Rebounding hurts Kernels in lossYankton won the rebounding battle and with it came an Eastern South Dakota Conference win over the Mitchell Kernels 60-47 Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Yankton won the rebounding battle and with it came an Eastern South Dakota Conference win over the Mitchell Kernels 60-47 Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
“After the first half, we talked about finishing a little better inside,” Yankton coach Chris Haynes said. “They pressured our guards well and got some turnovers on that, but on the flipside, we were able to take advantage on the rebounds from our size.”
The Bucks outrebounded the Kernels 36-21 in the game and were led in rebounds by junior forward Landon Breen with a game-high 11. As a result of winning the rebound battle, the Bucks made 15 of 25 baskets from inside the paint and shot 47 percent from the field.
Mitchell guard Zach Moen agreed, saying the Kernels, who shot 35 percent from the floor, weren’t able to slow down Yankton’s inside game.
“Our defense couldn’t find a man and box out,” he said. “Therefore, they got the rebounds and had some high-percentage shots down low off them.”
Mitchell’s Seth Cavanaugh, the team’s leading rebounder with five, took a nasty fall in the second quarter, which kept him on the sidelines for the second half.
“We really missed his presence on the floor,” said Mitchell coach Tom Young, whose team made 14 steals in the game. “Defending inside and getting rebounds has been a battle all year for us. It’s something that we work on constantly.
“No matter how good of defense we play, if they end up with the offensive rebound, it doesn’t do us any good.”
Yankton took an early 8-0 lead in the game with Breen, who recorded a double-double with 10 points added to his 11 rebounds, scoring the first six. The Kernels (3-9, 1-7 ESD) came storming back to tie it with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Beau Brown and back-to-back baskets by senior guard Cole Morgan and junior forward Jon Jamison.
The Bucks (3-6, 2-5 ESD) answered and retook the lead at 12-10 at the end of the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, Yankton stretched its lead to five, but again Mitchell fought to stay close with another three-point basket by Brown, who had a team-high 15 points with three 3-pointers.
At 22-22, Michael Rucker took matters into his own hands, scoring six consecutive points to end the first half and putting the Bucks up 28-22.
In the third, Mitchell was able to close the deficit within one at 30-29 by a 3-pointer from Moen and layup by Morgan.
But Yankton stopped Mitchell’s momentum and went on a 9-0 run. The Kernels came with seven points with 5:37 left to play in the fourth but was unable to dig out of the hole.
The Bucks were led by Rucker and J.J. Hejna with 15 points apiece. Hejna finished with nine rebounds.
Mitchell’s only other double-figure scorer was Cole Morgan with 11.
The Kernels return to the court against another ESD rival as they travel to play Huron as a part of a doubleheader at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Huron. Yankton hosts Sioux Falls O’Gorman Thursday.
NOTES: The game was played in honor of those in the fight against cancer. There were about 25 people honored in Friday’s game.
“In reality, a basketball game is pretty minor compared to the people that were honored (tonight) and the battles they have had," Young said.
Yankton (3-6, 2-5 ESD)
Michael Rucker 5-10 4-4 15; Andrew Ammd 2-5 0-0 4; Landon Breen 4-6 2-2 10; J.J. Hejna 4-8 7-9 15; Brady Hale 2-6 0-0 5; Ryan Olson 2-3 0-0 4; Zach Benjamin 1-2 0-0 3; Reid Sawatzlee 1-4 0-0 2; Kellen Soulek 1-3 0-0 2; Totals: 22-47 13-15 60.
Mitchell (3-9, 1-7 ESD)
Cole Morgan 5-16 0-1 11; Jared Schmidt 2-7 0-0 5; Seth Cavanaugh 3-7 0-0 6; Beau Brown 4-9 4-4 15; Evan Mastel 0-1 0-0 0; Parth Patel 0-0 0-0 0; Ben Prill 0-0 0-0 0; Zach Moen 1-3 0-0 3; Ryker Kruezfelt 0-0 0-0 0; Ethan Jones 1-2 0-0 3; Neil Schlimgen 0-0 0-0 0; Trenton Lisakowski 0-0 0-0 0; Jon Jamison 1-2 1-1 3; Josh Schmidt 0-1 0-0 0; Totals: 17-48 5-6 46.
Halftime: Yankton 28-22. 3-point goals: Y 3-14 (Rucker 1, Hale 1, Benjamin 1), M 7-26 (Morgan 1, Jared Schmidt 1, Brown 3, Moen 1, Jones 1); Rebounds: Y 36 (Breen 11, Hejna 9), M 21 (Cavanaugh 5); Assists: Y 8 (Olson 2, Benjamin 2), M 12 (Morgan 4, Brown 4); Steals: Y 11 (Olson 2), M 14 (Morgan 3, Brown 3, Moen 3); Turnovers: Y 14, M 12; Personal fouls: Y 13, M 13; Technical fouls: None.
JV: Yankton 51-43. Derek Miller had 14 points and eight rebounds and Neil Schlimgen scored 13.
Sophomores: Yankton 37-33. Kanin Nelson scored 14 points and brought down nine rebounds.
Freshmen: Yankton 55-42. Justin Syring scored 17 points and JetLi Heng had nine assists.