Mitchell falls to Sioux Falls O'Gorman in boys' Class AA state championship gameThe Sioux Falls O’Gorman boys’ basketball team captured its third consecutive Class AA state championship Saturday in Rapid City, beating Mitchell 63-48 in Munsen’s final game as a head coach. Before the season, he announced this would be his final season. Saturday’s game was the last time Munsen walked off the court as a Mitchell Kernel.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — This didn’t look like a Gary Munsen-coached Kernels team.
Even the longtime Mitchell boys’ basketball coach said so.
Sioux Falls O’Gorman captured its third consecutive Class AA state championship Saturday in Rapid City, beating Mitchell 63-48 in Munsen’s final game as a head coach. Before the season, he announced this would be his final season, and Saturday’s championship game was the last time Munsen walked off the court as a Kernel.
“We got outhustled, outplayed, everything,” said Munsen , whose team lost the state championship for the second straight year to the Knights. “We just didn’t play very well as a team.”
Sioux Falls O’Gorman nearly epitomized team play in the victory. The Knights had smooth ball movement and withstood all of Mitchell’s runs.
The Kernels trailed by nine at half and pulled within two near the end of the third quarter, but O’Gorman went on a 13-1 run that spanned nearly four minutes for a 14-point edge.
Mitchell got within nine with 2:45 left in the game, but O’Gorman’s offense continued to find ways to score.
“We caught them off guard a little bit,” said Sioux Falls O’Gorman coach Derek Robey, a former Mitchell High School basketball player, who played for Munsen and led the Knights to titles three straight years. “Every time they made a run, which our kids knew that they would, we responded.”
Mitchell (21-4) was led by Brady Maxwell and Tate Martin, who each had 15 points. Jade Miller had 10 points and Maxwell had a team-high eight rebounds.
“Hopefully, this loss will fade over time and the good memories from this season will pop out,” Maxwell said.
Mitchell only had one lead in the game, when Martin hit a 3-pointer a little over a minute into the first quarter to give the Kernels a 3-2 advantage. The Knights’ Sam Wallin had six points in the opening quarter, including a jumper that gave his team a six-point lead.
Maxwell had a score from inside at the start of the second quarter to get Mitchell within one, but O’Gorman scored six straight points in the middle of the quarter for an eight-point lead.
The Kernels got within two points in the third on baskets from Maxwell, Miller and Martin, who recorded a three-point play with 1:53 left in the quarter to get Mitchell within 36-32. On the next possession, Maxwell hit a pair of free throws and Mitchell was within one possession.
“I thought we had something going,” Munsen said.
From there, O’Gorman went on one last large run, keeping the Kernels frustrated in the final eight minutes.
“We didn’t defend,” Martin said. “We allowed way too many layups out there and couldn’t get a stop.”
The Kernels were 27 percent from the field in the first half, but warmed up in the second half to finish at 19-of-49 for 39 percent for the game.
O’Gorman was led by Wallin, who had 20 points. Connor Schaefbauer had 18 points, and the Knights shot 23-of-47 percent for 48 percent.
“They played great,” Munsen said. “But the way we played, we made them look good. That’s how I feel about it.”
NOTES: Mitchell’s cheerleaders won the Spirit of Six award at halftime of the championship game. Coach Amanda Gilman said she surprised her squad won the award.
“When they said Mitchell, I just started kind of screamed and ran out to celebrate with the girls,” she said.