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Watertown boys tower over Mitchell

WATERTOWN—The main difference between Watertown and Mitchell's high school boys basketball teams this season isn't just the won-loss record, but size inside.

For the second time this season, the Arrows took advantage of their size and defeated the Kernels 74-45 in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game Saturday night in the Civic Arena.

The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Arrows (8-7, 7-4 ESD) and spoiled the return of first-year Mitchell head coach Todd Neuendorf, a 1990 WHS grad who is still looking for his first win with the Kernels (0-15, 0-11).

The Arrows' focus was definitely on getting the ball inside, which helped lead to an 18-point first-quarter for Watertown.

Mitchell, however, hung tough and put up 17 points of its own. Jordon Johnson's two free throws to start the second period even gave the Kernels an 18-17 lead.

Things changed drastically in the final seven minutes of the first half. Solomon Bach, a 6-foot-4 junior, and Blake Holden combined to spearhead a half-ending 19-2 scoring surge that put Watertown firmly in control at 37-21.

Neuendorf admitted his team was facing some matchup problems against Watertown, especially on Bach who can score inside and out. The lack of size, however, also works against Mitchell offensively.

"That's the way it's been all year, we just run out of points," said Neuendorf. "My kids always play hard and they did again tonight, but we just can't get easy baskets. You saw how many shots they made us change. We do shoot too many 3's, but part of it is the kids are scared to go into the paint."

Watertown increased its lead to 30 (61-31) after three quarters and grabbed its biggest lead of the game (71-39) with just over 4½ minutes remaining. Both teams cleared their benches shortly after that.

Bach finished 9-for-11 from the field, scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Arrows. Mitchell's Kiel Nelson scored 10 points, Carter Cavanaugh scored nine and Derek Factor eight for Mitchell, which shot 32 percent (16 of 48) from the field.

"You just have to give Watertown credit," said Neuendorf. "They've got a lot of pieces and they use them well. That was the difference."

The Kernels host Brookings at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Watertown 58, Mitchell 45. Derek Factor had 12 points and Carter Jacobsen scored seven points.

Sophomore: Watertown 71, Mitchell 47. Hunter Stahle scored 14 points. Lucas Moller added nine points.

Watertown 74, Mitchell 45

Mitchell: Kiel Nelson 4-9 1-1 10, Jordon Johnson 1-2 1-4 4, Jackson Sadler 0-1 0-0 0, Kaden Soukup 1-5 0-0 3, Derek Factor 2-7 2-2 8, Tate Larson 0-1 0-0 0, Carter Cavanaugh 4-11 1-3 9, Koby Larson 0-0 2-4 2, Baley Miller 1-3 0-0 3, Carter Jacobsen 0-4 0-0 0, Isaiah Jacobsen 0-1 0-0 0, Vincent Michael 2-3 0-0 4, Cooper Knutson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 16-48 7-14 45.

Watertown: Cade Cummings 5-9 0-0 11, Jacob Tisher 1-1 0-0 2, Parker Schmidt 0-2 2-2 2, Colton McClemans 2-2 0-0 6, Parker Johnston 2-5 1-2 6, Pierre Lear 0-1 0-0 0, Brandon Florey 0-5 0-0 0, Max Sonne 3-5 0-0 6, Solomon Bach 9-11 0-0 21, Corbin Chilson 4-5 0-0 8, Lucas Bierscheid 0-4 0-0 0, Blake Holden 5-7 0-0 10, Sully Mack 1-2 0-0 2, Taten Raml 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-60 3-4 74.

Mitchell 17 21 31 45

Watertown 18 37 61 74

FG%: Mitchell .320, Watertown .533. 3-pt FG:Mitchell 6-24 (Team 0-2, Nelson 1-3, Johnson 1-2, Soukup 1-5, Factor 2-7, Cavanaugh 0-2, Miller 1-1, Jacobsen 0-1, Jacobsen 0-1), Watertown 7-20 (Cummings 1-4, Schmidt 0-1, McClemans 2-2, Johnston 1-4, Lear 0-1, Florey 0-2, Bach 3-5, Mack 0-1). Rebounds: Mitchell 25 (Johnson 6, Nelson 4), Watertown 36 (Cummings 10, Holden 6, Bach 5). Fouls: Mitchell 7, Watertown 15. Fouled out: none. Turnovers: Mitchell 10, Watertown 5.

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