ABERDEEN — The Golden Eagles hit quick and hard in the first two minutes of the game and never looked back, cruising to a 62-47 win over Huron Tuesday night in Eastern South Dakota Conference boys basketball action at Golden Eagles Arena.
Central hit three 3-pointers in its first four possessions in the first minute and 58 seconds of the night. Collin Stoebner followed with a free throw and Cole Bergan with a layup, and the Golden Eagles had a cushion the Tigers couldn’t crack.
“Aberdeen played well,” said Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen, whose team knocked off Yankton just four days previously. “They were physical, hit big shots and got up on us early. Give them all the credit in the world, they did a nice job tonight.”
Central, playing its first game in a week, used its freshness and turned up the defensive intensity from the start. The Golden Eagles pressured Huron into six turnovers in the opening quarter alone.
Central was also not whistled for a single foul in that opening stanza, a combination that led to a big 20-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“Building that big lead was key for us (Tuesday night),” said Central senior Brandon Kusler, who had one of the opening 3-pointers for the Golden Eagles and finished with 21 points. “We put them in a hole early. That was difficult for them to climb out of.”
Central went into the break leading by 19, but saw the Tigers quickly trim that lead to 14 with five quick points to open the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles responded with a series of layups that pushed the lead to 22 midway through the quarter.
“We said at halftime that (Huron) would come out and make a little run,” said Central coach Brent Norberg. “They made a little 5-0 run, but our guys responded and we ended up winning the quarter. That was huge. If they had gotten that a little tighter, then everything becomes a little tougher. But when you can get some layups and get that back up there again and knock down some threes later, everything becomes a little easier.”
Huron again scored the opening five points of the fourth quarter, all by sophomore Kobe Busch, but again, the Golden Eagles had a response. Kusler hit a layup, Brandon Fauth hit a three, and Huron could not catch fire quickly enough to make a serious run at the Golden Eagle lead.
“It’s hard to be up by 20 the whole game on a AA team,” Norberg said. “I was proud of how our guys played. It got a little sloppy down the stretch, but I thought our guys played pretty doggone well the whole game.”
Kusler was the lone Golden Eagle in double figures, though Central had five other players with six or more points. Nate Rook had nine, Collin Stoebner had eight and Jonah Dohrer had seven, as did Fauth. Cole Bergan finished with six points.
Huron got 14 points from Busch, who was 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Dawson Diede came off the bench for 10 points and six rebounds for the Tigers.
Central will have another long break before taking the court again. The Golden Eagles will host Brandon Valley on Feb. 9.
“After we played (last) Tuesday against Pierre and played really well, you kind of want to play again,” Norberg said. “Then we play well tonight and we have an even longer break, about a week and a half. It’s always good to play this time of year. Kids don’t want to practice as much, they want to play. This last little practice stretch here, we’ll be able to put in everything we want to put in and be ready.”
Huron will head to Spearfish Friday and Sturgis Saturday for a pair of non-conference games.
Huron 4 14 26 47
Aberdeen Central 20 33 47 62
HURON (5-9): Tanner Evers 1 0-0 2, Teegan Evers 3 2-2 8, Kobe Busch 2 9-11 14, Isaac Carr 1 2-4 4, Nathan Boehrns 1 0-0 3, Nolan Wiegel 1 0-0 3, Dawson Diede 4 0-0 10, Cooper Fryberger 1 1-2 3. Totals 14-44 14-19 47.
ABERDEEN CENTRAL (7-7): Nathan Rook 3 1-5 9, Jonah Dohrer 2 2-4 7, Collin Stoebner 2 4-8 8, Cole Bergan 2 2-10 6, Brandon Kusler 6 7-7 21, Brandon Fauth 3 0-0 7, Jordan Schnaide 2 0-0 4. Totals 20-37 16-34 62.
3-point field goals — Huron 5 (Busch, Boehrns, Wiegel, Diede 2); Aberdeen Central 6 (Rook 2, Kusler 2, Dohrer, Fauth). Total fouls — Huron 24; Aberdeen Central 16. Fouled out — Huron (Teegan Evers, Busch). Technical fouls — Huron bench. Rebounds — Huron 32 (Diede 6, Carr 5); Aberdeen Central 30 (Stoebner 7, Bergan 6). Assists — Huron 8 (Carr 3); Aberdeen Central 12 (Stoebner 3, Bergan 3). Turnovers — Huron 20; Aberdeen Central 17. Steals — Huron 6 (Busch 2, Fryberger 2); Aberdeen Central 14 (Rook 6).
JOHN DAVIS/ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS
HUron’s Cooper Fryberger, center, lays up a shot past Aberdeen Central’s Cole Bergan (23) during the first half of Tuesday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Looking on in the foreground is Central’s Brandon Kusler.