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Mitchell senior Emma Schmidt, left, jumps up for the rebound during an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ basketball game against Brandon Valley Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

No. 2 Kernel girls stifle Lynx

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Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said his team wanted to try some new things on defense Tuesday, and the changes were effective.

The No. 2 Kernels (7-0, 5-0 ESD) pressured with regularity in a 66-45 win over Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Brandon Valley at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

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“We implemented a new half-court trap tonight and we are getting better every time we go out there with our half-court defense,” said Morgan, whose team has won 34 straight games at home.

The Kernels came away with 16 steals and forced 22 turnovers by the Lynx, who had trouble getting settled in their half-court offense most of the night.

“When you are that long and athletic, they can do some things that are difficult to stop,” Brandon Valley coach Mark Stadem said about Mitchell’s defense. “Their length and athleticism is something that we just can’t simulate in practice.”

The tone was set early when Mitchell’s Macy Miller, a South Dakota State University commit, stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup and the game’s first points.

“You’ve got to be aggressive and not hold back,” Miller said. “You can’t let them be in the game.”

Miller finished with a game-high 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field. Miller was 11-of-12 from the free-throw line, and defensively, she came away with five steals and two blocks.

“We were making them tired out there,” Miller said. “Like coach says, ‘If you can make them tired, they’ll start handing you the ball.’ ”

Taylor Volesky continued her strong play, pouring in 23 points in the win for the unbeaten Kernels. The junior was 9-of-15 from the field, while finishing with a team-high nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

“We are trying to find the little nuances to her game and she is starting to learn how to make herself better,” Morgan said of Volesky’s performance. “With her playing well, it takes some of the pressure off Macy and gives us another player that teams really have to worry about on offense.”

The Kernels are starting to find their rhythm from the outside. They hit 6-of-17 three-point shots, including two by Volesky and two by senior Emma Schmidt, who finished with six points and two steals.

“We are starting to hit our threes,” Miller said. “Emma is shooting really well and Taylor is really coming along and driving to the basket for her shots.”

Senior Torrie Michels hit her first 3-pointer of the season, which Morgan said should help her confidence going forward. Michels finished with three points, six rebounds and three steals for the Kernels.

Mitchell shot 23-of-56 from the field and was 14-of-17 from the free-throw line, while outrebounding the Lynx 34-29 and 15-9 on the offensive glass.

After Mitchell took a 20-point lead into halftime, the Lynx hit a quick pair of threes to cut the Kernel lead to 14. But the home team went on a 9-0 run a short time later to put the game away.

In the second quarter, Miller took an awkward fall on a hard foul and appeared to be in pain. She hopped up quickly however, and played every minute until late in the fourth quarter.

The Lynx were led by Lexi Hoover with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting, while Carley Kueter added 12 points and a team-high four rebounds. Brandon Valley was held to 37.5 percent shooting from the field and made just 4-of-18 three-point attempts.

The Kernels have a week off to rest and prepare for a matchup with ESD rival Watertown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Brandon Valley (1-6, 1-4 ESD) plays Watertown Friday in Brandon.

Brandon Valley 45

Mitchell 66

MIT (7-0, 5-0 ESD)

Taylor Volesky 9-15 3-5 23; Shelly Iburg 0-1 0-0 0; Torrie Michels 1-5 0-0 3; Macy Miller 10-19 11-12 31; Emma Schmidt 2-5 0-0 6; Erin Farnham 0-0 0-0 0; Cassidy Musick 1-8 0-0 3; Julie Knight 0-1 0-0 0; Alex Weber 0-1 0-0 0; Hallie Misiaszek 0-1 0-0 0; Rachel Bucholz 0-0 0-0 0; Ally Goldammer 0-0 0-0 0; Kaley Nolz 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 23-56 14-17 66.

BV (1-6, 1-4 ESD)

Minniya Wilson 1-1 0-0 2; Lexi Hoover 6-15 0-0 15; Taylor Thorson 2-5 0-0 5; Becca Long 0-1 0-0 0; Carley Keuter 4-7 4-5 12; Kara Schroeder 0-1 3-4 3; Brooklyn Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Emily Harris 0-1 0-0 0; Emily Anderson 1-1 0-0 2; Syndie Buchhiem 0-0 3-4 3; Elsie Zajicek 0-0 0-0 0; Hannah Paavw 0-3 1-3 1; Lilli Jasper 1-1- 0-0 2; Kasara Pollema 0-4 0-0 0; Totals 15-40 11-6 45.

BV 8 16 32 45

MIT 16 36 56 66

3-point field goals: MIT 6-17 (Volesky 2, Schmidt 2), BV 4-18 (Hoover 3). Rebounds: MIT 34 (Volesky 9, Michels 6), BV 29 (Kueter 4). Assists: MIT 10 (Volesky 3, Miller 3), BV 6. Steals: MIT 16 (Miller 5, Michels 3), BV 8 (Thorson 3). Blocked shots: MIT 4 (Volesky 2, Miller 2), BV 4 (Paavw 4).Turnovers: MIT 13 (Volesky 3), BV 22 (Thorson 4, Kueter 4). Personal fouls: MIT 14, BV 16. Fouled out: none.

Subvarsity scores:

JV: Mitchell won 31-29. Leading scorer: Hallie Misiaszek with 14 points.

Sophomores: Brandon Valley won 55-13.

Freshmen: Brandon Valley won 38-22. Leading scorer: Kendra Brewster with 9 points.

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