Mitchell girls' drop second game in a rowABERDEEN — For the second night in a row Mitchell faced one of the state’s top rated girls’ basketball teams on their home floor.
By: Deb Smith , Aberdeen American News
ABERDEEN — For the second night in a row Mitchell faced one of the state’s top rated girls’ basketball teams on their home floor.
After losing to Sioux Falls Washington 52-42 on Friday, the Kernels were tied with Aberdeen Central at 51-all with three minutes left in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game on Saturday at Golden Eagles Arena. Aberdeen (8-0, 5-0 ESD) outscored Mitchell (5-2, 3-1 ESD) 12-4 the rest of the way to pick up a 63-55 win.
Mitchell’s biggest lead of the game was five points in the first quarter and Aberdeen’s was eight at the end of the game. The score was tied four times and the lead changed hands seven times.
“We played straight up man the fourth quarter,” said Cen-tral coach Dawn Seiler. “We played a lot of zone earlier in the game. The zone was so effective that we stayed with it really longer than we had intended. They seemed to be getting in a rhythm so we had to switch it up. I thought the kids did a good job of pressuring the basketball and it broke their rhythm.”
With the game tied at 51-51, Central’s Brynn Flakus drained two free throws and Leah Beringer hit a three-point field goal to boost the lead to 55-51. Mitchell’s Macy Miller answered with a field goal at the two minute mark.
Aberdeen center Samantha Knecht slipped open inside for two points but Miller grabbed an offensive rebound and added two free throws to make the score 57-55 for the home team with 57.3 seconds left. On Aberdeen’s next possession Flakus calmly connected on a three-pointer for a 60-55 lead with 35 seconds remaining.
“I knew it was a three,” said Flakus who finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. “It felt good. I watched it and I wanted it. I called for it and I was open. It was a huge win for us because it was the hardest game we played all season. It felt good to know that we are a good team and we showed that.”
The Kernels misfired on their last two possessions of the game and the Golden Eagles tacked on three free throws.
“They (Aberdeen) rose to the occasion on their home court,” said Mitchell coach Wes Morgan. “They’ve got a nice team and are well coached. Flakus came to play tonight. I have good kids and they’re gamers. We have to work against a zone a little bit and we have to learn how to pass through it and get better shots.”
Flakus played a key scoring role in the first quarter to keep Aberdeen close. Mitchell led 6-3 three minutes into the first quarter when Flakus exploded for 10 straight points on a variety of steals, layups and short jumpers. The Golden Eagles led 13-11 when she finished.
“She’s a player,” said Seiler about Flakus. “You have to have multiple scorers on a team in order to be successful. They (Mitchell) certainly do have kids that are very capable of scoring. They didn’t hit the shots tonight (Saturday) and I’m sure they are a little frus-trated coming off last night’s loss. Defensively, we did enough to get a win. You have to give Maddie Goetz and Brianna Kusler a lot of credit for coming in off the bench and holding steady.”
Mitchell was led by the duo of Miller with 31 points and Young with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“We played two good teams really hard,” said Morgan. “We played the two best teams in the state. You have to come to play and take care of the basketball.”
Aberdeen had three players in double figures including Flakus with 24, Knecht with 13 and Beringer with 11. Central outrebounded Mitchell 28-19 and shot 61 percent from the field.
“I thought we had rushed some shots because of their pressure,” said Seiler. “We told the kids not to hurry their shots. We got down a couple of times in the game and we found a way to scrap back. We were down in the scorebook but we never got down on ourselves.”
One of Aberdeen’s keys was switching defenses.
“I thought we did a great job defensively,” said Flakus. “We knew that we all had to take care of Kerri Young but once we sunk into our zone it was easier to watch her. (Kristin) Sabers and Miller are good shooters so we had to close out on them with our hands up. We kept switching man and zone and it seemed to work.”
Both teams return to action at home on Tuesday in ESD games. Aberdeen hosts Huron and Mitchell entertains Bran-don Valley.
MITCHELL: Megan Farnham 2-2 0-0 6, Courtney Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Macy Miller 9-21 11-12 31, Kerri Young 5-13 3-4 13, Kristin Sabers 1-6 0-0 3, Torrie Michels 1-1 0-1 0. Totals 18-43 14-17 55.
ABERDEEN CENTRAL: Kel-sey Hannigan 3-5 0-0 6, Sa-mantha Knecht 4-6 5-6 13, Brynn Flakus 10-14 3-5 24, Leah Beringer 2-4 6-7 11, Sara Niederbaumer 1-4 1-4 3, Maddie Goetz 0-1 1-2 1, Brianna Kusler 2-2 1-2 5. Totals 22-36 17-26 63.
Mitchell (5-2)|11 23 38 55
Aberdeen Central (8-0)|16 27 42 63
3-point field goals — Mitchell 5-12 (Farnham 2-2, Miller 2-2, Young 0-3, Sabers 1-5); Aberdeen 2-4 (Flakus 1-2, Beringer 1-2). Fouled out — Farnham, Moore, Knecht. Total fouls — Mitchell 21; Aberdeen 14. Rebounds — Mitchell 19 (Young 7); Aberdeen 28 (Flakus 7). Turnovers — Mitchell 17; Aberdeen 22. Assists — Mitchell 1 (Miller 1); Aberdeen 8 (Flakus 5). Steals — Mitchell 12 (Miller 5); Aberdeen 10 (Knecht 3, Flakus 3, Niederbaumer 3). Blocked shots — Mitchell 0; Aberdeen 1 (Knecht 1). Offi-cials — Patrick Deutsch Jr. Scott Deutsch, Scott Hoeke.