Tigers girls win against Arrows

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HURON — The Huron Tiger girls’ basketball team shook itself free from a pesky Watertown Arrows squad Tuesday night, powering away in the second half for a 54-45 win in ESD Conference action at Huron Arena. It was the third straight win for the Tigers, who improved to 5-6 and appeared in the ‘also receiving votes’ in the latest edition of the Class AA poll.

“Our excitement in playing for each other really came through tonight,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “Everything we did fed into that and helped us get this big win.”

The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a pair of Lizzy Heinen buckets in the paint, but the Arrows got a pair of field goals - one of them a three from Addi Johnston to take their first lead of the game. It was a theme that would continue throughout the first half - a consistent changing of the lead.

Huron took the lead back as Hamtyn Heinz drilled a three from the left wing and then sister Hylton Heinz scored on a driving layup to give the Tigers a 9-5 lead. From there, the rest of the first quarter was an exchange of baskets. Emery Thury scored back-to-back baskets to give Watertown a 12-11 lead, but Hamtyn Heinz dialed long distance again to put Huron back on top. A late Thury free throw sent the teams to the second quarter with Huron holding a slim 14-13 lead.

A quick three from Jade Lund to open the second quarter put the Arrows up by two, but Hylton Heinz countered with a bucket and a Heinen free throws moments later put Huron back on top, 17-16. Watertown continued to attempt to press the Tigers and on the next Huron possession, they carved up the Arrows pressure, ending with a nifty pass from Hylton Heinz to Heinen for a deuce and a 19-16 lead with 3:45 to play in the half.

But from that point, however, the Arrows took the upper hand, closing the half on a 7-2 run keyed by a bucket by Jordan Remmers and another Lund three and took a 23-21 lead into the halftime break.


Huron’s Hamtyn Heinz dribbles on the perimeter as she is guarded by Watertown’s Addi Johnston during their game Tuesday at Huron Arena.

The second half picked up where the first one left off, as a trading of baskets found the score tied at 27 after a Johnston basket at the 5:25 mark.

The Tigers got a good look, which rimmed out, but Heinen was there for a rebound bucket and the score ignited a 10-0 run that essentially ended the game. Aly Davis called ‘bank’ on a shot from the free throw line, Hylton Heinz got a deuce and then hit a free throw and when Hamtyn Heinz hit another three the lead was 10, 37-27.

Watertown got a basket from Kynsee Russell, but Hamtyn Heinz dropped in an arcing three from the left corner and then somehow found herself all alone on a coast-to-coast drive to put the exclamation point on a 21-6 Huron third quarter that staked the Tigers to a 42-29 lead headed to the final stanza.

Watertown, which fell to 2-10 with the loss, battled back, getting the lead down to eight points with two-and-a-half minutes gone in the fourth on a Thury put-back, but Heinen was feeling it inside and scored on consecutive possessions, Hamtyn Heinz broke loose on an inbounds play for a bucket and then Heinen sealed the deal with a tough basket and free throw with 1:55 remaining that made it 53-38 and while the Arrows cut into the lead, Huron’s third straight “W” was never in question.

“We went in down at the half, but we didn’t make any adjustments,” Kopfmann said. “The girls just came out and played harder in the second half, especially on defense. Our offense grows from our defense and it showed tonight. Watertown hit shots in the first half, but I think that our defensive intensity forced some misses and got us some points off rebounds and turnovers.”

The Tigers shot a toasty 57% from the field for the game, including an astonishing 13/16 in the second half, and ended the game 4-7 from behind the three-point line. Hamtyn Heinz led all scorers with 18 points, while both Heinen and Hylton Heinz chipped in 15. Heinen claimed seven rebounds in the contest as well.

Thury led the Arrows with 13 points and had eight rebounds.

“We shot the ball really well in the second half,” Kopfmann observed. “We are getting it done in the paint - we only shot seven threes tonight - and when we have Lizzy playing aggressively inside, defenses have to recognize that and that opens up the outside shots for our shooters.”

In lower level action, Watertown took the JV game 55-27, but the Tigers held off the Arrows 46-42 in the freshman matchup.

Huron returns to action next week, when it travels to S.F. Roosevelt for a Tuesday night matchup with the Rough Riders.

Watertown         13 23 29 45
Huron         14 21 42 54

WATERTOWN (2-10): Addi Johnston 3 0-0 7; Emery Thury 4 5-6 13; Miranda Falconer 3 0-0 8; Jade Lund 2 0-0 6; Avery Munger 1 0-0 2; Neely Johnson 1 0-0 3; Madisyn Grimsrud 1 0-0 2; Kynsee Russell 2 0-0 4. Totals: 17 5-6 45.

HURON (5-6): Aly Davis 1 1-2 3; Hylton Heinz 6 3-7 15; Hamtyn Heinz 7 0-2 18; Lizzy Heinen 7 1-1 15; Kenzie Siemonsma 0 1-2 1; Allison Janes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 6-14 54.

FG: W - 17-48 35%; H - 22-39 56%. 3-pt FG: W - 6-24 (Falconer 2, Lund 2, Johnston, Johnson); H - 4-7 (Hamtyn Heinz 4). REB: W - 18 (Thury 8); H - 33 (Heinen 7). TO: W - 16; H - 16. Fouls: W - 15; H - 11.