer and a Harpe three on a short shot clock put the lead back at 16 points.

Kopfmann subbed both Heinz sisters from the action with a minute to go, to a standing ovation from Huron and Sioux Falls fans.

“Not many high school players could do what Hamtyn and Hylton did tonight,” Kopfmann said. “They didn’t know that we were going to sub them out and it was very emotional to see the crowd’s reaction for what they did here.”

Peterson led all scorers with 22 points and added six rebounds to pace the Warrior attack. Woods tacked on 11 points for Washington.

Hamtyn Heinz netted 21 points for the Tigers and sister Hylton Heinz chipped in 17. Heinen claimed six rebounds.

Huron, which falls to 2-4 with the loss, will have a two-week break, returning to action Jan. 6 at Harrisburg.

S.F. Washington     13 30 46 61
Huron         10 23 30 45

S.F. WASHINGTON (3-1): Claire Woods 3 2-2 11; Isabel Carda 0 2-2 2; Grace Peterson 7 4-4 22; Benigne Nitunga 1 0-0 2; Ava Brink 2 5-6 9; Boyi Lual 0 1-2 1; Dana Harpe 2 2-2 7; Tierney Schram 2 3-4 7. Totals: 16 20-23 61.

HURON (2-4): Hylton Heinz 5 7-8 17; Hamtyn Heinz 6 4-5 21; Lizzy Heinen 1 3-6 5; Kenzie Siemonsma 0 2-6 2. Totals: 12 16-25 45.

FG: SFW - 16-42, 38%; H - 12-47 26%. 3-pt FG: SFW - 8-19 (Peterson 4, Woods 3, Harpe); H - 5-22 (Hamtyn Heinz 5). REB: SFW - 37 (Peterson 6); H - 35 (Heinen 6). TO: SFW - 14; H - 19. Fouls: SFW - 12; H - 15 (Siemonsma out).