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Mitchell junior Beau Brown goes up for a shot in the third quarter against Harrisburg in high school basketball Tuesday night at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The Kernels won their first home game 56-52. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

MHS boys win home opener over Harrisburg

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MHS boys win home opener over Harrisburg
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The Kernels made a statement early in their home opener as they raced to a 9-0 lead.

“That was the game and we were able to keep our composure,” Mitchell High School boys’ basketball coach Erik Skoglund said. “This win solves so many problems because you can show them so many facts about how this isn’t working but you’ve got to show them victories.

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“You’ve got to get that first win to make the players believe.”

Mitchell (1-1, 1-1 ESD) used the early momentum and held off a late comeback from Eastern South Dakota Conference newcomer Harrisburg (0-2, 0-2 ESD) to earn its first win of the season with a 56-52 victory Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Through the first half, the Kernels forced turnovers and earned quick baskets in the paint to gain a lead as big as 15 in the second quarter.

“Offensively, we were not attacking or being aggressive and we missed a lot of shots in the paint,” Harrisburg head coach Scott Langerock said. “I thought we were really poor closing out and that’s the recipe for getting down really fast.

“I think what the guys need to understand is at this level, you’re going to get everybody’s best punches and they’re not going to miss shots if they’re wide open.”

Despite getting down early, the Tigers rallied back to come within three within the final 16 seconds of the game. Mitchell struggled from the free-throw line down the stretch, going 1-of-9 from the line in the fourth quarter, allowing the Tigers to close the gap. But the Kernels were able to hold on, with sophomore forward Kanin Nelson knocking down a free throw to regain a two-possession lead.

“Harrisburg didn’t exactly throw the shots up that we thought they might, but when they did we were able to get the rebound,” said Skoglund, whose team won the rebounding battle 50-32. “When you beat them on the glass 50-32 in a tight game like this when we’re missing free throws down the stretch, that helped us come back and squeak out the victory.”

Of those 50 rebounds, 40 were defensive boards. Senior forward Derek Miller said the team worked heavily on rebounding Monday.

“Our last practice was just boxing out drills and rebounding and it showed tonight,” said Miller, who brought down a game-high 10 rebounds and added eight points in the win.

Mitchell shot 42 percent from the field, 30 percent from behind the arc and 25 percent from the line. No Kernel player scored in double figures as Mitchell was led by senior guard Neil Schlimgen with nine points. Junior guard Jaron Weich, senior guard Ethan Jones and Nelson each scored seven for Mitchell, which had 18 turnovers to Harrisburg’s 13.

The Tigers were led in scoring by senior forward Christian Trainor with a game-high 14 points and junior guard Cody Eide with 11. Harrisburg shot 29 percent from the field, 12 percent from behind the arc and 64 percent from the line.

The Kernels hit the road for a pair nonconference contests Friday and Saturday. Mitchell plays Rapid City Central at 8 p.m. Central time Friday and Rapid City Stevens at 2:45 p.m. Central time Saturday.

Mitchell 56

Harrisburg 52

Mitchell (1-1, 1-1 ESD)

Jaron Weich 3-6 0-0 7; Derek Miller 3-8 0-3 8; Beau Brown 2-15 0-2 8; Neil Schlimgen 4-5 0-1 9; Kanin Nelson 2-7 3-5 7; Tyler Houwman 2-2 0-1 4; Connor Morgan 0-1 0-0 0; Ryker Kreutzfeldt 0-0 0-0 0; Carter Brewster 3-4 0-0 6; Ethan Jones 3-6 0- 7; Keegan Soukup 0-0 0-0 0; Jon Jamison 1-1 0-0 2; Totals: 23-55 3-12 56.

Harrisburg (0-2, 0-2 ESD)

Cody Eide 5-16 1-3 11; Dalton Allen 1-2 0-1 2; Austin Bicknase 2-6 1-1 6; Gunar Rang 2-15 3-4 7; Aiden Miller 0-1 0-0 0; Jayce Corlett 0-0 0-0 0; Justin Jacobson 2-8 5-8 9; Christian Trainor 3-4 7-9 14; Ethan Roth 0-0 0-0 0; Kian Wilcox 0-1 1-2 1;Totals 16-56 18-28 52.

M 18 29 44 56

H 9 22 32 52

3-point goals: M 7-23 (Weich 1, Miller 2, Brown 2, Schlimgen 1, Jones 1), H 2-17 (Bicknase, Trainor); Rebounds: M 50 (Miller 10, Brown 8), H 32 (Rang 6, Trainor 6); Assists: M 11 (Brown 4), H 1 (Eide); Steals: M 8, H 12;Turnovers: M 18, H 13; Fouls: M 27, H 19; Technical fouls: None.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Harrisburg 63-58.

Sophomore: Harrisburg 73-52. Gray Determan had 13 points and Jed Schmidt had 11.

Freshmen A: Mitchell 57-36. Sam Michels had 23 points and Sam Mock had 11 in the win.

Freshmen B: Harrisburg 68-27. Taylen Trisco had 14 points and Travis Allen scored 11 points for Mitchell.

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Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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