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Kernels fall to No. 3 Lynx

Luke Hagen/Republic Mitchell's Kendra Knight tries to pass the ball as two Brandon Valley defenders guard Friday night at the Corn Palace.

After taking a brief lead in the second quarter, the Mitchell girls' basketball team let up enough for Brandon Valley to take full advantage.

Between the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third, the Lynx went on a combined 26-5 run that virtually paralyzed Mitchell for the rest of the game.

The Kernels lost to Brandon Valley, 59-37, Friday night at the Corn Palace due to "a lot of little things," according to head coach Wes Morgan.

Mitchell scored a combined 14 points in the second and third quarters, while Brandon Valley's offensive dominated. The Lynx (6-0) took advantage of numerous turnovers by the Kernels, including careless ball handling and passes thrown in heavy Brandon Valley coverage.

"You can't take a break against a good team like (Brandon Valley), and tonight we put together about 27 or 28 good minutes," Morgan said. "Then, it's hard to fight back against a good team like them."

Mitchell's bright spot of the game came when Courtney Miller came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer, giving the Kernels a 16-15 lead with about six minutes left in the first half.

Thereafter, Mitchell's offense was stagnant up to the fourth quarter.

"We got good looks tonight, but the ball just wasn't going in," Morgan said. "We were flat in the second half, but if we could have put together those little things...I can't put my finger on the one thing that we did bad, but if you take all the little things and put them together, those were the mistakes that we ended up with."

Brandon Valley couldn't do much wrong in the 21-point swing. The Lynx dominated the offensive rebounds and grabbed an abundant amount of second-chance points. And, the Kernels helped Brandon Valley's offense become more aggressive, putting the Lynx in the bonus with about a minute left in the third.

Brandon Valley took 13 shots from the line in the second half, hitting nine. The Lynx also outrebounded the Kernels in the game, 29-22.

No one player dominated for the Lynx, as four players had at least nine points, and Mallory Ageton finished with a game-high 11 points. Brandon Valley finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field.

A small gleam of hope appeared for the Kernels early in the fourth quarter, when Alli Fredericksen hit back-to-back 3-pointers that pulled Mitchell within 13 points with about 5:30 remaining. Fredericksen came off the bench and led the Kernels with nine points.

After a Lynx timeout, Taylor Piper missed a shot that spun around the rim and lipped out after a nice spin move in the paint.

Mitchell wouldn't score another basket for the final five minutes of the game.

"The kids might have been a little tired from last night," Morgan said. "We get tired inside. We're giving away five inches. We've got two posts, and when we wear those two out, the stronger always survive."

Taylor Overweg started her second-straight game, but was held scoreless on the night.

Mitchell was held to 30 percent shooting on the night and hit 13-of-43 shots. Taylor Piper had eight points, including 4-of-4 from the line. Whitney Morgan was the team's next highest scorer with seven, and Caitlin Way finished with six after a 16-point performance on Thursday against Yankton.

"To stay in the game, we have to rebound, and down the road, we're going to start to need to hit our outside jump shots," Morgan said.

Mitchell travels to Watertown on Thursday in its only game next week. With its current two wins, Mitchell has already equaled the amount of wins from its 2-20 record from last year.