Kernel boys steadily improveWith six weeks remaining in the regular season, Tom Young is staying true to what he has preached to his team from the beginning.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
With six weeks remaining in the regular season, Tom Young is staying true to what he has preached to his team from the beginning.
“I’m hoping in our second half that our effort is there 100 percent and the kids are able to make a full commitment on both ends of the floor,” Mitchell High School boys’ basketball coach Young said.
Last week, the Kernels began playing opponents for the second time. So far, the outcome of these rematches has been encouraging as Mitchell stunned then-No. 4 Brandon Valley 46-44 Jan. 8 in Brandon.
Against the Lynx, Young said he saw some things from his teams he had yet to witness.
“It was the most excited I’ve seen the kids after a game, which was really fun for me,” said Young, whose team is 3-7 overall and 1-5 in conference play. “I thought we battled hard for that win, and it was exciting to see the kids have some success.
“It’s kind of in their court now. They know they can play with good teams, so it’s just a matter if they want to prepare themselves to play that hard night in and night out.”
With all of the new aspects of the team this season, senior guard Cole Morgan said the team is finally starting to come together.
“With a new offense and coach, it’s hard to get together in a short amount of time,” he said. “We’re playing a lot better since the beginning, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Young agreed and said the final month and a half will be determined by the will and want of the players.
“It’s going to come down to senior leadership and how they want to end their careers,” he said. “I just want these guys to play up to the potential that they’re capable of playing. We’re not there yet, and I don’t know if teams ever get there, but I want our kids to buy into the fact that to be as good as you can be, you need to go hard every day.
“If that happens, our play will improve.”
With the Kernels’ steady progress from day one, Young said playing an opponent a second time doesn’t affect the way his team prepares.
Mitchell will get its chance to level the series against two Eastern South Dakota Conference schools this week as it faces Pierre today and Yankton Thursday. Both games are set for 7:30 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.