Tigers boys hold on against Pierre

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HURON — With the Huron Tigers and Pierre Governors coming into the game with identical 9-6 records, one team would come out with their tenth victory of the season. Accordingly, the game came down to the final moments of the fourth quarter, with the Tigers emerging with a 50-46 victory Tuesday at Huron Arena.

The Tigers came slow out of the chute, struggling to get into their offense with quick shots early in the possession.

After a couple of empty possessions both ways to open the game, Pierre’s Cade Kaiser made a quick cut and got a layup to start scoring.

Anderson Porisch got Huron on the board with a drive from the top of the key all the way to the pin.

Kaiser again got loose inside for a short bucket, but the Tigers’ CJ Gainey found Colton McNeil with a wraparound pass to tie the score at 4-4.

After a steal, Gainey hit Gavin Moeding with a long pass for a layup and the next possession down the court, Carsen Evans hit a jumper in the lane to make it 8-4.

Pierre finally connected from deep as Miles Doyle was true from the corner to cut the lead to one, but Ellwein immediately answered with a corner three of his own to push it back out to 11-7.

Jett Zubel hit a floater in the lane for the Governors to make it 11-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Huron came out with intense defense, leading to a drive by Ellwein for a bucket. After a steal, the Tigers worked the ball around until Ellwein was fed for a dunk to make it 15-9. The next trip down the court, Porisch nailed a three from the top of the key.

Dawson Getz got Pierre on the board, but Kolton Ogle went strong to the hoop on back-to-back possessions, finishing with a layup, pushing the lead to double figures at 22-11.


Huron’s Carsen Evans dribbles against defensive pressure by Pierre’s Luke Olson during their game Tuesday at Huron Arena.

The Tigers committed their fifth foul of the second quarter on the ensuing defensive possession, and Pierre used this to their advantage as they went to the line three trips in a row, netting five free shots to close the Huron lead to 22-16. Moeding and Porisch each went to the line for Huron, getting three foul shots to push the lead back out to 25-16, but Getz was able to hit a three on Pierre’s last possession of the half to send the teams to the break with a 25-19 Huron lead.

The Governors leaned on the driving of point guard Luke Olson to spark the offense, as he got the first three buckets of the second half while Huron settled for three-point attempts that missed. After a quick move down low by Zabel, the game was within two at 27-25.

Porisch put back his own miss to cut off the Huron drought, but Zabel responded immediately with a cut to the hoop.

Ellwein drove hard to the hoop and earned two foul shots while also getting Zabel to commit his third foul.

The teams traded buckets, but after Olson drove hard for a bucket, Moeding cut to the hoop, was fouled, and sank two free throws for Huron to help the Tigers hold onto a 35-30 lead heading into the final period.

Pierre went on an 11-2 run to open the fourth quarter, with the only Huron basket an explosive drive to the hoop by CJ Gainey on offense.

A basket by Porisch with four minutes remaining in the game also drew a foul and broke the Pierre streak. The freshman hit the charity shot, but that only brought Huron within 42-40.

Pierre got a quick drive by Olson to make their lead 44-40, but Ellwein answered with pair of free throws.


Huron’s Trace Wenz drives to the basket against Pierre’s Miles Doyle during their game Tuesday at Huron Arena.

Coming out of a time out, CJ Gainey lined up and nailed a three to give Huron back the lead. On the ensuing inbounds play, Gainey stole the ball and dished to Moeding for a layup to quickly put the Tigers up 47-44 with 47 seconds left on the clock.

Huron would make their free throws at the end and Holden Hegg intercepted a pass on Pierre’s final possession to seal the 50-46 victory.

Tigers coach Tim Buddenhagen was proud of the way his team kept fighting all game long.

“We just haven’t had the juice in big games. Tonight, we had it,” Buddenhagen glowed. “Everybody had contributions, and we never hung our head.”

The Tigers move to 10-6 behind 14 points and four blocks from Ellwein and 12 points and eight rebounds from Porisch.

Ogle chipped in eight off the bench, and Gainey dished out five assists.

Pierre falls to 9-7. Olson scored 13 and Zabel added 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Huron junior varsity fell 54-47 but the Tigers took the sophomore game, 61-55.

Pierre       9 19 30 46
Huron     11 25 35 50

Pierre (9-7): Luke Olson 6 1-1 13, Jett Zabel 5 2-2 12, Cade Kaiser 2 3-6 7, Dawson Getz 2 2-2 7, Miles Doyle 1 2-2 5, Eladio Simental 0 2-4 2. Totals: 16 12-17 46.

Huron (10-6): Colton McNeil 1 0-0 2, Gavin Moeding 2 3-4 7, Kolton Ogle 3 2-2 8, CJ Gainey 2 0-0 5, Blake Ellwein 4 5-7 14, Anderson Porisch 4 3-3 12, Carsen Evans 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 13-16 50.

FG: P - 16/50 32%; H - 17/41 42%. 3-pt FG: P 2/11 (Getz, Doyle); H 3/18 (Gainey, Ellwein, Porisch). Rebounds: P 31 (Zabel 8), H 31 (Porisch 8). Assists: P 5 (Zabel, Doyle 2), H 7 (Gainey 5). Turnovers: P 14, H 11. Fouls: P 19, H 16.