Mitchell beats Rapid City Central in first round of state tourneyRAPID CITY — The Mitchell High School girls’ basketball team is one step closer to defending its state title.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — The Mitchell High School girls’ basketball team is one step closer to defending its state title.
The third-seeded Kernels defeated sixth-seeded Rapid City Central 54-43 Thursday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
“People think you’re going to come blow out teams, but this is the state tournament,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “Teams want to win and (Rapid City Central) is a senior-oriented team and they are pretty darn good.”
The Kernels defeated the Cobblers 77-38 in the first meeting of the season on Dec. 14 in Rapid City, and Morgan credited the Cobbler effort in the opening game of his team’s road to two-straight titles.
“When they take players like Kerri (Young) and Macy (Miller) out of the game, you’ve got to have players that do a good job getting baskets and playing good defense,” Morgan said about senior Kristin Sabers.
Sabers scored a game-high 15 points, followed by Miller with 14 points and Young with 12. Miller brought down a team-high nine rebounds and Sabers had seven rebounds in the win.
The Kernels got out to a quick start, scoring the first six points of the game — triggered by 3-pointer by senior Megan Farnham. Mitchell stayed aggressive throughout the opening quarter and built an 18-10 lead heading into the second.
The Kernels, who won the rebounding battle 29-27, spread out the scoring in the second as five players contributed to the 14-point quarter. Mitchell, which shot 58 percent in the first half, was led by Sabers, a senior, with 11 first-half points. She helped lift the Kernels to a 32-25 lead at halftime.
The Cobblers (14-9) lessened the early deficit in the third and came within four at 39-35 with 1:51 left in the quarter after a layup by Taylor Bauer, who scored a team-high 14 points. Young responded with a jumper on the other end of the floor to put the Kernels back up by six heading into the fourth.
The Cobblers came within five points with five minutes left in the fourth and had Mitchell on its heels.
“With the clock running down, we made a back-door play to Macy (Miller) and she finished, and that was a play that kind of sealed the game a little bit,” said Morgan, whose team improved to 21-3 on the season.
The Cobblers were 15-of-51 for 29 percent from the field and 9-of-12 from the foul line. Mitchell was an impressive 17-of-31 for 55 percent from the field and made 16 of 21 free throws.
The Kernels face second-seeded Sioux Falls Washington at 8:45 p.m. Central time today in the semifinals of the Class AA state tournament, which had an estimated attendance of 2,500 in the second session.
MITCHELL 54, RC CENTRAL 43
RC CENTRAL (14-8)
Deneke 3-7 2-2 9, Martin 2-10 0-0 4, Carmichael 2-8 1-2 5, Enos 0-1 1-2 1, Holt 2-6 1-2 5, Bauer 4-12 4-4 14, Weeks 2-5 0-0 4, Mellegard 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 15-61 9-12 43.
Farnham 3-5 2-4 9, Michels 1-1 0-0 3, Miller 4-8 6-6 14, Moore 0-1 1-2 1, Volesky 0-2 0-0 0, Young 3-3 6-7 12, Iburg 0-1 0-0 0, Sabers 6-10 1-2 15. Totals: 17-31 16-21 54.
Rapid City Central 10 25 35 43
Mitchell 18 32 41 54
3-pointers: RCC 4-19 (Deneke 1-1, Martin 0-4, Carmichael 1-7, Bauer 2-6, Mellegard 0-1), Mitchell 4-7 (Farnham 1-2, Michels 1-1, Sabers 2-4). Rebounds: RCC 27 (Holt 7, Weeks 7), Mitchell 29 (Miller 9). Assists: RCC 9 (Bauer 4), Mitchell 10 (Young 6). Total fouls: RCC 21, Mitchell 15. Fouled out: Carmichael.