State-ranked Stevens powers past Tigers


PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Above: Huron’s Lizzy Heinen puts up a shot against Sydney Wathen of Rapid City Stevens during their game Saturday at the Huron Middle School gym. Below: Huron’s Hylton Heinz heads for the basket as Sydney Wathen of Rapid City Stevens trails on the play during their game Saturday at the Huron Middle School gym.

HURON — A 10-2 third-quarter run by the Rapid City Stevens Raiders built a lead that the Huron Tigers were unable to overcome Saturday afternoon, as the Raiders took a 68-45 win in non-conference girls basketball action at the Huron Middle School Gymnasium.

“We didn’t play good enough defense and our execution was not where it needed to be to play a team as good as Stevens,” said Huron coach Kody Kopfmann. “We weren’t prepared to play and again, we got behind and had to fight back.”

The Tigers almost immediately found themselves down 9-0, as the Raiders hit their first four shots, including five points from Hailey Oswald. A Kopfmann timeout refocused the Tigers, who ran the next six points as Hamtyn Heinz sandwiched short jumpers around a layup by Heavan Gainey to make it 9-6.

The teams traded scores the rest of the the quarter, and an Isabelle Ellwein three pointer from the left corner cut the RCS lead to four points, at 19-15, after one quarter.

The second quarter proved to be a offensive minefield for the Tigers, as a Gainey bucket at the 7:15 mark, which made it 21-17, would be the final field goal of the half for the home team.  

Huron was able to get to the line the rest of the way, and made 8/10 in the quarter from the stripe, the Raiders were able to match them with Oswald and Macey Wathen collecting outside threes and Taaliyah Porter converted inside to key a 6-0 run midway through the quarter and help Stevens to a 32-25 cushion at the half.

“Our two keys to start were to handle their press,” Kopfmann noted, “which I thought we did a pretty good job of doing. But the second thing was to defend the three-point line and we didn’t do that well at all. They made 10 three pointers and we can’t have that happen for us to win.”

The start of the third quarter followed the same script. Karsyn Kopfmann got Huron started and Heinz hit a layup, while Porter was converting an “and-one” that made it 35-29.

It was as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way, as Stevens went on a 10-2 run over a three-minute period in the quarter that pushed the lead out to 14 points. The Raiders led 53-35 after three quarters and pushed the margin past 20 points early in a fourth quarter that saw both coaches get varsity time for their bench players.

“We need to be able to stop teams,” coach Kopfmann said. “We aren’t built to score a ton of points. Tonight, we didn’t keep our player in front of us - they blew past and forced us to help out and they found the open player for the shot.”

Porter led a balanced attack for Stevens with 14 points, while Oswald netted 13 and Brittany Jones chipped in 11.
Huron was led Heinz’s 13 points while Ellwein scored 12.

RCS took the JV game 53-50, as a three-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer just rimmed out.

The Tigers return to action Tuesday when S.F. Roosevelt comes to town for a 7 p.m. start, then will pack their bags for a weekend trip to the Black Hills, to face Spearfish and Sturgis on Friday and Saturday.

RC Stevens     19 32 53 68
Huron         15 25 35 45

RC Stevens (11-2): Brittany Jones 4 0-0 11; Hailey Oswald 5 0-0 13; Taaliyah Porter 3 8-9 14; Finley Loved3 0-0 6; Claire Fierro 3 0-1 6; Isabell Higgins 1 0-0 2; Macey Wathen 3 0-0 8; Brie Karna 0 2-2 2; Gabbie Love 2 0-1 6. Totals: 24 10-13 68.

Huron (6-6): Bryn Huber 0 5-6 5; Hamtyn Heinz 4 5-5 13; Karsyn Kopfmann 1 0-0 2; Isabelle Ellwein 3 5-6 12; Heavan Gainey 2 0-0 4; Kristin Janes 1 2-2 4; Hylton Heinz 1 1-2 3; Lizzy Heinen 0 0-1 0; Jaylee Noyes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 18-22 45.