YANKTON - With one of the best players in the history of the state on the opposing side, you can forgive the Tigers for focusing on that player, and while Matthew Mors did move into the top five in scoring all-time in the state’s history, it was the play of the entire Yankton Bucks team that earned them a home victory Saturday night over the Huron Tigers 76-57.
Derick Siemonsma opened the game’s scoring with a deep three that banked in, and it was that kind of first quarter for both teams. The two teams went back and forth, with the game tied four times and the lead swapped twice in the period.
Behind three long bombs and 11 points overall from sophomore guard Rugby Ryken, the Bucks led after the first period 16-13.
Just as Ryken had buoyed the Bucks in the first period, junior Jaden Kral did the same for Yankton in the second frame, scoring 11 of his 14 first-half points in the quarter.
Coach Jon Schouten noted that the team’s focus on Mors likely opened up his teammates to shine.
“He showed tonight that he’s a willing passer,” said Schouten. “Other kids benefitted from that.”
Huron wasn’t backing down, however, and though a number of Tiger passes went awry, it took precision passing and exceptional outside shooting from Yankton for the Bucks to head to half with a 41-29 lead.
Yankton passed the ball around in the third period, and the spread offense tallied a number of fouls on the Huron team while also increasing the Buck lead. At the end of three, Yankton was up by 21, 60-39.
Huron scored the first 10 points of the final period behind Max Kranzler and Jaren Schley to climb within 11 points, but that is as close as the Tigers would get. Benches would empty with a minute remaining in the game as Yankton clinched a 76-57 victory.
Second-ranked Yankton moved to 15-3 on the season behind 22 points from Kral and 21 points from Ryken. Mors pitched in 15 points.
The Tigers fell to 2-16 on the season despite three players in double-figure scoring. Max Kranzler led the way with 17 points, Jaren Schley added 15, and Reilyn Zavesky came off the bench to contribute 10 points.
While proud of his team, Coach Schouten knows the same intensity will be required next week as the Tigers travel Tuesday to fifth-ranked Harrisburg and Thursday to Watertown.
“We’re going to have to bring the same effort next week,” Schouten observed. “The trick will be to not have a let down.”
Huron 13 29 39 57
Yankton 16 41 60 76
Huron (2-16): Ryan Janes 1 0-0 3, Max Kranzler 7 0-2 17, Cade McNeil 1 0-0 2, Jaren Schley 6 0-0 15, Reilyn Zavesky 3 3-3 10, Derick Siemonsma 3 0-0 8, James Bock 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 3-5 57.
Yankton (15-3): Dylan Prouty 2 0-0 6, Rugby Ryken 8 0-0 21, Aidan Feser 1 3-4 5, Cooper Grotenhuis 1 0-0 3, Jaden Kral 10 0-1 22, Matthew Mors 7 0-2 15, Colton Potts 2 0-0 4. Totals: 31 3-7 76.