HURON — After edging the Mitchell Kernels by a point to open the season, the Huron Tiger boys’ basketball team made sure the margin of victory was a bit higher during the second meeting of the season on Saturday at Huron Arena.
The third-ranked Tigers outscored the Kernels 20-7 in the second quarter en route to a 63-52 victory.
“You have to give credit where credit is due. Mitchell is battling,” Huron coach Jon Schouten said. “Those kids play hard and they are battling, coach (Todd) Neuendorf has them going in the right direction.
“We told our kids to don’t think for one second that this is going to be a situation where we are all of a sudden going to blow them out or pull away. That’s not going to happen, not in this league, not in this division,” he said. “Everyone’s coming to play the full 32 minutes every single night, so we have to be able to match that for the 32 minutes.”
The Tigers scored the first six points of the game, but it was the Kernels scoring the final seven points of the opening quarter for a 17-11 lead at the break.
“We got up 6-0 and were all feeling really good, thinking this is going to be like Thursday night where we’re going to jump out big,” Schouten said. “Mitchell answered the bell and smacked us in the mouth. My challenge was to both Evers (Teegan and Tanner), ‘what are you getting done for us tonight’ and they both responded incredibly well for us tonight.”
Nathan Boehrns connected on his lone 3-pointer of the game to kick start a strong run for Huron in the second quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Tanner Evers and a drive and layup by Teegan Evers brought the Tigers back to within a point at 21-20.
Cooper Fryberger, who has replaced an injured Kobe Busch in the starting lineup, regained the advantage for Huron with 3:50 to play in the first half.
The Tigers would outscore Mitchell 8-3 the rest of the quarter to take a 31-24 lead into the half. Teegan Evers fueled the run with a 3-point jumper and a putback and foul, which he converted into a conventional 3-point play. Derick Siemonsman would also record the lone points of the bench for Huron during the run.
“What you are seeing is two kids that have put in an incredible amount of work. They come from a basketball family and their older brother Ty was a really good player for us a couple years ago and they just love the game,” Schouten said of the Evers brothers. “What your seeing is two kids that have put the time in and they are reaping the benefits. We are very, very fortunate to have them two guys on our team.”
The Kernels would narrow their deficit to eight points in the third quarter, but that would be as close as they would get as the Evers brothers continued to pour it on. They combined for 11 of the team’s 15 points in the quarter, which ended with Huron holding a 46-35 lead.
Mitchell, which was still searching for its first win of the season in its sixth game, pulled to within eight with a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, but a 6-0 run by the Tigers pushed the lead back to double figures where it would stay for the remainder of the game.
Teegan Evers capped the run with steal and dunk, but would give one of those points back after being handed a technical for hanging on the rim a bit too long following the slam.
“We are not going to worry about that one so much,” Schouten said of the technical. “I told him you go ahead and stuff that sucker every time that way and if they call it they call it.”
Teegan Evers would finish with a game-high 26 points for the Tigers, who improved to 6-1 and stretched their win streak to six. Tanner Evers also reached double figures with 15 points, while Boehrns and Fryberger each had seven points and Jett McGirr had six points.
Teegan Evers also had 11 rebounds to help Huron to a 35-21 advantage on the boards.
Despite having just two points come from players off the bench, Schouten said the reserves played major roles in the victory.
“Games like that are huge for kids like Mason (Rozell), who don’t get a ton of time if it is really tight. I thought he came in and handled the ball well,” Schouten said. “(Kiel) Nelson was all over him a few times and it didn’t phase him. You look at Mason and he was cool, calm and collected, which is a huge addition for us.
“Kids like Hayden (Hegg) and Derick (Siemonsma) came in and gave us a lot of effort and a lot of intensity,” he said. “Hayden got after it on the defensive end, didn’t score but on the defensive end we felt his presence and the guys fed off his energy. Derick had a big basket and he guarded Hinker sometimes. He’s learning, this is the first varsity experience for him, and he’s learning to play the game as well. Then you look at Colton Pell, he got a big offensive tip and is another kid that has length for us and you never know when you’re going to need that length.”
Nelson had 12 points to lead three players in double digits for Mitchell. Caden Hinker and Carter Jacobsen added 10 points each. Hinker also had nine rebounds, while Ben Helleloid had two steals.
Huron will look to continue its winning ways Tuesday, when it travels to face previously unbeaten and the top-ranked Bucks in Yankton. The Tigers will then travel to face Sioux Falls O’Gorman on Saturday.
“After a day off tomorrow on Monday it is time to strap it up again because we’re going to Yankton and O’Gorman, two of the best teams in the entire state in our class. We are going to see how we match up with them and we are going to get their best,” Schouten said. “Yankton will come in upset because they got knocked off tonight on their home floor. They don’t want to lose two in a row at home, so we’re going to have to play incredibly hard and well on Tuesday down in Yankton.”
Mitchell won the junior varsity game on Saturday 43-33. Kler Hae led the Tigers with 13 points.
Hae also had 18 points for Huron in a 67-57 setback in the sophomore game.
Mitchell recorded a 70-48 win in the freshman game. Max Kranzler led Huron with 15 points.
Mitchell 17 24 35 52
Huron 11 31 46 63
Mitchell (0-6): Kiel Nelson 4 3-5 12; Kaden Soukup 2 0-0 6; Caden Hinker 4 1-3 10; Ben Hlleloid 4 1-3 10; Carter Jacobsen 4 2-3 10; Derek Factor 2 0-0 5. Totals: 20 7-14 52.
Huron (6-1): Jett McGirr 3 0-1 6; Tanner Evers 7 0-2 15; Teegan Evers 10 3-6 26; Nathan Boehrns 3 0-0 7; Cooper Fryberger 2 2-2 7; Derick Siemonsma 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 5-11 63.
Rebounds: M 21 (Hinker 9); H 35 (Teegan Evers 11). 3-point goals: M 5-15 (Soukup 2, Nelson 1, Hinker 1, Factor 1); H 6-15 (Teegan Evers 3, Tanner Evers 1, Boehrns 1, Fryberger 1). Turnovers: M 12; H 8. Assists: M na; H 1. Steals: M 7 (Helleloid 2); H 4 (Teegan Evers 2). Fouls: M 15 (Nelson, out); H 17.