HURON — A pair of first half runs, 10-0 in the first quarter and an 8-0 streak in the second quarter, gave the Yankton Gazelles a lead and despite a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Huron Tigers, the Gazelles took home a 48-39 win at Huron Arena Tuesday night.
It was the season opener for the Tigers, while Yankton improves to 2-0.
“We got stagnant on offense and our frustration on that end affected our defense in the first half for sure,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “Credit Yankton, we gave them too many open shots and they hit them and our shots wouldn’t fall when we needed them to.”
The Tigers jumped out to a quick lead as Kenzie Siemonsma hit a pair of free throws, Hamtyn Heinz drained a three and Siemonsma scored on a nice feed from Hylton Heinz for an early 7-2 Huron lead.
Camryn Koletzky collected a traditional three-point play for the Gazelles and Bailey LaCroix hit a three on the next trip down the floor, to give Yankton its first lead at 8-7 at the 5:07 mark and the Gazelles didn’t trail again. A bucket from Macy Drotzmann and a pair of free throws from Claire Tereshinski capped a 10-0 run for the Gazelles and a 12-7 cushion.
Huron responded as Hylton Heinz hit a shot in the lane, then Allison Janes came off the Tiger bench and scored on a nifty inbounds play. The teams exchanged free throws and the quarter came to a close with Yankton on top, 14-13.
Yankton exploded out of the quarter break, as Koletzky, and Eden Wolfgram each notched three pointers and Tereshinski hit a runner in the lane to push the lead to nine points, at 22-13, and prompting a Kopfmann timeout.
Hamtyn Heinz scored out of the break, but the Gazelles were feeling it and baskets from Tereshinski and Wolfgram, and a Tereshinski charity toss pushed the lead to 27-15.
Huron got baskets from both Hamtyn Heinz and Hylton Heinz in the closing two minutes, however, as the Gazelles took a 27-19 lead to the half.
“We led the physicality affect us in the first half,” Kopfmann said. “We got off to a good start, but then it got away from us.”
The Tigers came out of the break with a more aggressive approach to their offensive attack, as Hamtyn Heinz got to the line on the first two Huron possessions. But while Huron hit three of six over the first four minutes of the quarter, the Gazelles collected a pair of threes and pushed the lead back to double digits.
Midway through the quarter, Kopfmann put a full-court trapping press into operation and it caused Yankton problems, as the Tigers were able to speed up the game, forcing two shot clock violations and were down on by seven late, but Wolfgram drained a three in the closing seconds to put the Gazelles up 38-28 after three quarters.
Tereshinski hit a runner to increase the lead to 12 before the Tigers began to claw their way back.
Lizzy Heinen scored on a nice roll to the basket, then Hylton Heinz hit three of four charity tosses, on consecutive possessions. The press forced another turnover and Hamtyn Heinz converted a layup and the lead was down to five points, at 40-35.
Out of a timeout, the press again paid dividends, forcing a 10-second call and Hamtyn Heinz flipped a pass over the Yankton defense to a cutting Siemonsma and the Tigers had the lead down to three points. But three pointer that would have tied the game bounced off the rim and Yankton hit eight straight free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the win.
Tereshinski led all scorers with 15 points in the game, while Koletzky scored 11 points off the Yankton bench and Wolfgram dented double figures with 10. As a team the Gazelles had only one more field goal than did Huron - 14-13 - but had six more three pointers and ended the night 16/17 from the free throw line.
Hylton Heinz led Huron with 13 points and Hamtyn Heinz added 11. Huron hit 12-16 from the charity stripe.
Huron will go back to work and prepare to welcome Mitchell to the Arena on Friday, in a girls/boys doubleheader with the Kernels.
In the lower level games, Huron won the JV contest 30-22, while Yankton held on for a 45-40 win in the Sophomore matchup.
Yankton 14 27 38 48
Huron 13 19 28 39
Yankton (2-0): Payton Moser 1 0-0 2; Eden Wolfgram 3 2-2 10; Claire Tereshinski 3 9-10 15; Bailey LaCroix 3 2-2 8; Camryn Koletzky 3 3-3 11; Macy Drotzman 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 16-17 48.
Huron (0-1): Aly Davis 2 0-0 4; Hylton Heinz 3 7-8 13; Hamtyn Heinz 4 2-4 11; Lizzy Heinen 1 0-0 2; Kenzie Siemonsma 2 3-4 7; Allison Janes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 12-16 39.