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Kernels' offense explodes

Luke Hagen/Republic Mitchell's Kerri Young, center, drives in the lane past a Spearfish defender Saturday at the Corn Palace. The Kernels defeated the Spartans, 61-28, for their fourth win of the year.

The Mitchell girls' basketball team jumped on Spearfish early, held strong defense throughout the game and picked up its fourth win of the season Saturday at the Corn Palace.

The Kernels tallied 43 points before halftime and had five players scored at least seven points in the 61-28 game -- Mitchell's largest win margin of the year.

"We wanted to jump out early, and it helps to get a couple layups early, too," Mitchell head coach Wes Morgan said. "By doing that it gives us more energy on defense, and it puts them back on their heels more."

Spearfish hit 22 percent of its shots from the field and scored in double digits in only one quarter, which was the second when the team scored 10.

That was a testament of Mitchell's strong defense and rebounding throughout the game. The Kernels got a steals on the Spartans' first two possessions, which led to four fast break points by Taylor Overweg.

Mitchell started the game on a 14-3 run and held Spearfish to seven first-quarter points. The Kernels scored more than nine points in the first quarter for its first time in its last seven games, as Mitchell's offense exploded for 23 points.

"Defensively, that's what started everything," Morgan said. "We were off running with the transition stuff. We took what they gave us and took advantage of it."

Spearfish tried to work inside on Mitchell in the second quarter, which worked for its first two baskets when Kelsey Jacobs and Sydney Tetrault, who finished with a team-high 10 points, each hit layups. But Mitchell's offense never skipped a beat.

The Kernels' Kerri Young opened the quarter with a bucket, Taylor Piper extended the lead out to 20 with a shot at the top of the key, and Caitlin Way knocked down two outside shots.

Mitchell shot 49 percent from the field in the first half and had four players, Way, Piper, Kendra Knight and Whitney Morgan, with seven or more points.

"Overall, offensively we were finding the open people," Morgan said. "We were playing with some fire and energy."

Mitchell extended its lead to 34 points late in the third quarter, its biggest of the game, and the Kernels saw a glimpse of two of its future leaders when Kerri Young and Kristin Sabers, both eighth graders, each scored baskets within a minute of each other.

Jacobs hit a 3-pointer for Spearfish in the fourth, which was part of a 6-3 run it put together against many of Mitchell's bench players.

"Everyone's got a little role to play," Morgan said. "We're pretty successful against teams that don't have any size. The kids came out and did what they had to do."

Mitchell is now 4-10, which doubled its win total from last year. The Kernels travel to Brandon Valley on Tuesday, while Spearfish (1-12) plays Sioux Falls Roosevelt Friday.


Spearfish (1-12)

Sydney Tetrault 4-10 0-2 10, Rachel Deichert 1-4 1-2 3, Kelsey Jacobs 2-10 1-3 6, Ali Long 1-4 0-0 3, Megan Quinn 1-3 0-2 2, Jaden Long 0-5 0-0 0, Lisa Krogstad 0-0 0-0 0, Jenna Crosswait 0-5 1-3 1, Kendra Apland 1-1 2-2 4, Britain Burditt 0-1 0-0 0, Darian Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Hannah Parrett 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 10-45 5-14 28.

Mitchell (4-10)

Whitney Morgan 4-7 0-0 9, Caitlin Way 5-10 2-3 12, Kendra Knight 4-10 203 10, Alli Fredericksen 2-7 0-0 5, Taylor Piper 3-8 1-2 7, Taylor Overweg 3-6 0-0 6, Alicia Walton 0-1 0-0 0, Courtney Miller 1-3 0-0 2, Courtney Nolz 0-0 0-0 0, Kerri Young 3-8 2-4 8, Kristin Sabers 1-2 0-0 2, Kelli Schlimgen 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26-62 5-9 61.

Mitchell 23 43 56 61

Spearfish 7 17 22 28.

3-Pointers -- MHS 4-18 (Morgan, Knight 2, Fredericksen), SHS 4-11 (Tetrault 2, Jacobs, Long). Rebounds -- MHS 46 (Way 8), SHS 29 (Burditt 3). Assists -- MHS 11 (Piper 3), SHS 2 (Tetrault 2). Turnovers -- MHS 14, SHS 18. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None. JV: SHS 38, MHS 33. Leading scorer: Natalie Roth with nine points. Sophomores: MHS 60, SHS 26. Leading scorer: Kerri Young 13.