Mitchell girls, Marlin boys capture state titles over weekendJust call Mitchell title town. Two Mitchell teams captured state championships over the weekend.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Just call Mitchell title town.
Two Mitchell teams captured state championships over the weekend.
The Mitchell High School girls’ basketball team defeated Sioux Falls Washington 56-54 Saturday for the Class AA state championship, and the Mitchell Marlin boys’ hockey team defeated Brookings 2-0 Sunday in Fort Pierre for a state title.
The Kernel girls were welcomed home from their title weekend on Sunday as dozens of parents and fans assembled at the Corn Palace to share laughs and offer congratulations on the successful season. The Mitchell girls won 24 of their 25 games this season and picked up their first state championship since 2003.
Mitchell defeated Rapid City Central in the first round, Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the semifinals and Washington in the finals.
“You are winners, and that didn’t come by luck,” Mitchell Mayor Lou Sebert told the team. “It takes commitment, hard work and dedication, and you didn’t go 24-1 without that.”
All three Mitchell coaches spoke at the gathering. Assistants Jesse Kroupa and Joe Shepardson each shared memories from the season, and head coach Wes Morgan said his team never discussed its No. 1 ranking it held for most of the year.
“We talked about getting better and improving,” he said, “and we did that.”
The Marlin boys claimed their first state championship since 2006. Mitchell, which won 13 of 18 regular-season games, was the second seed at the state tournament and knocked off top-seeded Brookings 2-0 for the championship.
The Marlins defeated Aberdeen in the first round, Pierre in the second round and beat Brookings — which was undefeated before the game — for the title.
“We were certainly the under-dogs going into the game,” Mitchell coach John Lord said. “I’ve said it all along that I thought they were beatable. If they were ever going to get beat, the championship game is the one to do it, and I’m glad we’re the ones to do it.
“We played 10 guys and had a sophomore goalie. It’s a testament to the work the guys are willing to put in.”
Lord picked up his first state title as a head coach, and he mentioned the strong year it’s been for the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association.
“Things are looking pretty good for Mitchell hockey,” Lord said. “We had a Bantam team win a state title, the girls (varsity) team took second, and we got the championship. It’s been a great year for Mitchell hockey.”