Harrisburg holds on to defeat Huron girls

PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Huron’s Bella Shreeve drives against Harrisburg’s Kayleigh Hybertson during their Class AA SoDak 16 game Friday at Huron Arena. Below: Huron’s Isabelle Ellwein eyes the basket after driving past Harrisburg’s Sydney Hybertson during their SoDak 16 game Friday at Huron Arena.

HURON — With a clock-eating game plan that focused on the inside play of senior Emilee Boyer, the Harrisburg Tigers posted a 51-43 upset of the Huron Tigers Friday night at Huron Arena, to qualify for next week’s Class “AA” State girls’ basketball tournament in Rapid City.

Huron closes its season with a record of 12-9, as it falls for the third straight season in a home SoDak 16 game.

“I’m proud of how the girls fought tonight, proud of our resilience and I feel sorry for how hard they have worked this season to see it end here,” said Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen

In the teams’ earlier meeting, Huron led after three quarters of play, but went cold in the fourth and saw Harrisburg force overtime and while Huron stayed close, they were unable to regain any momentum and fell by three points.

The cold stretch came early Friday night for Huron, as the visiting Tigers raced to a 12-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Huron was unable to get a shot to fall - partly due to a sticky man-to-man defense applied by Harrisburg that didn’t give the home team any daylight to get off an outside shot.

On the other end of the floor, Harrisburg hit more than half of its shots, but on the occasion that they missed, they were able to clear the board and convert on second-chance points, by the 6-foot, 1-inch Boyer. Hamtyn Heinz got Huron on the board with a short jumper and added to that with a pair of free throws on Huron’s next possession. A late free throw from Bella Shreeve and a Heinz bucket with 23 seconds left cut the Harrisburg lead back to nine points after one quarter of play.

“We really got off to a tough start tonight,” Buddenhagen said. “We were kind of frenzied at the start, we switched up defense and got settled into the game a bit better.”

The second quarter was a carbon copy of the first. Reese Rozell got to the rim for a deuce in the opening seconds for Huron, but then the home team went on a five-minute drought. Harrisburg’s lead grew to 15 points, at 24-9, before Shreeve hit a driving layup then found Heinz open off a Harrisburg turnover and threaded the needle. Heinz accommodated by hitting the long three and Huron trailed by 10, 24-14 at the half.

The third quarter saw neither team establish any momentum, as they traded buckets throughout the period. Heinz got a field goal with 1:24 to play and Heavan Gainey followed it up with a steal and layup and Huron was within six points, at 32-26 and after two more traded buckets, Harrisburg held a 34-28 lead after three quarters of play.

“We stayed even but just couldn’t get over the hump and make much of a dent in the Harrisburg lead in that third quarter,” Buddenhagen said.

After a pair of Boyer free throws, Alexis Feenstra hit a three from the right wing to cut the lead to five, at the 7:12 mark. Kayleigh Hybertson hit a free throw, but a three from Isabelle Ellwein got Huron within three and a Shreeve layup cut the margin to one point, at 37-36. Harrisburg missed a free throw and with the floor spread, Shreeve got the layup to give Huron its first lead of the game.

Hannah Eide got a free throw to knot the score, but Gainey hit a left-handed hook shot to put Huron up by two points, at 40-38.

It was right then that Harrisburg remembered that they had Boyer inside. As they did throughout the game, Harrisburg burned through the shot clock on each possession, then looked inside for Boyer in the final seconds. Twice in a row Boyer was able to convert three-point plays in the paint, both times the basket and foul came in the final three seconds of the shot clock as Huron had no answer.

The back-to-back conversions put Harrisburg up by four points, and although Ellwein got a layup to get it back to two, Huron was forced to foul and Harrisburg was able to hit its free throws and celebrate punching its ticket for the state tournament.

“It really came down to our shooting tonight,” said Buddenhagen. “We needed to get shots to fall and only hit three of 16 from three. Credit their defense to some extent for our shooting problems and that, combined with Harrisburg’s rebounding, we just came up short.”

Boyer ended up with 21 points and 12 rebounds in a dominating performance for Harrisburg. Jaylee Hofer added 12 points and Eide chipped in 11.

Huron failed to get a player in double figures, as Shreeve, Heinz and Ellwein each scored nine points, while Feenstra and Gainey each notched seven and Gainey led Huron with seven rebounds.

The game marked the end of the high school careers of Shreeve - a four-year starter for Buddenhagen, Feenstra, a two-year starter, Rozell, Gracie Culver, Jazz McGirr and Peyton Schuchhardt.

“I give a great deal of thanks to this group of seniors,” Buddenhagen said. “We have a solid bunch of returners back next year and a good foundation for the program going forward.”

Harrisburg         16 24 34 51
Huron           7 14 28 43

Harrisburg (9-12): Jaylee Hofer 5 0-2 12; Emilee Boyer 7 7-8 21; Hannah Eide 4 1-2 11; Sydney Hybertson 0 2-2 2; Kayleigh Hybertson 2 1-2 5; Abigail Flanagan 0 0-2 0. Totals: 18 11-18 51.

Huron (12-9): Bella Shreeve 4 1-3 9; Hamtyn Heinz 3 2-3 9; Alexis Feenstra 2 2-4 7; Isabelle Ellwein 4 0-0 9; Heavan Gainey 3 1-3 7; Reese Rozell 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 6-13 43.

FG: HA - 18-38 47%; HU - 17-43 40%. 3pt FG: HA - 4-15 27% (Hofer 2, Eide 2); HU - 3-16 19% (Heinz, Feenstra and Ellwein). Rebounds: HA - 31 (Boyer 12); HU - 23 (Gainey 7). Turnovers: HA - 9; HU - 6.

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