HURON – With any potential postseason play on the line and needing a victory to keep the SoDak 16 in play, the Huron Tigers battled until the very end, coming up just short against the Brookings Bobcats 37-36 Tuesday night at the Huron Arena.
Two teams with a pair of wins apiece showed why in the first period as turnovers and poor shots were frequent from both teams. The quarter ended with the Bobcats leading, but by the slight score of 3-1.
The sloppy play was not due to exceptional defense, according to Coach Jon Schouten.
“They didn’t really press much,” said Schouten. “That was really just not looking the ball into our hands, fumbling the ball, and not taking care of things.”
The Tigers scored the first two buckets of the second quarter, taking a 6-3 lead. Brookings then went on a 10-0 run, eight of those points coming from senior Nick Schefers, to take a 13-6 lead.
The Bobcats went to half with a 13-8 lead.
Max Kranzler hit two three-point baskets to open the second half, and the third quarter was on for the Tigers. Five Huron players would score in the period, and the team would triple its output by the end of the frame, taking a 24-20 lead as Brookings struggled to hit shots from the field in the quarter.
Cade McNeil, who hadn’t scored yet in the game, put in the first two Tiger baskets of the fourth quarter, giving the Tigers a 28-22 lead, but Brookings then went on a 8-0 run to take the lead back.
Teegan Pfitzer hit a three-point shot after a time out to get Huron back the lead, and the two teams prepared to exchange blows for the last half of the final period.
With 31 seconds remaining, the Bobcats handed the ball to Schefers, and he drove straight to the hoop and put in a layup for a single-point Brookings lead with 13 seconds left. After the Tigers nearly threw the ball away, they had 5.2 seconds to put the winning bucket into the hoop.
Unfortunately, Kranzler’s desperation shot at the buzzer banged off the rim, giving Brookings the 37-36 victory.
Even with the loss, the Tigers’ second half play impressed their coach.
“Our kids played a much better second half,” Coach Schouten remarked. “That’s the type of team we should be able to be.”
Brookings improves to 3-13 on the season with the victory. Schefers led all scorers with 17 points on the night. Casey Woodall and Keegan Fields each grabbed five rebounds to lead the Bobcats.
The Tigers dropped their 10th straight game to fall to 2-15 on the season. Derick Siemonsma led Huron in scoring with nine points. He and McNeil each hauled in five boards apiece to lead the Tigers.
Brookings won the freshman “A” game 64-54. Cashton Caudell bucketed 19 points to lead the Tigers. Gavin Moeding added 11 points and Holden Hegg pitched in 10 points for Huron.
Huron won the freshman “B” game 50-38. Carsen Evans scored 17 points and Kolton Ogle 15 points for the Tigers in the win.
With two of the top five ranked teams in the state left in the final three games of the season, the Tigers will have a tough road schedule to close things out, but Coach Schouten was pleased with how the team finished the game Tuesday.
“They wanted it,” Schouten noted. “They were playing hard for each other at the end.”
The Tigers travel to Yankton Saturday.
Brookings 3 13 20 37
Huron 1 8 24 36
Brookings (2-13): Zach Moe 1 2-2 4, Casey Woodall 0 2-2 2, Henry Hammrich 3 0-0 6, Jack Even 1 0-0 2, Max Struck 1 0-0 3, Trey Svennes 1 0-0 2, Nick Schefers 5 7-8 17, Brock Longville 0 1-2 1. Totals: 12 12-14 37.
Huron (2-14): Teegan Pfitzer 2 0-0 6, Max Kranzler 3 0-0 8, Cade McNeil 2 0-0 4, Jaren Schley 3 0-0 7, Reilyn Zavesky 1 0-0 2, Derick Siemonsma 3 1-3 9. Totals: 14 1-3 37.
FG%: B - 12/40 30%; H - 14/43 33%. 3-pt FG: B - 1/8 (Struck); H - 7/23 (Kranzler 2, Siemonsma 2, Pfitzer 2, Schley). Rebounds: B 29 (Woodall, Fields 5), H 29 (McNeil, Siemonsma 5). Steals: B 11, H 4. Turnovers: B 13, H 16. Fouls: B 13, H 16.