No. 4 Kernels survive upset bid by Huron girls

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MITCHELL — The Huron Tigers went toe-to-toe with the fourth-ranked Mitchell Kernels Tuesday night, but went scoreless the final two-and-a-half minutes of the game and dropped a 44-41 decision at the Corn Palace.

Mitchell moves to 8-0 on the season while the Tigers fall to 2-6 after the second close game against the Kernels this season.

“I thought our defense was kind of streaky tonight,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “We held Stoebner and Siemsen in check, but the Vanoverschelde girl got loose in the second half.”

The game was only four minutes old when Mitchell led 5-1, before the Tigers began to find the range from the field. Hamtyn Heinz hit the first field goal, at the 3:18 mark, a three pointer which cut the lead to one point. A basket by Aly Davis on the next trip gave the Tigers its first lead since 1-0, and back-to-back long bombs from Heinz pushed the lead to seven points, 12-5. Lizzy Heinen scored on an easy inside shot, off a nice pass from Allison Janes that pushed the lead to nine points before a late Kernel basket made it 14-7 after one quarter of play.

Huron substitute Tatum Peterson stepped up and drained a three to open the second period and Huron held its first double digit lead, but the scoring slowed for the rest of the quarter. Mitchell got a basket from Addie Siemsen and a three off the bench by Matteah Graves carved the margin back to five points. Baskets by each team sent the squads to the locker room for halftime with a 19-14 Huron lead.

“Hamtyn got us rolling to get started and then got into foul trouble, so we needed find points elsewhere,” Kopfmann said.

Mitchell’s Sawyer Stoebner hit a deuce - one of only two field goals the all-stater would have in the game - to make it 19-17 two and a half minutes into the third quarter. Heinz scored on a layup and converted the ‘and-one’ but collected her third fouls seconds later. On the next possession, Makenzie Siemonsma was whistled for her third personal.

The Tigers regrouped and although shots refused to fall on the next two possessions, Lizzie Heine owned the offensive boards, scoring on put-backs on consecutive possessions and Huron led 26-17 as the clock rolled past two minutes to play in the quarter.

Mitchell responded, as Makenzie Peterson converted a conventional three-point-play, before Siemsen hit a deuce and after Allison Meyerink hit two free throws, the Kernels trailed by only two points, 26-24. Hylton Heinz began to push the ball against the Mitchell press, hitting three of four from the line in the final seconds of the quarter to counter a long three by Lauren VanOverschelde and preserve a slim 29-27 lead for Huron headed to the final stanza.

The fourth quarter saw both teams establish, then lose momentum. Hylton Heinz hit a driving layup, but Stoebner hit a three and a basket by Meyerink gave the Kernels its first lead since the first quarter, at 32-31.

Hylton Heinz hit one of two from the line and Heinen scored in the paint to put Huron back on top, by Meyerink responded for Mitchell. Heinen got another put back, but VanOverschelde hit a three pointer with 4:53 to play that was a big turning point and gave the Kernels a one point lead, 37-36.

Hylton Heinz hit another layup and after Heinen hit one of two from the line, Huron led 39-37, but VanOverschelde hit her second straight three with 2:48 to play. Hylton Heinz scored again seconds later to put the Tigers back up, 41-40, but it would prove to be the final points that Huron would muster in the game.

VanOverschelde netted her third fourth-quarter three pointer with 2:19 to play to make it 43-41 and Huron got three good lucks at the basket, including an inbounds play that bounced off the knee of Davis in the closing moments and a late free throw from VanOverschelde gave the final score of 44-41.

VanOverschelde was the lone Kernel in double figures, with a game-high 17 points, 13 of them in the final eight and a half minutes of play.

“We got outworked tonight and I didn’t feel that we were out there competing as a team,” Kopfmann said.

Hamtyn Heinz, limited by foul trouble for much of the game, led Huron with 14 points, while Heinen added 11 points, six of them off offensive rebounds, while Hylton Heinz added 10 points, all in the second half of play.

Huron returns to action on Friday, when it hosts the Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots at 7 p.m. at Huron Arena.

Huron     14 19 29 41
Mitchell       7 14 27 44

HURON (2-5): Hamtyn Heinz 5 1-1 14; Hylton Heinz 3 4-6 10; Lizzy Heinen 5 1-2 11; Aly Davis 1 1-2 3; Tatum Peterson 1 0-0 3. Totals: 15 7-11 41.

MITCHELL (7-0):  Lauren VanOverschelde 6 1-2 17; Sawyer Stoebner 2 1-2 6; Addie Siemsen 2 0-0 4; Allison Meyerink 3 3-4 9; Makenzie Peterson 2 1-2 5; Matteah Graves 1 0-0 3. Totals: 16 6-9 44.