MHS boys drops home finale to Arrows
Junior guard Beau Brown said the story of this year’s Mitchell boys’ basketball team is a lack of size inside, which has made it tough for the Kernels to stop opponents from scoring in the paint.
Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, Watertown took advantage of the Kernels in the post and claimed a 70-57 Eastern South Dakota Conference victory.
“It is tough to keep kids down low, so they get to the high post or the block and that opens up three-point shooters and everything,” Brown said. “Even though we are small we just have to communicate and hold them to one shot.”
The game was the final home game of the season for Mitchell.
Giving the Kernels (1-18, 1-13 ESD) a hard time in the low post Friday was Watertown (9-10, 8-7 ESD) forward Harrison Jones. Jones scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The Arrows dominated the Kernels on the boards as well, grabbing 38 rebounds to Mitchell’s 20.
With Jones going to work on the inside that opened up room for his teammate Trevor Jutting to start firing 3-pointers. Jutting made all three of his shots from behind the arc and finished with 16 points.
“We have been struggling all year with defensive intensity and rebounding, but I think we did well with both of those tonight,” Watertown boys’ basketball coach Brian Norberg said. “Mitchell played really hard and their trapping game kept us a little off balance. Whenever you get trapped, if you can make a good pass you can get in the lane and get layups.”
In the first quarter, Mitchell negated Watertown’s low-post game with an uptempo offense. The Kernels, led by Brown, went back and forth with the Arrows and even managed to hold a 12-11 lead during the opening quarter. Brown scored 11 of the Kernels 15 points in the quarter and finished the game with a game-high 26 points. Mitchell senior guard Derek Miller added 10 points. Miller was one of five seniors honored before the game Friday as a part of senior night.
Up 20-15 after the first quarter Watertown built its lead with the help of a poor-shooting half from Mitchell, which shot 34 percent in the opening half. In contrast Watertown shot 45 percent from the field.
Despite being down 32-23, Mitchell came out and scored five quick points to start the second half and cut the Watertown lead to four points. The Arrows responded with an 11-0 run to push its lead to 43-28. The Kernels spent the rest of the second half frantically chasing the Arrows, and despite coming within seven points, did not seriously threaten the Watertown lead.
“We loved our energy and our focus coming out of halftime,” MHS boys’ basketball coach Erik Skoglund said. “But you are not going to win many basketball games when you put them on the line 33 times.”
MHS plays its final regular season game against ESD opponent Brookings in Brookings, while Watertown finishes against Harrisburg Tuesday in Harrisburg.
Mitchell 57 Watertown 70 MHS (1-18, 1-14 ESD) Ethan Jones 3-8 0-0 6, Derek Miller 4-8 0-0 10, Beau Brown 10-18 3-4 26, Neil Schlimgen 1-3 0-0 3, Jon Jamison 1-2 0-0 2, Tyler Houwman 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Morgan 0-3 2-2 2, Carter Brewster 1-2 0-0 2, Kanin Nelson 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 23-51 5-7 57.
WHS (9-10, 8-7 ESD) Nate Davis 3-8 9-13 16, Logan Gabriel 2-5 0-0 4, Trevor Jutting 4-5 5-6 16, Jesse Poppen 5 2-3 14, Marcus Gravatt 1-5 1-4 3, Harrison Jones 5-6 7-7 17. Totals 20-45.
W 20 32 49 70
M 15 23 42 57
3-point goals: Watertown 6-17 (Davis 1, Jutting 3, Poppen 2), MHS 6-17 ( Miller 2, Brown 3, Schlimgen 1);. Rebounds: Watertown 38 (Poppen 9, Jones 9), Mitchell 20 (Brown 4); Assists: Watertown 15 (Gabriel 3, Poppen 3), Mitchell 8 (D. Miller 3); Steals: Watertown 2 (Davis, Poppen), Mitchell 5 (Brown 2, Miller 2) Turnovers: Watertown 10, Mitchell 6. Total fouls: Watertown 12, Mitchell 23. Fouled out: None: Technical fouls: None.