YANKTON — Matthew Mors scored 46 points and the second-ranked Yankton Bucks needed all of them Tuesday night, as the Bucks held off a pesky third-ranked Huron Tigers boys’ basketball team for a 66-60 ESD win. The tough loss ended Huron’s six-game winning streak and puts their record at 6-2 for the season.
Yankton, which had lost its first game last weekend after opening with seven straight wins, moves to 8-1.
“We’re not really into moral victories,” said Tiger coach Jon Schouten following the game. “I guess you could say that tonight.”
Mors showed from the opening tip why he is on nearly every collegiate basketball coach’s watch list - as a sophomore - as the 6-foot, 7-inch forward scored inside and outside, amassing 14 of Yankton’s 15 first quarter points.
Huron, which had benefitted from quick starts in its two straight games against Brookings and Mitchell, instead found itself playing catchup from the outset. Nathan Boerhns hit a short jumper, then a long three on consecutive possessions to forge an early tie. A pair of hoops from Tanner Evers and a driving layup by Kobe Busch kept it to a three-point, 15-12, Yankton lead after one quarter.
“For whatever reason we came out flat tonight,” Schouten said. “We normally come out fired up and ready to play and I thought that we were kind, of watching for the first few possessions tonight.”
The pace slowed significantly, over the first half of the second quarter. Teegan Evers carved the lead to a single point two minutes into the period, but baskets on back-to-back possessions from Cooper Cornemann and Rex Ryken pushed the margin back to five points. Teegan Evers hit another jumper seconds later as the clock rolled past four minutes, but that was it for the next few possessions for the Tigers.
Yankton, meanwhile, sandwiched baskets by Mors around a three-pointer from Cole Sawatzke to push the margin to 10 points, at 26-16. A runner by Tanner Evers and a pull-up three-point bomb from Teegan Evers pulled the Tigers within five, at 26-21, but a last-second drive by Cornemann gave the Bucks a 28-21 lead at the break.
Yankton looked to put the game away in the third quarter, as Mors scored the team’s first 11 points of the quarter, while Huron managed only a pair of Teegan Evers’ baskets to make it 39-25, with just over four minutes gone. The Tigers, however, went on one of their patented points runs, keyed by Teegan Evers.
The 6-4 junior hit driving layups on consecutive possessions, then Busch drained a long three before Teegan Evers slapped the ball loose from Mors and took it coast-to-coast for a dunk that made the score 41-36. Mors hit one of two, then Busch found Tanner Evers with a thread-the-needle pass before Mors stroked another long three.
A basket exchange - one for Teegan Evers and a buzzer-beater by Mors made it 47-40 headed to the final period.
The momentum that Huron built in the third period bled over to the fourth, as a three from Teegan Evers cut the margin to four points seconds into the quarter. Mors scored on a baseline jumper, but a pair of free throws by Teegan Evers - the first of the contest for Huron - and a three from Boerhns cut the difference to a single point with 5:41 to play.
A Mors conventional three-point play was countered by a Teegan Evers bucket. Mors dialed long distance again and hit a jumper in the lane to make it 57-51 with four minutes in the game. Teegan Evers scored again, and Boehrns got a layup off a strong defensive effort by Busch to carve the lead to two points, with three minutes to play.
But the rally ended there, as Owen Feser hit a long three-pointer, then Cornemann converted a traditional three-point play and then Feser hit both ends of a one-and-one free throw and the margin was quickly pushed back to 10 points and Huron simply ran out of time.
“I thought Teegan did a good job of adjusting,” Schouten said. “We had him on Mors to start and that takes some out of anyone, and then he did a good job of taking the ball to the hoop, once he realized that they couldn’t stop him.”
Teegan Evers ended the game with 31 points for the Tigers, 24 of them in the second half. Older brother Tanner Evers scored 11 points as well.
Mors’ 46 points came on an efficient 18-30 shooting night, including 8-13 from behind the arc. No other Bucks got to double figures in the game.
“Mors made some tough shots,” Schouten noted, “but we also gave him some easy ones too.”
Huron is back in action on Saturday, traveling to S.F. O’Gorman to take on the Knights.
Huron 12 21 40 60
Yankton 15 28 47 66
HURON (6-2): Jett McGirr 1 0-0 2; Tanner Evers 5 0-0 11; Teegan Evers 13 3-4 31; Kobe Busch 2 1-2 4; Nathan Boehrns 4 0-0 10. Totals 25 4-6 60.
YANKTON (8-1): Cole Swatzke 1 0-0 3; Cooper Cornemann 4 1-1 9; Owen Feser 1 3-4 5; Rex Ryken 1 1-2 3; Matthew Mors 18 2-4 46. Totals: 25 7-11 66.
FG: H - 25-59 42%; Y - 25-53 47%. 3-PT FG: H - 6-24 25% (Teegan Evers 2, Boehrns 2, Tanner Evers, Busch); Y - 9-19 47% (Mors 8, Swatzke). Rebounds: H - 21 (Busch 5, Tanner Evers 5); Y - 33 (Mors 11). TO: H - 4; Y - 7. Fouls: H - 14; Y - 11.