Mitchell boys' 10 year state tourney run on line FridayHURON — The last time the Mitchell High School boys’ basketball team missed the state tournament was 11 years ago.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
HURON — The last time the Mitchell High School boys’ basketball team missed the state tournament was 11 years ago.
And with a 63-53 loss against second-seeded Huron Tuesday in the first round of the District 3AA tournament, the third-seeded Kernels are one step closer to ending the 10-year state tournament appearance streak.
Mitchell’s 2002 team failed to qualify to the state tournament, despite having a winning record at 12-9 on the season. That year, the Kernels were the second seed in the District 3AA tournament and beat their first opponent, Pierre, 50-37 to advance to the district championship.
Mitchell was defeated by top-seeded Aberdeen Central 59-45, missing its first chance at a state tournament berth.
The Kernels were unable to take advantage of their second chance in the Region 2AA game as they fell to Rapid City Central 40-39, ending a then-coach Gary Munsen’s state tournament appearance streak at 19.
“I unfortunately remember that year,” Munsen said.
That year was the only year since 1974 the Kernels did not have a player make the all-state or all-tournament lists.
Now, Mitchell has an opportunity to keep its season alive Friday as it hosts fourth-seeded Aberdeen Central, which lost to top-seeded Pierre Tuesday in Pierre in a first-round district game. Tipoff for the Kernels’ district elimination game against Aberdeen is set for 8 p.m. Friday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Kernels split with the Golden Eagles this season, winning the last meeting 62-52 on the road in Aberdeen. The winner of Friday’s contest continues its quest for a state tournament berth as it plays in the Region 2AA tournament Tuesday.
Mitchell is on a three-game losing streak, while the Golden Eagles (4-15) have lost five straight.
The Kernels, who dropped to 5-16 on the season, have to win the remainder of their games — which would include district, region and state tournament games — to get to the 10-win mark this season.
In the past 39 years, only six Mitchell boys’ teams have recorded less than 10 wins. Three of those teams did not qualify for the Class AA state tournament. In those 39 years, the lowest amount of wins a Mitchell team had was seven in 1982.