Cobblers hot from 3-point range in 76-60 win over KernelsRAPID CITY — When it was mentioned that the Mitchell boys’ basketball team hit one of 16 3-pointers to Rapid City Central coach Mike Purcell, a smile drew across his face as if the Kernels played right into his hand. When the same thing was said to Gary Munsen, a small, frustrated chuckle came from the Kernels’ 37-year veteran coach.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — When it was mentioned that the Mitchell boys’ basketball team hit one of 16 3-pointers to Rapid City Central coach Mike Purcell, a smile drew across his face as if the Kernels played right into his hand.
When the same thing was said to Gary Munsen, a small, frustrated chuckle came from the Kernels’ 37-year veteran coach.
“We just kept shooting it, and it wasn’t one kid,” Munsen said. “It was the whole lineup.
“It was just crank, crank, crank. It looked like midseason.”
The third-seeded Cobblers defeated sixth-seeded Mitchell 76-60 in the first round of the Class AA boys’ state basketball tournament Thursday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
Mitchell plays in the consolation semifinals today against Eastern South Dakota Conference rival Brandon Valley. Game time is at 1:45 MDT (2:45 CDT).
The Kernels’ six percent from behind the arc hardly matched the Cobblers’ 56 percent from 3-point land Thursday.
The 16-point lead Rapid City ended the game on was their largest.
With about six minutes left in the game, however, Mitchell trailed 56-50.
But the Cobblers’ (17-5) smooth offense kept rolling, draining 3-pointers and scoring off transition baskets.
“We have worked very, very diligently on driving inside, kicking out and making a good pass,” said Purcell, whose team hit 57 percent from the field. “It’s important for our shooters to know where the ball is and be in good position to shoot.”
When given the opportunity, Cobblers’ shooters most often hit their shots, and it always seemed it was during a Kernel run.
Trailing 56-50, Central’s Nathan Wentz scored a three-point play after he and his team tracked down four offensive rebounds on the same possession.
Sam Fosness, who led Mitchell (12-12) with 15 points, drove inside for a bucket to get within seven, but KJ Bad Wound sandwiched 3-pointers around Nick Young’s put back, which pulled Central’s lead back to 11.
After that, Central’s lead never fell below nine and Glenn Jackson’s dunk in front of the Cobbler’s cheer section with just under a minute to play was the final bucket of the game.
“He’s really slippery in there,” Purcell said of Jackson, who finished with 17 points. “Trying to guard Glenn is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. It’s not easy.”
Bad Wound hit six of Central’s 10 3-pointers, finishing with a game-high 18 points.
Early in the game, the Kernels watched Central run a quick, fast offense. Trailing by five only a minute and a half into the game, Brett Victor took over for the Kernels.
Hit scored on three straight possessions to give Mitchell its only lead of the game at 8-7.
“That’s a man among trees,” Purcell said of Victor. “If he has his hands up, that’s like trying to guard the Howard Johnson in downtown Rapid City. The kid is huge.”
Victor had all 14 of his points in the first half and was in foul trouble early in the second half.
After Victor’s turnaround jumper to give Mitchell the one-point lead, Central went on a 9-1 run. Young’s free throw got the Kernels within five toward the end of the first, but Bad Wound’s 3-pointer switched the momentum back to the Cobblers.
“We didn’t play the first and didn’t get back like we should have,” Munsen said. “We didn’t make any threes, we didn’t make any layups and didn’t make any free throws. So that makes it pretty hard to win.”
Central jumped its lead to double digits almost immediately in the second quarter, but Fosness’ 3-pointer — Mitchell’s only of the game — got the Kernels back within 10 at 30-20.
“They played zone and our kids just panicked,” said Munsen, whose team trailed 40-28 at halftime and hit three of nine from the line.
The Kernels’ offense finally picked up late in the third when it was trailing by 16.
Tyler Volesky scored seven straight points, but Tyler Aquallo’s 3-pointer pulled the Cobblers’ lead back to 14.
To open the fourth, Volesky, Nick Young and Fosness combined to score all of the Kernels’ points during a 10-2 run that got their team within six, but with the poor shot selection and the Cobblers’ 3-pointers, Mitchell was sent to the consolation semifinals.
Tyler Volesky finished with 13 points and Young had 11 for the Kernels, who shot 45 percent from the field and were 7-of-15 from the line. Young led the team with eight rebounds.
For Central, Jackson, Bad Wound and Aquallo combined to score 50 of their team’s 76 points.
Rapid City Central plays Aberdeen Central at 8:45 p.m. today in a semifinal game.
RAPID CITY CENTRAL 76, MITCHELL 60
Ty.Volesky 6-10 1-2 12, Tur. Volesky 0-3 0-0 0, Schmidt 1-6 1-2 3, Miller 1-6 1-2 3, Young 4-6 3-4 11, Tuc. Volesky 0-5 1-2 1, Fosness 7-13 0-3 15, Victor 7-9 0-0 14. Totals: 26-58 7-15 60.
Rapid City Central (17-5)
Fahey 2-3 4-4 8, Bisgaard 2-6 0-0 5, Jackson 8-10 1-3 17, Bad Wound 6-13 0-0 18, Kiewel 2-6 0-0 4, Aquallo 6-10 0-0 15, Wentz 1-1 1-1 3, Miller-Alexander 3-4 0-1 6. Totals: 30-53 6-9 76.
Mitchell 14 28 42 60
Rapid City Central 22 40 56 76
3-pointers—Mitchell 1-16 (Ty. Volesky 0-1, Tur. Voleksy 0-2, Schmidt 0-2, Miller 0-2, Young 0-1, Tuc. Volesky 0-4, Fosness 1-4), RCC 10-18 (Bisgaard 1-2, Bad Wound 6-10, Kiewel 0-1, Aquallo 3-5).
Rebounds—Mitchell 30 (Young 8), RCC 30 (Jackson 11). Assists—Mitchell
15 (Tur. Volesky 4), RCC 21 (Fahey 5). Total fouls—Mitchell 12, RCC 16.