Hettinger-Scranton improves to 5-0 in Region 7 with big win over Richardton-Taylor
RICHARDTON — Standing with a 9-1 record, the Hettinger-Scranton girls basketball team are on a roll, and at this point of the season at least, there appears to be little that can slow it down.
The Night Hawks continued their winning ways with their largest scoring output of the season, defeating Richardton-Taylor 84-47 on Thursday, Jan. 10, from the Richardton-Taylor High School Gym.
Improving to 5-0 in Region 7 competition, the road team put up 59 points in the first half and by the end of the game, 10 of its players entered the scoring column.
"Coming into the game, we knew with Richardton-Taylor that they were going to be very physical, so we wanted to be able to match their physicality," Night Hawks head coach Kelly Pierce said. "We also know offensively, that when we move the ball, we can score. That was our whole point coming in, to be as fundamental as possible and just move the ball. ... We put the ball in the basket and that's what we want to do continue to do."
Hettinger-Scranton junior guard Alyssa Andress and sophomore Sam Oase flooded the scoreboard early in the opening quarter, combining to score the team's first 14 points and giving the Night Hawks their first double-figure advantage at 14-3.
The Raiders had trouble dealing with their opponent's press, turning the ball over four times in the backcourt. But once they were able to dribble past the half-court line, the home team played competitively through the middle portion of the frame.
Sophomore guard Skylar Crow knocked down a shot in the paint before drawing a pair of shooting fouls by attacking the cup, draining 3 of 4 free throws to close the gap to 17-8.
Moments later, the margin stayed at nine when eighth-grade guard Gracee Kuntz hit a putback after the team collected two offensive rebounds. Kuntz' bucket was the best highlight for a squad that finished with nine points more than what Hettinger-Scranton allows on average, at 38 points per game.
"I thought defensively, I wasn't very happy with how our defense played, fundamentally, "Pierce said. "I thought we needed to be a little more sound that way."
Starting with an Oase three-point play, Hettinger-Scranton broke the game open with an 11-2 run to close out the quarter. The final four points of that surge all came on the foul line — three Oase free throws and one from senior guard Abbie Kludt — as Richardton-Taylor committed 10 fouls through the first eight minutes of the game.
"We started out obviously very slow. Hettinger-Scranton, I got to give them props, they're just a very talented and disciplined team," Richardton-Taylor head coach Andrea Crow said. "We can't do much when we are in foul trouble. You can't put up 10 fouls in a period and expect to compete with anyone."
The fouls were a product of the Night Hawks speed and athleticism, as the Raiders had a tough time keeping up. Additionally, their speed helped created turnovers and opportunities in the open court throughout the first half.
"We really like to push the ball and play fast," Andress said. "I think it helps to tire out the defense too. We do have a lot of people that can come off the bench and play well, so we can play really, really quick, we'll get breakouts and be able to stay at our best."
Andress led all players with 29 points, 23 of which were scored in the first half before sitting out much of the second half. Oase added 19 points while freshman Bailee Pierce chipped in with 14 points, including two 3-pointers.
Skylar Crow paced the home team with 13 points while senior guard Elle Goetz and Kuntz contributed 11 and nine points, respectively.
"Transition offense played a role big role," Andress said. "We were really good at pushing the ball and that led open layups for all of our teammates. I'd say we moved the ball really, really well, opening up a lot of shots on the outside as well."
Hettinger-Scranton 84, Richardton-Taylor 47
HS 32 27 21 4
RT 14 11 12 10
HS: Alyssa Andress 29, Sam Oase 19, Bailee Pierce 14, Quinn Mellmer 6, Carolyn Schultz 4, Abbie Kludt 3, Briana Sanford 3, Sidra Sadowsky 2, Abbi Steeke 2, Casitee Miller 2.
RT: Skylar Crow 13, Elle Goetz 11, Gracee Kuntz 9, Carly Diede 6, JaLynn Olson 4, Ieesha Jordan 4.
3-pointers: HS 2 (Pierce 2), RT 1 (Goetz 1). Free throws: HS 16-28, RT 14-24. Total fouls: HS 17, RT 25. Fouled out: 1 (RT: Diede). Records: HS 9-1 (Region 7 5-0), RT 3-9 (Region 7 1-2).