Tigers ralley to get past Stevens


HURON – “Please keep all hands, legs and feet inside the car at all times.”

That warning would have been appropriate for the players prior to Saturday afternoon’s girls’ basketball game at Huron Arena.

The Huron Tigers overcame a 13-point first quarter deficit, went up by as many as 11 in the third quarter, then withstood a 9-0 R.C. Stevens run early in the fourth period to emerge with a solid 50-44 win over the Raiders in a rollercoaster of a non-conference basketball game.

The game could hardly have started worse for the Tigers, as the Raiders scored the first 10 points of the game and led 10-0 after three-and-a-half minutes of play, before Elizabeth Heinen scored on back-to-back possessions for the Tigers to cut the lead to six.

But Stevens went on mini-run, as Thomiah Poor-Bear hit a bucket in the lane, Halle Peterson made a steal at the top of the key and went coast-to coast and MacKenzie Schreiber hit a long three to put the lead at 13 points, 17-4. A silly Stevens foul gave Hamtyn Heinz a pair of free throws before the buzzer, but the lead was double digits after on quarter.

A renewed Tiger defense greeted the Raiders to open the second period. Heinen scored inside and Hylton Heinz dropped a teardrop in the lane to the cut the lead to seven points. The amped up Huron defense forced three turnovers and a pair of shot clock violations in the second quarter as the climb back commenced.

Hylton Heinz scored on a layup, countering a jumper by Taaliyah Porter, a 5-foot, 8-inch junior who provided the majority of the Stevens offensive punch in the game.

Hamtyn Heinz hit a three pointer at the 3:06 mark of the half, followed a moment later by a Tatum Peterson basket and free throw on an inbounds play. Porter hit a three with just over a minute to play, accounting for all the Raiders points in the quarter, as the Tigers held the visitors to only five points.

Hamtyn Heinz scored on a leaner late and Huron trailed by only two points, 22-20 at the halftime break.

Huron’s Hylton Heinz puts up a shot in the paint during a game against Rapid City Stevens on Saturday at Huron Arena.

Whatever Huron coach Kody Kopfmann was saying at the half should be bottled and put out for Christmas, as the Tigers ripped off the first 12 points of the third quarter, turning a two-point deficit into a 10-point lead in less than five minutes of game play.

Hamtyn Heinz scored to open the half, the Makenzie Siemonsma got loose on a pick-and-roll. Hylton Heinz added a bucket on the next Tiger possession and Heinen converted a hard-fought battle for a deuce, before both Hamtyn Heinz and Siemonsma hit charity tosses and suddenly the scoreboard read 32-22, with just over three minutes to play.

Porter stemmed the bleeding with an ‘and-one’ and Brittany Jones hit a basket on a trick inbounds play to cut the lead to five, but Hamtyn Heinz hit back-to-back three point field goals and sister Hylton Heinz netted two free throws and Huron had a 20 –point quarter and lead 40-29 headed to the final period.

Heinen opened the stanza, missing a short field goal, but making both of the free throws on the foul and Huron held its largest lead of the contest.

But the Raiders were not through yet, as Jones hit a long three and Porter hit back-to-back field-goal-an-foul opportunities and the lead was down to four.

Porter, however, missed two free throws at the 4:43 mark that could have cut the margin to two and Huron went up by five with a Siemonsma free throw. Jones hit a three pointer seconds later that carved the lead to only two points, but the 5-6 junior, the Raiders only real outside threat, fouled out a short time later.

Hylton Heinz hit the basket on the Jones foul, but missed the free throw and hit one of two from the line on the next possession as the clock rolled past 2:30.

Porter hit one-of-two from the line and then got a short jumper to fall with 1:45 remaining to cut the lead back to two points, 46-44, but the rally ended there, as Huron controlled the ball the rest of the way. Both Siemonsma and Hamtyn Heinz hit both ends of two-shot free throw attempts to seal the win for Huron.

Hamtyn Heinz scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, while Hylton Heinz added 11. Heinen continued her solid inside play, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds, providing a scoring threat in the paint.

Porter ended the game with 19 points and Jones added 11 for the Raiders, who fall to 2-2 on the season.

For Huron, which improves to 2-3, the Tigers return to action Thursday at Huron Arena, when they host the defending state champion S.F. Washington Warriors, with a 6 p.m. tip.

RC Stevens 15 22 29 44
Huron 6 20 40 10

RC STEVENS (2-2): Breittany Jones 4 0-0 11; Taaliyah Porter 7 4-7 19; Isabelle Higgins 4 0-1 9; Thomiah Poor-Bear 0 0-1 0; Hallee Peterson 1 0-0 2; MacKenzie Schreiber 1 0-0 3. Totals: 17 4-9 44.

HURON (2-3): Hylton Heinz 4 3-5 11; Hamtyn Heinz 5 6-6 19; Elizabeth Heinen 4 2-2 10; Makenzie Siemonsma 1 5-6 7; Tatum Peterson 1 1-1 3. Totals 15 17-20 50.

FG: RCS – 17-35 49%; H – 15-36 42%. 3-pt FG: RCS – 6-15 (Jones 3, Porter, Higgins, Schreiber); H – 3-9 (Hamtyn Heinz 3). REB: RCS – 23 (Poor-Bear 5); H – 23 (Heinen 9). TO: RCS – 13; H – 9. Fouls: RCS – 19 (Jones out); H – 12.