HURON — Coming into the game likely needing to win two of their final three remaining games in order to host a SoDak 16 game, the Huron Tigers needed a good showing against the Yankton Gazelles Saturday. For the first quarter, they got that, but the strength of the fifth-ranked Gazelles overwhelmed Huron in the end as Yankton came away with a 57-33 victory.
A fast-paced first period saw both teams able to get to the hoop with neither team possessing significant height inside to shut down drives. Bella Shreeve ended the first period with seven of Huron’s 11 points, but Yankton finished the quarter with a 15-11 lead.
The Gazelles’ experience showed through as they were able to calmly remain in their offensive set and focus on their defense, even with a few fouls called on the Yankton club in the first quarter. Their defense began to wear Huron down beginning in the second session.
Huron began to find key girls in foul trouble in the second quarter as well as two starters had three fouls by the end of the half. Yankton used a 7-2 run to get a short-lived nine-point lead, their largest of the first half.
Both teams ran with offenses that flew back and forth across the court in the first half, with Ellie Karolevitz of Yankton benefiting the most on numerous backdoor cuts that led her to a dozen points at the half as Yankton took a 29-22 lead to the break.
Cold Huron Tiger shooting allowed the Gazelles to expand their lead to open the third quarter. Two Havyn Heinz free throws with 2:25 remaining in the period were the first points for Huron in the quarter, and by then Yankton had expanded to an 18-point lead. The Tigers ended the third period without a field goal in the frame, trailing 46-28 in the game.
The Tigers continued to struggle shooting throughout the second half, with a Reese Rozell bucket with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game the only field goal Huron would make the entire second half of the contest as Yankton was able to cruise to an easy victory. Huron would finish the second half 1-27 from the field.
Yankton moves to 13-5 behind a big night for senior Madison Wuebben as she led all scorers with 20 points for the Gazelles and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Ellie Karolevitz came off the bench to score 18 points as the only other Yankton player in double figures.
The Tigers did not have a single scorer in double figures on the night as they fell to 8-10 on the year. Bella Shreeve and Havyn Heinz each scored nine points on the night. Heinz led Huron with five rebounds.
Coach Tim Buddenhagen had little to say in the light of the loss. “We simply were not focused the way we need to be to beat the top-flight teams,” he stated.
Huron hosts third-ranked Harrisburg Tuesday night.
Yankton 15 29 46 57
Huron 11 22 28 33
Yankton (13-5): Payton Wolfgram 2 1-2 6 Madison Wuebben 6 5-6 20; Kelsey Oswald 0 0-2 0; Sadie Fedders 3 0-0 7; Morgan Strahl 2 1-1 5; Ellie Karolevitz 9 0-0 18; Hannah Muth 0 1-3 1. Totals: 22 8-14 57.
Huron (8-9): Bella Shreeve 4 0-0 9; Tenley Buddenhagen 0 5-6 5; Havyn Heinz 2 5-6 9; Heavan Gainey 1 0-0 2; Brooke Schiltz 2 2-2 6; Reese Rozell 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 12-14 33.
FG: Y - 22-45 49%; H - 10-48 21%. 3-pt FG: Y - 5-17 (Wuebben 3, Wolfgram, Fedders); H - 1-19 (Shreeve). Rebounds: Y 36 (Wuebben 11); H 28 (Havyn Heinz 5). Turnovers: Y 7; H 9. Fouls: Y 17 (Wolfgram out); H 18.