Raiders hold off late rally by Huron boys

RAPID CITY – The Huron Tigers had the last shot at the buzzer with a chance to tie, but the Rapid City Stevens Raiders came away with a 54-51 victory after that shot fell short Saturday afternoon in Rapid City.

In a quiet gym, as a snow storm kept away most of the Rapid City crowd, both teams seemed to struggle to make shots to open the game. After multiple minutes of scoreless basketball, Madinko Hawley opened the scoring with a bucket on the third attempt of the possession for Stevens.

Mason Davis answered with a three-point shot on the next possession, but then Dayler Segrist went to work down low. The sophomore guard gave the Tigers zone defense fits in the lane, finding holes to hit a free throw line jumper, then putting in consecutive baskets on put back shots to give the Raiders an 8-3 lead.

Huron coach Tim Buddenhagen called a timeout to gather his team, and it seemed to work initially as the Tigers found CJ Gainey on the first possession out of the timeout for a long-range shot.

Segrist got a jumper in the lane, but Gainey found Reilyn Zavesky ahead of the pack for a bucket and Gavin Moeding streaked ahead of the Raiders to get a layup to knot the game at 10-10.

Nash Sobczak drilled a three for Stevens, but Moeding hit a pair of free throws after being fouled on a drive to the hoop and Dylan Lichty found Zavesky streaking down the court for a layup to send the Tigers into the second period with a 14-13 lead.

Minkah Hawley came off the bench as a spark in a rough shooting second period for the Raiders. The sophomore made multiple excellent defensive plays and scored after getting a steal.

Zavesky struggled to get on track, and the Huron offense seemed to struggle with what to do when their leading scorer wasn’t able to hit his typical shots, missing multiple open looks as Zavesky attempted to work the ball out to open shooters, but with little ball movement.

Zavesky worked himself to the free throw line multiple times and after hitting a reverse layup, the Tigers were within one at 19-20. Dawsyn Rogers took the ball hard to the hoop and drew a foul, and after hitting two shots, the Tigers led 21-20.

The lead was short-lived as Madinko and Minkah Hawley each scored a pair of points on back-to-back possessions.

Blake Ellwein scored on an up-and-under move just before half to make it 25-23 in favor of the Raiders heading into half.

Zavesky found his stroke to open the second half, working himself free and banking in a post move down low, then responding to a Segrist three with a long ball of his own.

Minkah Hawley hit a jumper to make it 31-28, but Zavesky hit another three to tie the game at 31. After Sobczak drew his third foul as part of the difficult assignment of defending Zavesky and had to leave the game, Zavesky drilled another three to give the Tigers a lead.

That’s when Ethan Pisle came off the bench for the Raiders and sank a timely three to knot the score. Rogers would get fouled on a jumper in the lane and sink both free throws to give the Tigers a two-point lead, but a Madinko Hawley drive to the hoop and another Pisle three would close out the third frame with a 39-36 advantage for the home squad.

The home team would stretch the advantage to six early in the fourth quarter after getting a bucket on a fourth opportunity on the offensive end.

The Tigers would come roaring back, however, as Rogers rose up over his defender for a bucket, Ellwein drove hard to the hoop for a bucket, and Zavesky drew Sobczak’s fourth foul on a drive and sank both free throws, tying the score at 42.

Caden Dowling would sink a pair of free throws in back-to-back possessions, however, including drawing Zavesky’s fourth foul on a questionable call where Reilyn tipped the ball away and then Dowling made contact with him, but the foul was given to Zavesky.

The four fouls didn’t calm Zavesky’s offensive aggression, however, as he scored on back to back possessions to allow Huron to tie the game again at 46.

The Tigers simply could not secure a rebound, however, and one trip turned into five points for the Raiders, as a missed free throw turned into a put back bucket for Sobczak and then Minkah Hawley nabbed a steal on the inbounds and scored a bucket to make it 50-46 with 90 seconds left.

The Tigers were able to get a strong drive from Rogers that drew a foul, and when he missed his chance at the three-point play, the Tigers got the rebound and CJ Gainey nailed a three to trim the deficit to 52-51 with the shot clock now off.

Gavin Moeding came up with the steal on the inbounds pass, and Rogers drew the foul to get a chance to tie the game, but the Tigers committed a lane violation on the front end of the bonus. Dowling got the inbounds pass and calmly hit a pair of free throws.

The Tigers had three seconds to get one last shot off, got the ball in Davis’ hands for a long opportunity, but it wasn’t to be.

Missed chances in the final quarter weren’t the issue, however, according to Coach Buddenhagen.

“I thought the game was lost in the first half,” Buddenhagen opined. “We turned the ball over and they got layups. We missed chances when we had layups. It wasn’t at the very end.”

Stevens moves to 4-8 behind a balanced attack, led by 13 points from Segrist. Dowling hit for 11 points, including six for six from the free throw line in the final quarter. Minkah Hawley came off the bench to add 10 points.

Sobczak grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds before fouling out late in the game as the Raiders outrebounded Huron 49-27, including 17 offensive rebounds.

Reilyn Zavesky paced the Tigers with 26 points. Lichty and Davis each secured five rebounds to lead Huron, now 4-7.

The lack of scoring outside Zavesky has been a common issue, and it showed up notably in the second half, according to Coach Buddenhagen.

“We really didn’t get that extra help tonight,” Buddenhagen said. “We’ve got to find a way to maintain our composure down the stretch. We’ve got to hit shots and make stops.”

In preliminary action, Stevens won the JV game 59-45 and the freshman game 63-57 while Huron took the sophomore game 65-54.

The Tigers travel to Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Tuesday.

Huron         14 23 36 51
Rapid City Stevens     13 25 39 54

Huron (4-7): Gavin Moeding 1 2-2 4, Mason Davis 1 0-0 3, CJ Gainey 2 0-0 6, Blake Ellwein 2 0-0 4, Reilyn Zavesky 9 5-7 26, Dawsyn Rogers 2 4-5 8. Totals: 17 11-14 51.

Rapid City Stevens (4-8): Ethan Pisle 2 0-0 6, Hayden Gebhart 0 2-4 2, Caden Dowling 2 6-6 11
Nash Sobczak 2 0-0 5, Dayler Segrist 5 2-5 13, Kaelem Brooks 0 1-2 1, Madinko Hawley 2 2-2 6, Minkah Hawley 4 2-3 10. Totals: 17 15-22 54.

FG: H - 17/55 31%; RCS 17/60 28%. 3-pt FG: H - 6/25 (Zavesky 3, Gainey 2, Davis); RCS - 5/22 (Pisle 2, Dowling, Sobczak, Segrist). Rebounds: H 27 (Lichty, Davis 5), RCS 49 (Sobczak 12). Steals: H 8 (Zavesky 3), RCS 8 (MhHawley 3). Assists: H 12 (Lichty 4), RCS 8 (Dowling 3). Turnovers: H 13, RCS 15. Fouls: H 21, RCS 16 (Sobczak out).