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Kernel girls stifle Tigers in 72-40 win

Mitchell’s Julie Knight dribbles the ball around the perimeter against Eastern South Dakota Conference rival Huron Thursday night at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Despite a tightly contested opening quarter, the Kernel girls ran away from the Tigers to stay undefeated.

The No. 2 Mitchell girls’ basketball team topped Huron 72-40 on the strength of an explosive third quarter that saw the Kernels outscore the Tigers 23-2 in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game Thursday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

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“The third quarter was the best quarter that we have had this year,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “The kids kind of grew up in that third quarter. When our defense gets it done, our offense follows.”

The Mitchell (9-0, 7-0 ESD) defense certainly got it done, as the home team caused 29 turnovers and came away with 19 steals.

The win was the 37th in a row at home for the for the Kernels. School officials are not aware if that is a school record.

Senior guard Macy Miller continued her excellent season with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting. She also had team highs in rebounds with seven, and steals with seven.

“After the first quarter I told the team that we needed to get after it defensively,” Morgan said. “We were backing off. Once we took two steps forward we made it hard for them on the offensive end.”

Despite tweaking an ankle in the first half, forward Taylor Volesky continued to emerge as a go-to player for the Kernels. The junior finished with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while pulling down six boards and grabbing three steals.

“Taylor is starting to mature as a basketball player,” Morgan said. “She is a big part of this team and we are going to need her to continue to grow.”

Huron kept the game tight in the first quarter, but Mitchell senior Emma Schmidt stepped up with six early points to help get her team out in front.

“I think we are all getting more comfortable with each other on the court and that just builds confidence,” said Schmidt, who finished with eight points, all in the first half. “We are getting used to the atmosphere and the speed of the game.”

Torrie Michels finished with seven points, three rebounds and three steals for the Kernels, while added Shelly Iburg added six points, three rebounds and three steals.

As a team, Mitchell shot 24-of-56 from the field and 21-of-23 from the free-throw line.

Huron was without guard Jacey Hupp, who was out with a concussion. The Tigers leaned on sophomore forward Sarah Carr, who finished with a team-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

Lexi Eckmann added 11 points off the bench for the Tigers. Huron shot 15-of-38 as a team and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, while outrebounding the Kernels 32-26.

The subvarsity games were cancelled due to weather in the Mitchell area.

Next up for Mitchell is No. 5 Sioux Falls O’Gorman at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Falls.

“O’Gorman is going to be tough challenge and will be a test for us,” Schmidt said.

Huron (4-6, 3-5 ESD) plays Harrisburg Jan. 24 in Huron.

Huron 40 Mitchell 72 MIT (9-0, 7-0 ESD) Taylor Volesky 6-10 7-8 20; Shelly Iburg 2-3 2-2 6; Torrie Michels 2-8 2-2 7; Macy Miller 9-18 8-8 26; Emma Schmidt 3-8 2-3 8; Erin Farnham 0-0 0-1 0; Kaelyn Kaul 0-0 0-0 0; Cassidy Musick 1-3 0-0 3; Julie Knight 0-1 0-0 0; Alex Weber 1-2 0-0 2; Hallie Misiaszek 0-0 0-0 0; Rachel Bucholz 0-0 0-0 0; Ally Goldammer 0-1 0-0 0; Kaley Nolz 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 24-56 21-23 72.

HUR (4-6, 3-5 ESD) Bailey Rathjen 1-3 0-0 3; Jessica Tschetter 0-4 0-2 0; Jazz Newton 0-0 0-0 0; Calla Rounds 1-2 0-0 2; Sarah Carr 6-12 6-7 19; Taya Butterfield 1-4 1-2 3; Katie Schoenfelder 0-0 0-0 0; Sami Zell 1-3 0-0 2; Meckia Fassler 0-0 0-0 0; Lexi Eckmann 5-9 1-3 11; Sara Skorheim 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 15-38 8-14 40.

Huron 12 22 24 40 Mitchell 18 42 65 72 3-point field goals: M 3-13, H 2-7. Rebounds: M 26 (Volesky 6, Miller 6), H 32 (Carr 7). Assists: M 10 (Iburg 2, Michels 2, Schmidt 2), H 7 (Rathjen 3). Steals: M 18 (Miller 7), H 3. Turnovers: M 10 (Volesky 4), H 29 (Rathjen 9, Newton 7). Personal fouls: M 14, H 20. Technical fouls: none. Fouled out: none.