HURON - A 10-0 run in the first quarter took the Tigers from trailing by seven to leading the game. From there, a tight contest was on, with the Huron Tigers using free throws with less than 10 seconds remaining to secure a 61-59 victory over the Pierre Governors Tuesday night.
After gaining the lead in the first quarter, the Tigers did not give up the lead throughout the entire second quarter, using a pair of buckets with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half to push their lead to 35-27, their largest gap of the game to that point.
Coach Tim Buddenhagen was impressed with the way his team fought back after an early deficit. “They had the heart and the determination to come back,” he stated.
Havyn Heinz was able to key the offense in the first half with 15 points on five 3-point baskets. Alexis Feenstra and Tenley Buddenhagen were both playing injured, but both contributed very well to the Tigers’ ability to break through the Pierre full-court press in the first half.
Neither team would shoot very well in what would become a very contact-heavy third quarter as officials let the girls play to some degree, though much of the scoring that was done for both teams was from the free throw line. The Tigers ended the period up nine, 44-37.
The Governors got hot from deep to open the final period and came all the way back to take a lead for the first time since the first quarter at 48-47. Pierre used hot shooting to push the lead out to four, but Huron quickly tied the game and the two teams began exchanging buckets.
Heinz put the Tigers on her back in the final quarter, scoring nine points in the final period to help counter the six 3-point baskets from the Pierre team in the fourth quarter. Heavan Gainey grabbed a big rebound with nine seconds left and was fouled. The freshman made one of two shots to give the Tigers a one-point lead. She then grabbed the rebound on a desperation three-point shot from Pierre and hit one more free throw for the final difference.
“Nerves of steel,” remarked Buddenhagen about Gainey’s game-winning free throw after missing the first of two foul shots. “Often you miss that first, you miss the second, but she stepped right up and put it down.”
The Governors were led by seniors Kodi Severyn and Kylee Thorpe, who scored 15 and 14 points respectively, as Pierre fell to 7-11 on the season. Freshman Remington Price scored 14 points off the bench, including four 3-point buckets. Caytee Williams led the Governors with eight rebounds.
Havyn Heinz had a monster night to help push the Tigers back to .500 at 7-7. Heinz scored 27 points to lead all scorers, including six from beyond the arc, and she also grabbed five steals on the night as well. Heavan Gainey was the only other Tiger in double-figures scoring with 12 points. Brooke Schiltz led Huron with a game-high nine rebounds.
Coach Buddenhagen is happy with how his girls are playing and feels they’re on the edge of something potentially special to end the year:
“We’re making that climb, and now we’ve got to explode.”
The Tigers travel to Brandon to take on Brandon Valley on Thursday.
Pierre 15 27 37 59
Huron 16 35 44 61
Pierre (7-11): Kenzie Gronlund 0 2-2 2; Kodi Severyn 6 0-0 15; Kylee Thorpe 5 2-2 12; Caytee Williams 2 3-4 7; Remington Price 4 2-2 14; Jessica Lutmer 1 0-0 3; Ayvrie Kaiser 1 2-2 4. Totals: 19 11-12 59.
Huron (7-7): Bella Shreeve 2 0-0 4; Tenley Buddenhagen 2 2-3 7; Havyn Heinz 8 5-5 27; Heavan Gainey 3 5-9 12; Brooke Schiltz 1 0-0 2; Alexis Feenstra 2 3-4 9. Totals: 18 15-21 61.
FG: P - 19-56 34%; H - 18-48 38%. 3-pt FG: P - 10-31 (Price 4, Severyn 3, Thorpe 2, Lutmer); H - 10-23 (Heinz 6, Feenstra 2, Buddenhagen, Gainey). Rebounds: P 33 (Williams 8); H 37 (Schiltz 9). Turnovers: P 13, H 18. Fouls: P 20 (Lutmer out), H 16.