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Mitchell senior Torrie Michels jumps up for a shot against Pierre defenders during an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ basketball game Thursday in Pierre. (Wade LaRoche/Capital Journal)

Michels steps up for Kernel girls in win

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By WADE LaROCHE

Capital Journal

PIERRE — The Pierre Governors definitely had the look of an upset-minded team during the first half, but Macy Miller and the rest of the Kernels had other ideas.

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The state’s second-rated team improved to 11-1 through a 60-45 win against the Governors at Riggs High School in Pierre. The Governors fell to 5-5 with the loss.

The teams were even after two quarters of play, but the Kernels outscored Pierre by 15 points in the second half to ensure the victory.

“We came out ready to play, and so did Pierre,” Mitchell head coach Wes Morgan said. “They came out with a lot of energy and hit some big shots. We missed some layups early, but I was happy with the way we were intense and got after it in the second half.”

Mitchell’s highly-regarded star, Miller, gave the Kernels the lead for good early in the third quarter when she scored four consecutive points. Pierre cut that lead in half when Miller’s future teammate at South Dakota State University Sydney Palmer sank two free throws, but Mitchell answered in a big way from beyond the arc. Palmer finished with 21 points and six rebounds.

Torrie Michels was the one who gave the Kernels breathing room in the third quarter, as the senior guard sank two consecutive threes to push the lead to eight. The buckets were no fluke, as Michels scored 17 points in the win for Mitchell.

“Macy is going to score her points,” Governors head coach Lisa Bahe said. “We wanted to keep up her around her average, and we kept her close to that. What beat us was Michels scoring 17 points. We have to stop the other people. We will look at the tape and figure out how to defend them a little differently, and we need to buy into that game plan.”

The outing from Michels was even more valuable considering Taylor Volesky was held scoreless as she continues to battle an ankle injury. It was another vintage night from Miller as she scored 29 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and had five steals and five assists.

The lead was extended to 13 with an old-fashioned three-point play by Miller, and the Governors never really made a push until their 7-0 run with 2:40 left cut the lead to 12.

That run was too little too late, as a defensive adjustment by Morgan may have disrupted the Governors’ rhythm in the second half.

The win was certainly a quality one for the No. 2-ranked Kernels as they earned an all-important win within District 3AA.

“It’s not easy to come here and win,” Morgan said. “They are well coached. We came out on top tonight, but it was probably a little closer than the scoreboard shows. They are a good, young team, and it may have been different if (Kaitlyn) Severyn didn’t get in foul trouble. Severyn and Palmer are two terrific players, but we were able to make some adjustments.”

Mitchell will be back in action Tuesday when it hosts Harrisburg. The ESD Conference matchup begins at 7 p.m.

Mitchell 60 Pierre 45 Mitchell (11-1, 9-0 in ESD) Taylor Volesky 0-3 0-0 0; Shelly Iburg 2-11 2-2 6; Torrie Michels 6-8 3-5 17; Macy Miller 11-19 7-7 29; Emma Schmidt 2-4 0-0 5; Cassidy Musick 0-0 3-3 3. Totals 21-45 15-17 60.

Pierre (5-5, 5-4 in ESD) Kaitlyn Severyn 2-9 2-2 6; McKenna Halverson 1-5 0-0 3; Katie Berg 5-11 0-0 10; Jory Mullen 0-1 0-0 0; Sydney Palmer 7-15 4-5 21; Hallie Jerome 1-1 0-0 3; Kelsey Schmitz 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 17-46 6-7 45.

M 11 22 44 60 P 10 22 34 45

3-point goals—M 3-4(Michels 2-2, Schmidt 1-2), P 5-12 (Severyn 0-1, Halverson 1-2, Berg 0-1, Mullen 0-1, Palmer 3-6, Jerome 1-1); Rebounds—M 28 (Miller 6), P 26 (Severyn 8); Assists—M 6 (Miller 5), P 6 (Severyn 2); Steals—M 9 (Miller 5), P 7 (Berg 3); Blocks—M 3 (Miller 2), P 3 (Severyn 3); Turnovers—M 10, P 14; Totals fouls—M 12, P 16; Fouled out—Severyn, Schmitz

Subvarsity scores JV: Mitchell 41-33. Kaley Nolz scored 14 points and Julie Knight recorded 10 in the win.

Sophomores: Pierre 46-16. Brenna Morgan had six points.

Freshmen: Mitchell 35-25. Jenna Weich recorded 11 points.

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