Hanson girls cruise past Wall in first round
HURON -- A dominating defensive performance gave Hanson a 53-34 win over Wall in opening-round play of the South Dakota Class B state girls' basketball tournament Thursday.
The Beavers held the Eagles without a second-quarter field goal and only two in the third quarter. The game was close, 12-8, after the first quarter.
Hanson opened the second period with consecutive three-point plays from Kendra Cheeseman and Leah Marsh en route to a 12-1 run and a 24-9 advantage.
The Beavers managed only four more points over the final five minutes of the first half, but Wall could only stay close shooting eight of 10 from the free-throw line. The Eagles trailed 28-16 at intermission, shooting 21 percent from the field and committing 11 turnovers.
Hanson coach Jim Bridge was proud of his team's defense.
"Our defense is what's got us here," Bridge said. "We did miss some opportunities that made it tougher for our defense. In the district and region, we held our opponents to 40 points and under."
The defense prevailed in the third quarter for the Beavers as Hanson put the game out of reach and led 42-21 going into the fourth quarter.
Senior Kendra Cheeseman scored 14 points and had three assists for Hanson.
"Especially in these last three games, I have to provide leadership," she said. "My teammates look to me to help them in the game."
Added Bridge: "(Cheeseman) had a good game," he said. "It's helped having been here last year and even being here as a student manager. That experience is starting to pay off now."
Cassidy Graham followed with 14 points for the Beavers, who raised their record to 22-2.
Hanson was 22-of-46 for 48 percent from the floor and 7-of-10 for 70 percent from the free-throw line. The Beavers outrebounded the Eagles 27-23 and turned the ball over 18 times.
Wall coach John Hess felt his team didn't get into its offense.
"We were forcing things and we didn't get into our offense like we wanted to," he said. "(Hanson) had a good defense, but we just forced it way too much. There were shots that we didn't take during the year, and we get here on the big stage and we force things."
Autumn Schultz led the Eagles with 17 points followed by Sadie O'Rouke with 11 points.
Wall (18-5) was 11-of-33 for 33 percent from the field and 11-of-16 for 69 percent from the free-throw line. The Eagles turned the ball over 24 times.
Wall takes on Parker in the consolation bracket this afternoon, while Hanson, seeded third, plays second-seeded De Smet at 7:45 p.m. today in the semifinal round.