Kernels hold off LynxFor the third time this season, the Mitchell High School girls’ basketball team defeated a team it previously lost to this season. With a game-high 22 points from Kerri Young and a strong defensive effort by Kelli Schlimgen on Kate Swenson, the Kernels defeated Brandon Valley 60-53 Tuesday night at the Corn Palace.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
For the third time this season, the Mitchell High School girls’ basketball team defeated a team it previously lost to this season.
With a game-high 22 points from Kerri Young and a strong defensive effort by Kelli Schlimgen on Kate Swenson, the Kernels defeated Brandon Valley 60-53 Tuesday night at the Corn Palace.
The win over Brandon Valley was redemption for a 48-44 loss the Kernels suffered Jan. 8 in Brandon.
“The kids are just getting better and we stuck to the game plan tonight,” Kernels’ coach Wes Morgan said. “This is a big win for us.”
Lately, Mitchell has been earning plenty of redemption.
After starting the season 0-5, the Kernels have now won their last three games. Before that, they beat Brookings and Pierre — both teams that handed Mitchell early-season losses — during a stretch where it won six of its last 10 games.
“That was early, and we just continue to tell these young kids that they can continue to get better each game,” Morgan said.
Mitchell is now 7-9, which matches its win total from 2003-08. In each of those years, Mitchell only had one or two wins.
With an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter, it looked as if Mitchell would run away with its seventh win of the year.
That wasn’t the case.
A 3-pointer and two straight fast-break scores by the Lynx put them right back in the game, trailing only by four with about four minutes to play.
That’s when Brandon Valley decided to start fouling, and fouling hard. The Kernels’ Natalie Roth hit the deck in three of Mitchell’s next four possessions, getting fouled each time. Her three scores in six attempts were just a handful of Mitchell’s 39 free-throw attempts on the night, draining 27 of them for 69 percent in the game.
Besides Roth’s shots from the line, Mitchell’s defense helped keep the lead to five with about two minutes to go, but the Lynx didn’t go away.
On their next possession, Laura Hieb knocked down two free throws to cut the lead to three, and after Young found Sabers underneath to get the lead back to five, Brandon Valley knocked down a 3-pointer, pushing the score to 55-53.
“The kids didn’t get nervous about that,” Morgan said. “They just kept running the play and got solid with the basketball, because they were fouling us a lot.”
Young hit another free throw with 47 seconds left and the Lynx never scored again. Mitchell showed some crafty ball movement and peeled nearly 15 seconds off the clock to seal the game.
Heading into the second half with a four-point lead, Courtney Miller hit her only basket of the game — a 3-pointer — to give Mitchell a quick 30-23 lead.
Brandon Valley stayed within nine during the Kernels 7-0 run to open the half, but tied the game at 34 after a 9-0 run based off fast-break points from Heidi Hoff and Swenson.
With about two and a half minutes left in the quarter, Young found Farnham on a fast break, and Mitchell scored the last four points of the quarter for another four-point lead heading into the final quarter.
In the double bonus with more than six minutes left in the game, Charlee Nelson knocked down three of four shots from the line to pull the lead out to nine.
Then, Young’s inside score pushed the lead to 11, and Mitchell snuck away with the win after letting the Lynx back in the game.
Despite registering a single point, Morgan pointed out Schlimgen’s defensive effort on the Lynx’s 6-foot-1 senior.
“She did a great job controlling her,” Morgan said. “It doesn’t look like she had a good night because there are (few) points there, but she did a great job on her.”
Mitchell never led by more than two scores in the first half. Though, they had plenty of chances.
After taking an early 8-4 on back-to-back scores by Young, Brandon Valley responded with 3-pointer and a free throw to tie the game at eight.
Young had six points in the first quarter and added six more in the second. To go with her 22 points, she, along with Piper and Sabers, finished with four fouls each.
She knocked down a three with a little more than four minutes left in the second quarter to push the Kernels’ lead to 18-14, and she scored again with three and a half minutes to play off an inbound from Piper to put the score at 20-16.
After the Lynx tied the game at eight in the first, and again at 10, Mitchell only gave up the lead once in the first half. Brandon Valley’s Laura Hieb hit two free throws in a row to give the Lynx a one-point lead, but Young scored five straight points for Mitchell, including the 3-pointer for the 18-14 lead.
Sabers finished with 10 for Mitchell and Piper had eight.
“It’s nice that we just beat a team that is supposed to be better than you on paper,” Morgan said. “It was a good night for us.”
BRANDON VALLEY 53
Brandon Valley (8-7)
Laura Heib 3-18 4-5 12; Claire Choudek 2-10 0-0 4; Madison Rozell 1-1 0-2 2; Heidi Hoff 4-8 5-7 13; Kate Swenson 5-6 2-2 12; Kasey Presler 0-0 0-0 0; Jessi Peterson 3-3 1-3 9; Andrea Hanson 0-1 0-1 0; Jessi Lunstra 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 18-49 13-22 53.
Kerri Young 7-13 6-8 22; Kristin Sabers 4-6 2-2 10; Taylor Piper 1-3 6-11 8; Courtney Miller 1-2 0-0 3; Natalie Roth 0-1 5-8 5; Megan Farnham 2-5 2-2 6; Charlee Nelson 0-2 5-6 5; Kelli Schlimgen 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 15-32 27-39 60.
BV 10 23 39 53
Mitchell 12 27 43 60
Three-point goals-MHS 3-12 (Young 2-5, Miller 1-2), BV 4-17 (Heib 2-15, Peterson 2-2). Rebounds-MHS 28 (Sabers 5), BV 35 (Hoff 10). Turnovers-MHS 15, BV 15. Assists-MHS 12 (Young 4), BV 6. Steals-MHS 13, BV 8. Blocks-MHS 2, BV 1. Fouled out-Swenson.
JV: Mitchell 39-35: Macy Miller 18 points.
Sophomores: Brandon Valley 48-38. Macie Harris 13 points.
Freshman A: Mitchell 31-28: Jordan Barnhart 10 points, Berkley Rietveld 8 points.