HURON — A three-and-a-half minute stretch to open the second half spelled the difference in the game, as the Watertown Arrows took a 54-44 ESD Conference girls’ basketball win over the Huron Tigers Friday night at Huron Arena.
The Arrows, who move to 2-6 on the season, were led by Anni Cummings, with 11 points, while Mariah Gloe added 10.
In the early going, defense was the name of the game.
Gloe got Watertown started with a short field goal, but Huron tied it up on a pair of Gracie Schoenfelder charity tosses, igniting a brief run.
First Havyn Heinz, then Reagan Rozell hit three-point field goals to stake the Tigers to an 8-2 lead.
The Arrows climbed back into the game, using turnovers on back-to-back Huron possessions to get baskets from Megan Fannin and Gloe to carve the lead to two.
Huron got a bucket from Tenley Buddenhagen and Watertown’s Meghan Heggelund hit one-of-two from the line to make it 10-7 after one quarter, as both teams struggled to get into any sort of offensive flow.
The pace of the game quickened in the second quarter, as Huron managed to run its offense, leading to several free throw attempts.
Heinz was four-for-four from the charity stripe and Schoenfelder hit a pair as well, while Watertown used a basket from Jackie Tetzlaff and threes from Fannin and Drew VerDouw to keep it a one-point game, at 16-15.
The Arrows took a brief lead, as Heggelund scored inside, but Heinz countered with a basket. Annie Norberg hit a short jumper and Heggelund scored again, but Heinz got loose on the baseline for a layup and a 22-21 Tiger lead at the half.
The Arrows found the target in the third quarter, as they opened the period on a 10-0 run over the first three-and-a-half minutes to establish a 31-22 lead before Heinz broke the ice with a pair of free throws.
“That stretch in the third quarter really hurt us tonight,” said Huron coach Wade Stobbs. “We got down and while we played pretty even the rest of the way, we just never got back over the hump.”
Taylor Terronez hit a long three for Watertown, but Jayda Shillingstad and Sami Shoultz hit buckets for Huron to cut the lead to six points, only to see Tetzlaff hit two free throws and Fannin collected a three-pointer to take a 39-28 lead to the final period.
Gloe got Watertown started in the fourth quarter, but Huron responded with a three-pointer from Heinz and a layup from Shillingstad to carve the lead to eight points.
Anni Cummings scored off another Tiger turnover before Tenley Buddenhagen scored on back-to-back possessions - one of the baskets was a three - and Huron trailed by only five, the closest the Tigers had been since early in the second half.
But the rally died there, as Terronez hit a pair of field goals and Gloe added another to quickly push the lead back to 11 and while Huron managed to get the lead down to nine, they got no closer in the game.
Heinz led the Huron effort with 16 points, while Schoenfelder led all rebounders with 12 boards on the night. The Tigers committed 22 turnovers in the game, leading to a 13-shot difference from the field.
“The girls really battled tonight,” Stobbs said. “There were just a lot of little things that made the difference tonight. We wanted to get the ball inside and get to the line and we accomplished that. Hitting 12 of 13 from the line is a bonus, too.”
The Tigers fall to 0-9 on the season, and will return to action on Tuesday, when they travel to Mitchell to take on the Kernels.
Huron 10 22 28 44
Watertown 7 21 39 54
Huron (0-8): Regan Rozell 1 0-0 3; Jayda Shillingstad 3 2-3 8; Havyn Heinz 4 6-6 16; Sami Shoultz 2 0-0 4; Gracie Schoenfelder 1 4-4 6; Tenley Buddenhagen 3 0-0 7. Totals: 14 12-13 44.
Watertown (1-6): Anni Cummings 4 3-3 11; Taylor Terronez 3 0-0 7; Mariah Gloe 5 0-0 10; Megan Fannin 2 0-2 6; Jackie Tetzlaff 4 0-2 8; Annie Norberg 1 0-2 2; Meghan Heggelund3 1-2 7; Drew VerDouw 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 4-11 54.
FG: W - 23-44 52%; H - 14-31 45%. 3-pt FG: W - 4-10 (Fannin 2, Terronez and VerDouw); H - 4-10 (Heinz 2, Rozell and Buddenhagen). Rebounds: W - 21 (Cummings and Tetzlaff, 3 each); H - 22 (Schoenfelder 12). TO: W - 16; H - 22. Fouls: W - 13; H - 14.
Huron’s Sami Shoultz handles the ball as she is guarded by Watertown’s Anni Cummings during their game Friday at Huron Arena.