Mitchell High School boys' basketball team beats SpearfishSPEARFISH – In a pregame huddle, Mitchell High School boys’ basketball coach Gary Munsen challenged his team to give a full 32 minutes of team basketball. Then, the huddles broke on the chant of “defense.”
By: Rapid City Journal, The Daily Republic
SPEARFISH – In a pregame huddle, Mitchell High School boys’ basketball coach Gary Munsen challenged his team to give a full 32 minutes of team basketball. Then, the huddles broke on the chant of “defense.”
Unfortunately for Spearfish, the Kernels took their coach’s message to heart.
With four players scoring in double figures, No. 2-ranked Mitchell beat Spearfish 78-34 in Spearfish on Saturday. The Kernels also beat Sturgis on Friday to improve to 13-2 this season.
Although Spearfish cracked the scoreboard first on a 3-pointer by Ryan Tollefsrud, Mitchell quickly got into rhythm with an 11-0 run from which it never looked back.
Running their characteristic offense, featuring patient sets and well-practiced ball movement, the Kernels took advantage of opportunities to score both inside and outside in extending their lead to 22-8 by the end of the first quarter.
Junior forward Tucker Volesky then took care of Mitchell’s offense, with 11 of his game-high 23 points in the second quarter.
But it was the Kernels’ defense that took the Spartans completely out of the game. Spearfish was held without a field goal in the second quarter on 0-for-14 shooting. The Spartans managed one free throw on two attempts in falling to a 40-9 halftime deficit.
“We really focus on starting on the defensive end, making sure that we get stops,” said Mitchell assistant coach Craig Mock, to whom Munsen deferred comment. “When we can do that, it helps us get into some transition offense.
“Fortunately for us, we had the energy that we were hoping we would have today, and that transitioned into some positive offense.”
Mitchell (13-2) seemingly scored at will throughout the third quarter, with five players tallying four or more points en route to a 27-point quarter. The Kernels enjoyed a 67-23 lead after three quarters before emptying the bench for the final 8 minutes.
Supporting Volesky’s output, senior Nick Young had 15 points while junior Jade Miller and sophomore Seth Cavanaugh each added 12 for Mitchell. The Kernels shot 54 percent from the field, including 8-of-17 from beyond the arc.
“Coach (Munsen) said it in the huddle, ‘Watching us give up a good shot for a better shot was fun to watch,’ ” Mock said. “The unselfishness that we showed today led into four players in double figures, and that just makes it even tougher for our opponents to defend. Doing that helped us get to where it ended up.”
Spearfish (3-12) was led by three players who scored six points each. The Spartans managed only 25 percent shooting for the game, while committing 23 turnovers.
Mitchell continues its road trip with an Eastern South Dakota Conference contest at Yankton on Tuesday.
MITCHELL 78, SPEARFISH 34
Brady Maxwell 2 0-0 4, Ryan Yackley 2 2-2 6, Jade Miller 5 2-2 12, Seth Cavanaugh 4 0-0 12, Brian Maxwell 1 0-0 2, Nick Young 7 0-0 15, Tucker Volesky 9 2-2 23, Trevor Flemmer 1 2-2 4. Totals 31-57 8-8 78.
Brandon Kemp 1 0-2 2, Baker Diede 1 1-2 3, Jay Darling 1 0-0 2, Monte Meyerink 0 4-4 4, Chayce Hall 0 1-2 1, Ryan Tollefsrud 2 1-2 6, Sam Hare 2 0-0 6, Brady Harr 3 0-0 6. Totals 12-47 7-12 34.
Mitchell 22 40 67 78
Spearfish 8 9 23 34
3-Point Goals: Mitchell 8 (Cavanaugh 4, Volesky 3, Young), Spearfish 3 (Hare 2, Tollefsrud). Rebounds: Mitchell 35 (Young 8), Spearfish 28 (Darling 6). Turnovers: Mitchell 11, Spearfish 23. Total Fouls: Spearfish 11, Mitchell 12. Fouled Out: None.