Huron boys dominate Cavs

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HURON — Using a solid defense throughout and momentum turning runs in each half, the Huron Tiger boys’ basketball team ran roughshod over the Sioux Falls Jefferson Cavaliers 71-55 Saturday afternoon at Huron Arena.

The win pushes Huron’s record to 6-4 while SFJ falls to 5-6.

“I thought we defended one-on-one very well tonight,” said Tiger coach Tim Buddenhagen at the conclusion of the win. “We knew we were not going to be able to double inside on 50 (Jefferson’s 6-foot, 4-inch post player Mason Payne) or he would kick it out to a shooter for a three. So defending him one-on-one in the paint was crucial. Our paint defense was good tonight.”

A pair of baskets from Anderson Porisch and a rebound bucket from Gavin Moeding got Huron off to a 6-4 start with just over three minutes off the clock. A steal on the defensive end ignited a fast break that ended with Porisch drilling a three. Blake Ellwein, who led the Tigers with 20 points in the game, hit a three on the next Huron possession and then drained a deuce on a move down the lane.

Jefferson got three points on a basket from Daniel Jones while Dawson Sechser hit one of two from the line, but the Tigers were feeling it. Colt McNeil hit three three-point field goals from virtually the same plank on the Arena floor and a late runout layup from CJ Gainey staked Huron to a 25-12 lead after the first quarter of play.

Huron’s long distance barrage continued in the second quarter as Porisch, Gainey and Kolton Ogle all netted three pointers, however, the shots that had been bouncing off the rim for the Cavaliers in the first quarter started dropping in the second. While the Huron lead did get to 19 points, at 37-18, with three minutes in the half, Jefferson closed on an 8-1 run, with three pointers from Jones and Ethan Swenson, and a deuce from Edwards Whiting to keep the margin manageable, at 38-26, headed to the halftime break.

During halftime, members of the 2004 Huron Tiger State AA championship team were recognized on the 20th anniversary of their state title. Many of the players, along with head coach Buddenhagen and assistant coaches Terry Rotert and Tom Reid were in attendance at the brief ceremony.

The Cavaliers came out refocused offensively for the second half, as getting the ball inside became the intent, against the taller, but lighter Tiger defenders. Jefferson opened the period on a 8-3 rally - with Payne supplying six of the points. Gainey hit from three, but the Huron lead shrank to seven points at the 4:47 mark. The teams traded baskets until the three minute mark, when a pair of free throws by Tylers Bohannon cut the lead back to eight points, at 46-38. Moeding answered with a three, but Payne scored inside to make it 49-40 Tigers with two minutes to play.

Huron ran a screen play to perfection, popping Ellwein loose at the top of the key and the lanky sophomore drilled the field goal. Huron flexed its defensive muscle, as Ogle forced a steal, which Moeding picked up and fed Porisch for a driving layup and after another stop, Ellwein hit another three and the lead swelled back to 17 points with 48 seconds in the quarter.

Payne hit one of two, but Ellwein scored on a put-back, was fouled and hit the free throw with four seconds left and Huron led 60-41 headed to the fourth.

The clock showed eight minutes to play, but the game, for all intents and purposes was over.

A McNeil free throw pushed the lead to 20 points and stayed there throughout most of the rest of the game, save for a couple of three pointers from Cavalier reserves in the final minute of play.

“I was really happy with the grit we showed tonight,” commented Buddenhagen. “The thought is that the Sioux Falls Schools are just too strong, but if we play defense and shoot the ball like we did tonight, we can play with anybody.”

In addition to Ellwein’s 20 points - and nine rebounds and seven assists as well - Porisch netted 17, McNeil had a dozen and Gainey chipped in 10 and handed out five assists.

Payne was the lone Cavalier in double figures, as he scored 13 points in the contest - 10 of them during Jefferson’s third-quarter run. Otherwise, the rotating Tiger defenders held the Cavalier big man in check.

While Buddenhagen was happy with the defense and the Tigers’ grit on offense, he was not happy with the 12 turnovers attributed to the team. “When the games get tight, every possession is precious,” he said, “and turnovers can lead to run outs and we can’t defend those.”

The two late threes from Jefferson got them to their season average of 55 points, while the 71 put up by the Tigers is their highest point total of the season. Huron also shot the ball very well, hitting 12 of 28 from behind the arc - a toasty 43% rate - and had six different players connect from distance, which Buddenhagen was happy to see, as it makes his team that much more difficult to defend.

“The two runs and the overall defense are the story of the game,” Buddenhagen said, noting that it was good to have members of the 2004 squad in attendance.

“You know,” he said, “theirs is the last banner that we hung here in the Arena. It’s be nice to be able to go get another one.”

Huron returns to action this week with road games at Watertown on Tuesday and at Sioux Falls Lincoln on Thursday.

S.F. Jefferson           12 26 41 55
Huron         23 38 60 71

S.F. JEFFERSON (5-6): Jase Unzen 1 1-2 4; Tylers Bohannon 1 3-4 6; Dawson Sechser 3 4-6 8; Mason Payne 5 3-7 13; Deng Kuek 1 0-0 3; Jordan Dettler 1 0-0 3; Daniel Jones 3 0-0 7. Ethan Swenson 2 0-0 6; Edwards Whiting 1 0-0 2; Trevon Nielson 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 11-19 55.

HURON (6-4): Colt McNeil 4 1-2 12; Gavin Moeding 2 0-0 5; CJ Gainey 4 0-0 10; Blake Ellwein 7 3-4 20; Anderson Porisch 7 1-1 17; Kolton Ogle 2 0-0 5; Carsen Evans 1 0-0 2. Totals: 27 5-7 71.

FG: SFJ - 18-45 40%; H - 27-61 44%. 3-pt FG: SFJ - 8-20 (Swenson 2, Unzen, Bohannon, Sechser, Kuek, Dettler and Jones); H 0 12-28 (McNeil 3, Ellwein 3, Porisch 2, Gainey 2, Moeding, Ogle). REB: SFJ - 30 (Three players with three); H - 33 (Ellwein 9). TO: SFJ - 15; H - 12. Assists: SFJ - 15 (Swenson 5); H - 20 (Ellwein 7, Gainey 5). Fouls: SFJ - 15; H - 14.