Pierre defeats Tigers in AA SoDak 16

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PIERRE — The Huron Tiger girls’ basketball team saw their season come to a close Friday night, dropping a 63-36 decision to the Pierre Governors in a SoDak 16 play-in game at the Pierre High School gymnasium.

It was a physical game, as three Tigers and one Governor player fouled out of the action.

“I am proud of how we fought through adversity tonight and really all season long,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann, as his team ends the season with a record of 7-14. “I don’t believe during my time as a coach I have been around a team that has worked through much during a season. You can’t coach effort and these girls gave everything they had every night.”

Huron took a quick lead as Hylton Heinz laced a second-chance three pointer seconds into the game, but the Governors responded with a 13-0 run over the next four minutes, with 5-foot, 11-inch post player Reese Terwilliger causing most of the damage inside.

Hamtyn Heinz, Lizzy Heinen and KiKi Eagle Star all got buckets in the final minute of the first quarter to cut the lead to seven points, 17-10 after one quarter of play.

Hylton Heinz hit again from distance and the Tigers were within four points, but Terwilliger hit from inside and Lennix DuPris hit from outside to put the Govs up 21-13.

Hamtyn Heinz broke the Pierre press after a Tiger timeout for a runner in the lane and Hylton Heinz scored on a short jumper to again carve into the Governor lead and the teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of the quarter.

The two most telling events of the first half came in the second quarter. Kenzie Siemonsma picked up her third foul on an iffy call as she defended the baseline, relegating her to the bench for the final three minutes of the half. Then, with about a minute to play, Heinen was whistled for her second foul, as she was first pushed by Terwilliger, but got called when she pushed back, as often happens.

Heinen was upset at the call, and nearly immediately picked up another foul and sat for the remainder of the half as well. A late bucket by Ryann Barry put Pierre up 27-20 at the midway point.

One month earlier, on the same floor, Pierre held a four point lead at the break, but started the second half on an 11-0 run and Friday night they seemed aimed at repeating that feat. DuPris hit three straight three pointers and Barry hit a deuce, while Huron got a field goal from Hamtyn Heinz and three minutes into the second half, the Governors lead stood at 38-22.

Heinen hit two free throws on consecutive trips down the floor for the Tigers and Hylton Heinz hit two charity tosses as well, but DuPris connected twice more to put Pierre up 44-30 after three quarters.

Huron got no closer, as the Governors concentrated on getting the ball inside. Terwilliger ended the fourth quarter hitting seven of nine from the charity stripe and drew the fifth fouls on Heinen and Hylton Heinz on consecutive trips down the floor. Hamtyn Heinz hit the final Huron bucket, a three pointer, at the 4:08 point and Pierre bled out the clock at the charity stripe.

“We could have tossed in the towel early, when we got down in the first quarter but we battled back,” Kopfmann said. “I though we played well on offense at time, but defensively we had problems keeping a hand in the face off the Pierre shooters. Give them credit, they got DuPris shots in the third quarter and she hit them. Next thing you know, they were off and running and we just never got it back.”

DuPris led the Governors with 20 points, while Terwilliger added 15 and Barry chipped in 14.

Pierre will take a record of 15-6 into next week’s Class AA State tournament in Sioux Falls, where the Governors will face Sioux Falls Jefferson in the second game of the opening round.

Hylton Heinz, playing on a bad ankle, led the Tigers with 12 points before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

Hamtyn Heinz scored 11 points in her final game wearing tiger black and orange.

In addition to Heinz, other seniors who closed their careers included Heinen, Siemonsma, Tatum Peterson, KiKi Eagle Star and Jaylee Noyes.

Huron 10 20 30 36
Pierre 17 27 44 63

HURON (7-13): Lizzy Heinen 1 5-6 7; KiKi Eagle Star 1 0-0 2; Hylton Heinz 3 4-8 12; Hamtyn Heinz 5 0-0 11; Alison Janes 2 0-0 4. Totals: 12 9-14 36.

PIERRE (14-6): Ryann Barry 4 6-7 14; Lennix DuPris 8 0-0 20; Reese Terwilliger 4 10-13 15; Gracelyn Taylor 2 0-0 4; Aleise Christopherson 1 0-2 2; Grace Richter 0 2-2 2; Lavin Price 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 18-24 63.