HURON — Using defense to create offense has been a strong point of emphasis for Huron coach Jon Schouten as his team enters the stretch run of the season.
The Tigers took that to heart on Saturday as they cruised to a 63-40 victory against the Sturgis Scoopers at Huron Arena.
“We talked a lot this week, because we had some time, about what it is going to take for us to be in the conversation, where we want to be at the end of the year and that’s going to be at the defensive end,” Schouten said. “We want to make sure our defense is aggressive, taking chances, trying to get some stops and steals that turn into some easy offense.”
A full-court press helped Huron wreak havoc for the Scoopers and enabled the Tigers to put up 20 points during a three-minute span in the opening quarter.
Nathan Boehrns started the run by being fouled on a layup after a steal. On the next possession following the conventional 3-point play, he knocked down the first of his four 3-point field goals in the game and then came up with a steal and a layup on the ensuing possession to give Huron an 11-2 lead.
Boehrns hit his second 3-pointer less than a minute later after Derick Siemonsma scored a transition basket on a dish from Cooper Fryberger.
Boehrns shot gave the Tigers a 16-2 lead and forced Sturgis to take its second timeout in less than a minute.
After a turnover by the Scoopers coming out of the timeout, Huron put together an 11-0 run highlighted by Kobe Busch and Teegan Evers.
Following a 3-pointer by Busch, Evers came up with a steal and dunk and then converted another steal into a layup to give the Tigers a 23-2 lead, which prompted Sturgis into its third timeout out with 2:04 remaining in the first quarter.
Following another field goal Evers, Busch came up with a steal and set Evers up for an alley-oop dunk to make it 27-2.
The play sent the Huron crowd into a frenzy, but also provided the Scoopers with their next scoring opportunity as a technical foul was access by the officials due to a presumed taunting infraction
Sturgis capitalized as Zach Shoun converted on the pair of free throws.
Both teams would then score four points each to close the opening quarter, which ended with Huron holding a 31-8 advantage.
The big lead allowed Schouten to dip into his bench for much of the second quarter and a majority of the second half.
“Anytime you can get that many guys on the floor, you are allowing your starters to rest, which is valuable,” he said. “You don’t know where you are going to have to turn or where the games you have down the line. It was really good to be able to do that this weekend.”
The Tigers would lead 40-24 at the half and 58-32 heading into the final quarter.
The victory Saturday gave Huron a sweep of a pair of West River teams and boosted its season mark to 10-3.
“I’m really proud of the kids and their effort this weekend. It’s always hard when your the team on paper expected to win and play well, and I thought our kids did,” Schouten said. “Defensively, they put ourselves in good position and they were able to turn up the heat a little to get some steals and stuff like that.”
Boehrns finished with a game-high 19 points to lead Huron. Evers and Busch finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Fryberger added seven points.
Busch also snagged 11 rebounds to help the Tigers to a 39-25 advantage on the boards. Fryberger had a team-high three steals and two assists, while Busch and Boehrns each had a pair of assists.
Shoun was the lone player to reach double figures for the Scoopers, who are now 4-10, with 10 points. Connor Korth added eight points, while Sanden Graham had six points. Marcus Myrick had six rebounds and Josh Fowler had four steals.
Sturgis got past Huron 58-50 in the junior varsity game Saturday, while the Tigers escaped with a 42-40 win in the sophomore game.
On Friday, Huron won 53-52 against Spearfish in the junior varsity game and 58-48 in the sophomore game.
The Tigers will return to action Tuesday, with a 7 p.m. Game at Pierre.
Sturgis 8 24 32 40
Huron 31 40 58 63
Sturgis (4-10): Josh Fowler 1 2-2 4; Gabe Legner 1 0-0 2; David Anderson 2 0-0 4; Marcus Myrick 1 0-0 2; Zach Shoun 3 4-5 10; Connor Korth 2 2-3 8; Sanden Graham 3 0-0 6; Tanner Ortlieb 1 0-0 2; Jake Vliem 1 0-4 2. Totals: 15 8-14 40.
Huron (10-3): Cooper Fryberger 3 1-1 7; Teegan Evers 7 0-0 14; Kobe Busch 5 0-0 13; Nathan Boehrns 7 1-1 19; Kler Hae 1 0-0 3; Zach Kopfmann 1 0-0 2; Derick Siemonsma 1 2-2 4; Jayden Beck 0 1-2 1. Totals: 25 5-6 63.
Rebounds: S 25 (Myrick 6); H 39 (Busch 11). 3-point goals: S 2 (Korth 2); H 8 (Boehrns 4, Busch 3, Hae 1). Turnovers: S 21; H 13. Assists: S 1; H 8 (Fryberger 2, Busch 2, Boehrns 2). Steals: S 12 (Fowler 4); H 18 (Fryberger 3). Fouls: S 9; H 14.