HURON — The Huron Tigers got off to a quick start, scoring the first eight points of the game, and kept building momentum Tuesday night, downing the Brookings Bobcats 71-50 in an Eastern South Dakota Conference boys’ basketball game at Huron Arena.
Kobe Busch led the way for Huron, as he scored 27 points and eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau in his career.
Prior to the game, Brookings coach Travis Engebretson noted that the Huron ‘Big 3’ of Kobe Busch, Teegan Evers and Nathan Boehrns couldn’t be allowed to have an open look, if the Bobcats were to be successful.
It didn’t happen that way.
Busch hit a pair of threes to open the game, Boehrns scored 12 and had two stiletto-sharp assists and Evers, who was plagued with foul problems, was able to chip in seven…in the opening half, as Huron raced to a 37-18 lead at the break.
“Having a quick start is critical to our success this year,” Huron coach Jon Schouten noted after the win that pushed the Tigers to a mark of 6-1. “We have the ability to score points in bunches and when we are playing at our best we get off to a start like we did tonight.”
While the Tigers were warm from the field, the Bobcats struggled to score against the sticky man-to-man Tiger defense. Open looks were at a minimum for Brookings and when they were able to get off a shot, it was contested and there was no offensive rebound to be had.
On the other end, Engebretson had his team in a morphing 2-3 zone defense, which the Tigers shot over to start the game and then found cutters if the Bobcat defense broke down.
Huron pushed the lead to 21 points early in the third quarter before Trent Broksieck scored on back-to-back possessions for the Bobcats to make it 43-23.
Then the Tigers caught fire. Evers hit a free throw to start the ball rolling, Boehrns hit a three and Busch hit on four straight possessions to push the lead to 28 points, at 54-26. The third field goal in the mini-run for Busch put him past the 1,000 point mark in his Huron Tiger career. The game was stopped for a presentation and Busch presented a commemorative basketball to his father Ken, in the stands behind the Tiger bench.
“We knew when the season started that Kobe was close and we have been tracking his progress toward 1,000 points,” Schouten noted. “I’m really glad that he had the chance to pass that mark here at the Arena in front of a Huron crowd. He’s been an important part of our program for the past few years.”
The onslaught continued as the lead grew to 29 points with two-and-a-half minutes to play in the third quarter, before Nick Schefers began to bring the Bobcats back into contention. Schefers sandwiched short jumpers around an old-time three-point play from Henry Hammrich to make it 58-36 as the third quarter drew to a close.
The Brookings run continued into the fourth quarter, as the Bobcats ran the first 10 points of the period - seven from Schefers - and Karter Kruit came off the bench to drain a three, to make it 58-46 before Busch scored on a steal and layin to stop the bleeding for the Tigers.
The Bobcats changed to a man-to-man defense midway through the third quarter and while Huron continued to build a lead, most of its offense came on steals and turnovers, while the Tiger offense stalled.
Busch’s shot righted the ship and a three-pointer from Busch a moment pushed the lead back to 15 and the Tigers coasted home with the win.
“You never want to have the kids coast,” Schouten said. “We stopped playing defense as well as we wanted and were giving up open looks and layups. That is something we will need to clean up.”
The 27 points by Busch led all scorers, while Huron also got 15 from Boehrns and 12 from Evers in the game. Boehrns and Evers each claimed eight rebounds.
Brookings was led by Schefers’ 19-point, six-rebound effort, as the Bobcats fall to 1-7 with the loss. Hammrich added 12 points for Brookings.
Huron is back in action Friday, when it hosts powerhouse Sioux Falls O’Gorman at 7 p.m., while the Bobcats travel to Harrisburg on Thursday for another ESD contest.
Brookings won the JV game 48-44, despite 11 points from Derick Siemonsma and eight assists from Teagan Pfitzer, while and Huron claimed the sophomore game 61-56 behind Max Kranzler’s 20 point effort. Brookings persevered in the freshman game and took home the 52-42 win. Huron was led by Dylan Lichty’s 13 point effort.
Brookings 4 18 36 50
Huron 15 37 58 71
Brookings (1-7): Jonah Dobbs 2 1-2 7; Trent Broksiek 3 0-0 8; Nick Schefers7 4-5 19; Karter Kruit 1 0-0 3; Henry Hammrich 4 3-3 12; Brock Longville 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 9-12 50.
Huron (6-1): Hayden Hegg 1 0-0 3; Cooper Fryberger 2 0-0 4; Teegan Evers 5 1-2 12; Kobe Busch 12 0-0 27; Nathan Boehrns 5 2-2 15; Landon Hegg 2 0-0 6; Kler Hae 1 0-0 2; Derick Siemonsma 0 2-3 2. Totals: 28 5-7 71.
FG: B - 17-46 37%; H - 28-55 51%. 3-Pt FG: B - 7-16 (Dobbs 2, Broksieck 2, Schefers, Kruit and Hammrich); H - 10-29 (Busch 3, Boehrns 3, L. Hegg 2, H. Hegg and Evers). Rebounds: B - 25 (Schefers 6); H - 32 (Evers 6, Boehrns 6). Turnovers: B - 12; H - 7. Fouls: B - 12; H - 12.