Kernel girls stay perfect with 77-38 win over CentralRAPID CITY — It takes depth to win a state championship. It also doesn’t hurt to have star power. The top-ranked and defending Class AA champion Mitchell girls’ basketball team has both.
By: By RICH ANDERSON, The Rapid City Journal
RAPID CITY — It takes depth to win a state championship.
It also doesn’t hurt to have star power. The top-ranked and defending Class AA champion Mitchell girls’ basketball team has both.
The Kernels broke loose with a 10-0 run to close the second quarter and never looked back, thumping the Cobblers 77-38 Friday night at Naaz Gymnasium.
With prospective Division I college players, senior guard Kerri Young and junior guard Macy Miller leading the way, the Kernels overcame some early struggles and then played their game to their liking to move to 3-0 on the season.
The Cobblers, 0-3, hung with Mitchell for most of the first half, but eventually wore down against the athletic Kernels (3-0).
“We knew we would wear them down in that full-court game a little bit,” Mitchell head coach Wes Morgan said. “Early in the season, shots won’t fall when your legs go. That’s our game-plan and we stuck to it. They made it tough on us early, but we weathered the storm and got the transition baskets going. I’m just happy that the kids had a nice night.”
Mitchell led just 12-7 at the end of the first quarter and 24-18, before Young, who has signed to play at South Dakota State next season, hit consecutive 3-pointers, followed by a steal and layup by Miller.
The Kernels led 24-18 at the halftime break and outscored Central 26-11 in the third quarter to run away with the win.
“Kerri and Macy, we kind of rely on those two quite a bit,” Morgan said. “They weren’t getting to the basket and weren’t getting those fouls, so we decided, ‘Let’s take some outside jump shots,’ and those started falling. Kerri got us going with some threes. When the ball goes in the basket, it makes it easier and the kinds start believing what you tell them. Finally, senior kids played hard.”
Young finished with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and Miller added 18 on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, also grabbing five rebounds and finishing with four steals.
“It was kind of tough in the beginning,” Miller said. “We weren’t making shots, but once we got comfortable and were on our game plan, we were working together as a team and making shots. This team is very well rounded.”
Mitchell was 28-of-49 from the field and also hit 17-of-22 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Megan Farham added 15 points
“We’re working on that eighth, ninth spot, and I think it is starting to come,” Morgan said. “You want to still play at that high caliber and keep that intensity high.”
Junior center Gracie Weeks came off the bench and led the Cobblers with 11 points, followed by LexyJo Deneke with nine and Chelsey Carmichael with eight. Central was just 14-of-46 from the field and 5-of-12 from the line. The Cobblers also turned the ball over 17 times in the game.
In their three games this season, the Kernels have outscored their opponents by an average of 35 points a game. Morgan is happy with the way his team has started, but he knows it is a long season.
“I wasn’t sure what kind of team this is,” Morgan said. “We’re playing pretty well, but we’re not going to hang our hat on this one. It’s three games and there’s a long season left. We have to continue to get better.”
The Kernels face Rapid City Stevens today, while the Cobblers host Huron. Both games are scheduled for 1:45 p.m.