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Mitchell's Alex Weber looks to pass the ball during an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls' basketball game against Brandon Valley Thursday in Brandon. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Miller, Volesky combine for 55 in Kernel win

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BRANDON -- The No. 1 Kernel girls' basketball team used an early second-half run to put away the Lynx to remain undefeated in the Eastern South Dakota Conference.

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Junior forward Taylor Volesky scored eight points in the first three minutes of the third quarter to spur Mitchell (17-1, 14-0 ESD) to a 71-43 win over Brandon Valley (4-13, 4-9 ESD) Thursday in Brandon.

"I felt that we moved really well tonight," Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. "We didn't get going early, but got going in that third quarter and stepped up to the challenge."

For the second time this week, the Kernels found themselves in a battle early on the road with a team they handled easily at home earlier this season.

Mitchell was held to just 14 points in the first quarter, as Macy Miller scored just four points in the in the opening period. Brandon Valley used a box-and-one defense to force the ball out of Miller's hands, which was effective until Volesky and the rest of the Kernels began to knock down open shots.

"We were missing a lot of outside shots early tonight, but coach told us we needed to get to the basket and the outside shots would come," Mitchell senior Emma Schmidt said. "We know that Macy is going to get face guarded down the road. We have been practicing for that and we are confident in our outside shots."

The Kernel offense picked up late in the first half, with Miller converting an and-one with just .2 seconds remaining before halftime to cap the Mitchell run, sending the visitors into the locker room with a 31-17 lead. Miller scored 12 of her game-high 30 points in the second quarter. Miller was 10-of-15 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the game.

The Kernels carried the momentum over into the third quarter, with Miller and Volesky scoring on fast-break opportunities and shots from behind the three-point line. Mitchell outscored the Lynx 21-12 in the third to pull away for the team's eighth straight win.

"These games give us time to work on things we need to work on so we are sharp heading into the tournament," Schmidt said.

Volesky finished with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting, while senior guards Torrie Michels and Cassidy Musick each added four points for Mitchell. Senior center Shelly Iburg pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and came away with three steals. Miller chipped in with five rebounds, three assists and four steals.

"I really thought Taylor came ready to play tonight," Morgan said. "They went to that box-and-one on Macy and left some kids open. It's hard to guard four kids in the half court."

The Kernels shot 27-of-51 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free-throw line, while outrebounding the Lynx 32-25. Mitchell had nine turnovers as a team, while Brandon Valley finished with 13.

The Lynx were led by Carley Kueter with 12 points and Lexi Hoover with 11. Brandon Valley shot 16-of-46 from the field and 7-of-13 from the free-throw line. The Lynx settled for outside shots most of the game, but made just four of their 20 attempts from beyond the arc.

"Mitchell has some long athletes that bothered us some," Brandon Valley coach Mark Stadem said. "They have a lot of firepower that is difficult for us to match, and when they go on a run like they did in the third quarter, it is tough for us."

The Kernels play their final true road game of the season in Watertown Thursday, while the Lynx play Huron Saturday in Brandon.

NOTES: With 30 points against Brandon Valley, Macy Miller sits just 61 points shy of Kerri Young's Mitchell career scoring record of 1,760 points. Miller is just eight shy of the Kernel single-season record of 197 made field. The Kernels sit less than .2 seed points ahead of Sioux Falls Washington for the top spot in Class AA after play Thursday.

Mitchell 71

Brandon Valley 43

M (17-1, 14-0 ESD)

Taylor Volesky 11-20 1-1 25; Shelly Iburg 1-3 1-2 3; Torrie Michels 1-3 1-2 4; Macy Miller 10-15 8-8 30; Emma Schmidt 1-6 0-0 3; Erin Farnham 1-1 0-0 2; Cassidy Musick 2-2 0-0 4; Julie Knight 0-1 909 9; Alex Weber 0-0 0-0 0; Hallie Misiaszek 0-0 0-0 0; Ally Goldammer 0-0 0-0 0; Kaley Nolz 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 27-51 11-13 71.

BV (4-13, 4-9 ESD)

Lexi Hoover 4-10 0-0 11; Kara Schroeder 1-4 0-0 2; Taylor Thorson 0-2 1-2 1; Becca Long 3-8 0-0 7; Carley Kueter 4-9 4-5 12; Minniya Wilson 0-1 0-0 0; Paige Drenth 0-1 0-0 0; Brooklyn Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Emily Harris 1-1 0-0 2; Sydnie Buchheim 0-0 0-2 0; Elsie Zajicek 2-3 0-2 4; Hannah Paauw 0-1 0-0 0; Lilli Jasper 1-1 0-0 2; Hasara Pollema 0-4 2-2 2; Totals 16-46 7-13 43.

M 14 31 52 71

BV 6 17 29 43

3-point field goals: M 6-14 (Volesky 2, Miller 2), BV 4-20 (Hoover 3). Rebounds: M 32 (Iburg 8), BV 25 (Thorson 4, Kueter 4). Assists: M 9 (Miller 3, Schmidt 3), BV 5. Steals: M 9 (Miller 4, Iburg 3), BV 3. Turnovers: M 9 (Iburg 3), BV 13 (Schroeder 3, Kueter 3). Personal fouls: M 11, BV 14. Technical fouls: none. Fouled out: none.

Subvarsity scores:

JV: Brandon Valley won 37-20.

Sophomores: Brandon Valley won 60-25.

Freshmen: Brandon Valley won 40-36.

No subvarsity scoring stats were reported.

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