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Miller scores 41 in rout of Pierre in District 3AA final

Mitchell junior Taylor Volesky drives to the basket during the second half of the District 3AA championship game against Pierre Thursday night at the Corn Palace. Also pictured is Pierre’s Sydney Palmer (41). (Sean Ryan/Republic)

The Mitchell Kernel girls’ basketball team secured its place in the Class AA state tournament with a convincing win over Pierre Thursday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

The No. 1 Kernels (21-1) topped the Governors 72-30 to win the District 3AA championship, as Macy Miller and Taylor Volesky combined to score 57 points in the win.

The win was the 43rd straight for Mitchell at the Corn Palace and was the third over Pierre this season.

“Our defense was excellent tonight,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “We made it really hard on them.”

The game was one-sided early, as the Kernels raced out to a 14-0 lead early, with Miller scoring 10 quick points. Mitchell ended the first half on a 19-5 run to build an insurmountable lead.

Miller, a South Dakota State University signee, scored 24 of her game-high 41 points in the first half and broke the Class AA single-season record of 624 points in a season with a free throw in the game’s opening seconds. Miller has 665 points on the season, surpassing Kris Holwerda, of Brookings, who set the mark of 624 in 1980 for the Bobcats. Miller was tied with Holwerda in coming into the game.

The senior guard shot 15-of-17 from the field and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line, while adding a game-high eight rebounds, two 3-pointers, five steals and three blocks in the win.

With the game sealed early in the fourth quarter, the Kernel starters made their way to the bench. Miller’s final shot as a Kernel on the Corn Palace floor was a free throw, hitting nothing but net. She exited to a standing ovation.

Volesky scored 16 points with two 3-pointers for the Kernels, who will wait until Saturday to see who their first-round opponent will be at the Class AA state tournament. State begins Thursday at Frost Arena in Brookings.

The Kernels shot 24-of-42 from the field and 19-of-19 from the free-throw line, while outrebounding Pierre 29-20 and committing 14 turnovers.

Miller is among five seniors who played their last game at the Corn Palace as a Kernel Thursday. Other seniors on the Mitchell team include starters Torrie Michels, Emma Schmidt and Shelly Iburg, along with Cassidy Musick, who is typically the first Kernel off the bench.

“It’s sad because the Corn Palace is a great place to play basketball and the fans really love it,” Schmidt said.

Pierre was led by Sydney Palmer with 10 points. Palmer, a senior, and teammate senior Kaitlyn Severyn are signed to play at SDSU with Mitchell’s Miller in the fall. The Governors shot 12-of-43 from the field and 3-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Pierre coach Lisa Bahe declined comment after the game.

Mitchell will be the No. 2 seed in the Class AA state tournament and will play in the first game of the second session Thursday in Brookings. The game is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m.

With the loss, Pierre will play an elimination game at Spearfish at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Region 2AA championship for a spot in the Class AA state tournament.

Pierre 30

Mitchell 72

M (21-1)

Taylor Voleksy 3-8 8-8 16; Shelly Iburg 0-4 0-0 0; Torrie Michels 0-0 0-0 0; Macy Miller 15-17 9-9 41; Emma Schmidt 1-2 0-0 3; Erin Farnham 2-3 0-0 4; Kaelyn Kaul 0-0 0-0 0; Cassidy Musick 0-2 2-2 2; Ally Goldammer 0-0 0-0 0; Kaley Nolz 0-0 0-0 0; Julie Knight 1-2 0-0 2; Hallie Misiaszek 1-2 0-0 2; Alex Weber 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 24-42 19-19 72.

P (13-9)

Kaitlyn Severyn 0-5 0-0 0; McKenna Halverson 2-6 0-0 6; Katie Berg 0-5 0-0 0; Jory Muellen 0-1 0-0 0; Sydney Palmer 4-10 2-2; Hallie Jerome 1-1 0-0 2; Nikky Farnsworth 0-2 0-0 0; Kelsey Schmidtz 3-7 1-3 8; Jordayn Lemieux 0-2 0-0 0; Macy Halverson 0-1 0-2 0; Mariah Fuchs 0-0 0-0 0; Tori Thorpe 0-0 0-0 0; Kim Coates 0-1 0-0 0; Chantel Lewis 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 12-43 3-7 30.

P 8 13 23 30

M 20 39 59 72

3-point field goals: M 5-9 (Miller 2, Volesky 2), P 3-14. Rebounds: M 29 (Miller 8, Michels 6), P 20 (Severyn 4). Assists: M 9 (Michels 3), P 2. Steals: M 16 (Miller 5, Iburg 3), P 10. Turnovers: M 14, P 21. Personal fouls: M 13, P 15. Technical fouls: none. Fouled out: none.

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