Mitchell starts fast, beats Watertown in Munsen’s final regular-season home gameThe Mitchell boys’ basketball team defeated the Watertown Arrows 61-47 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup at the Corn Palace.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell boys’ basketball team defeated the Watertown Arrows 61-47 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup at the Corn Palace.
This game was also Mitchell head coach Gary Munsen’s final regular-season home game with the Kernels.
With the win, the Kernels (16-3) are one win away from sealing at least a share of the ESD Conference championship.
Mitchell must win its last game against Aberdeen Central on Tuesday to seal the No. 1 seed in District 3AA and have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Watertown tried to keep up with the Kernels, but the Arrows never were able to overcome Munsen and the Kernels Tuesday night. Mitchell maintained the lead for the entire game.
Munsen said overall he was pleased with the way the Kernels played on Tuesday night.
“Well, we had our moments where we didn’t play so well,” Munsen said. “Coming off that tough loss (at Brookings), it’s hard to get rid of that (feeling).”
The Kernels were led by Tate Martin, who had a game-high 19 points and made several late baskets that kept Mitchell’s lead at double digits. Tucker Volesky added 14 points, Jade Miller had 12 points and Brady Maxwell scored 10 points on the night.
Munsen noted that Watertown is not a team that should not be taken lightly.
“(Watertown) is a dangerous team,” Munsen said. “They’re not very big but they scare a lot of people. … They’ve lost a lot of close ballgames, so it was a big win for us.”
Martin scored the first points of the game for the Kernels. After the first quarter, Mitchell held a 19-9. The Kernels went on an 11-0 run to open the second quarter and led by 12. The Arrows weren’t able to score until almost three minutes into the quarter.
Munsen said at times, the Kernels played some of their best basketball of the year on Tuesday night.
“Overall, during the 32 minutes, I would say defensively we played fantastic,” Munsen said. “Offensively, we made a few mistakes here and there, but we got it done at the end.”
During the second quarter, Watertown chipped away at the Kernels’ lead, pulling within seven before the half ended. Mitchell led going into halftime 31-24.
Brady Maxwell scored the first points of the third quarter on a free throw, followed by another basket. Watertown answered back with a banked 3-point shot by Blake Heiser to bring the score to 35-28, but that was as close as the Arrows would come. Mitchell ended the quarter with an 11-point lead and never looked back.
Martin opened the fourth quarter with a pair of 3-point shots, and the Kernels went on an 8-0 run before Watertown connected with the basket. The Arrows had trouble scoring and couldn’t take advantage of their offensive rebounds.
The Kernels were 23-of-44 from the field for 52 percent and went 10-of-14 from the free-throw line for 71 percent. Mitchell won the rebounding battle 29-23.
Watertown was led in scoring by Tanner Heiser, who had a team-high 17 points. Blake Heiser added 15 points. The Arrows shot 16-of-46 from the field for 34 percent and went 12-of-13 from the free-throw line for 92 percent.
Watertown won the Junior Varsity game 49-46. Cole Morgan scored 13 points and Jared Schmidt added 10 points
Watertown won the 9th grade game 50-42. Jared Schmidt scored 10 points.
Watertown won the sophomore game 53-38. Ethan Jones had 10 points.
NOTES: The Mitchell senior class was recognized before the game. Mitchell’s senior players are Brady and Brian Maxwell, Tate Martin, Jade Miller, Tucker Volesky, Zach Bennett and Matt Henriksen.