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Kernels come up short against Pierre

Mitchell's Tess Limberg, left, drives to the basket as Pierre's Abbi Kitts, right, tries to defender her during a Eastern South Dakota Conference girls basketball game on Tuesday at the Corn Palace. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

With 3 minutes and 5 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Mackenzie Miller picked up her third foul. From there, the Mitchell High School girls basketball team faced an uphill battle.

It ended up being too much for the Kernels to overcome, as Miller battled foul trouble the rest of the contest and Pierre knocked down critical shots to earn a 54-45 Eastern South Dakota Conference victory on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.

To say MHS head coach Wes Morgan was unhappy with the officiating would be an understatement. The Kernels fell to 4-8 and 3-7 in the ESD.

"It was six-against-five and I'll stand by that all day," said Morgan, who received a technical foul in the third quarter. "I've never had a game where the ref took over the game. We're not good enough to fight the refs and the other players. Other than that, it was a good game."

After Miller picked up her third foul on an offensive charge, Pierre (4-10, 3-7 ESD) closed the first quarter on a 11-0 run to lead 15-6. In the second quarter, Mitchell responded with a 15-2 run capped by a Jordyn Cranny 3-pointer and Chelsea Brewster field goal which tied the game at 19.

Leading 22-21 at halftime, Pierre went on to outscore Mitchell 32-24 in the second half to close out the win.

"We withstood a nice run they made in the second quarter. We bounced back in the second half," Pierre head coach Scott DeBoer said. "We got to the free-throw line and made some free throws."

DeBoer said his team did a nice job helping defend Miller in the post.

"Two of those early fouls were charges and that says we were playing team defense," DeBoer said. "It took them away from some of things they want to do."

Trailing 34-31 at the end of the third quarter, Mitchell couldn't get the contest back to a one-possession game, as Pierre hit two 3-pointers and closed the game out with free throws.

"Defensively, we helped out too much and got caught on the backside," Morgan said. "When they needed a bucket they got one. We just couldn't answer back."

Despite the foul trouble, Miller led Mitchell with 12 points, while Chelsea Brewster added 10 points. The Kernels shot 28 percent (13-of-45) from the field and committed 16 turnovers.

For Pierre, Emily Mikkelsen led with 15 points, going 5-of-6 from the line, while Mack Rath added 10 points.

Mitchell hosts Watertown on Thursday at the Corn Palace, while Pierre plays Yankton on Saturday.

Pierre 54, Mitchell 45

Pierre (4-10, 3-7 ESD): Emily Mikkelsen 4-12 5-6 15, Kodi Severyn 3-8 2-4 9, Abigail Foster 3-9 0-0 8, Kylie Kessler 4-6 0-1 9, Erika Stout 1-5 0-0 2, Abbi Kitts 0-0 0-0 0, Mack Rath 4-5 2-210, Hannah Lingle 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 19-45 9-13 53

Mitchell (4-8, 3-7 ESD): Shianne Hiemstra 0-1 0-0 0, Mackenzie Miller 3-10 6-8 12, Jordyn Cranny 2-7 1-2 7, Payton Morgan 0-7 4-4 4, Tayler Factor 2-7 3-6 7, Tess Limberg 2-6 1-2 5, Mandy Schmidt 0-0 0-0 0, Chelsea Brewster 4-5 2-2 10, Carly Haring 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Hohn 0-0 0-0 0, Tori Misiaszek 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 13-45 17-24 45

P 15 22 34 54

M 6 21 31 45

3-point goals: P 6-14 (Foster 2, Mikkelsen 2, Severyn 1, Kessler 1), M 2-5 (Cranny 2); Rebounds: P 32 (Stout 5), M 25 (Miller 4); Assists: P 2 (Stout 1), M 6 (Factor 3); Steals: P 4 (Mikkelsen 1), M 5 (Factor 1); Blocks: P 0, M 1 (Haring 1); Fouls: P 21, M 18; Fouled out: P (none), M (none); Technicals: M (coach, 3rd). Turnovers: P 13, M 16.

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