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No. 4 Kernels top Harrisburg for road win

Mitchell senior Cassidy Musick drives the ball as Harrisburg’s Alex Johnson guards her during an Eastern South Dakota Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday in Harrisburg. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

HARRISBURG — After winning the Class A state title last year, the Harrisburg girls’ basketball team got a taste of life in the Eastern South Dakota Conference, as No. 4 Mitchell pulled out a tough 55-48 road win Tuesday in Harrisburg.

The Kernels (2-0, 2-0 ESD) jumped out to an early lead and held on late despite a Tiger (1-1, 1-1 ESD) comeback. Harrisburg is playing in its first season in Class AA and the ESD.

“To get up early in hostile territory is big,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “Harrisburg knows how to win, especially at home.”

The Tigers were kept in the game by sloppy play at times by Mitchell, which committed 20 turnovers in the game. But strong Kernel defense led to contested shots all night for Harrisburg, which shot 29 percent in the game.

“We’re going to have to work on taking care of the ball throughout the season,” Mitchell senior guard Torrie Michels said. “We really had to get down on defense tonight, focus on fundamentals and do the basics.”

Macy Miller, who will play at South Dakota State University next season, scored a game-high 27 points, with 17 coming in the first half. The senior added 10 rebounds for the double-double, five steals and two assists.

“I have to trust in Macy

and she was pretty good tonight with the ball in her hands,” Morgan said.

Senior center Shelly Iburg added seven points and eight rebounds for Mitchell, while Michels added eight points and four assists.

Senior guard Emma Schmidt finished in double figures with 10 points, making eight of her 11 free-throw attempts. Taylor Volesky was held to three points, but pulled down five boards in the win.

Going forward, Morgan knows there are things the team needs to work on, especially knocking down outside shots. The Kernels missed all eight of their three-point attempts Tuesday.

“We are going to have to keep working on our outside shot and I know we have the kids that can do it,” Morgan said. “In the end, I think that is going to be a valuable tool that we can use to help us win big games.”

After trailing by as many as 22 points in the second half, the Tigers clamped down on defense, holding the Kernels to just 10 fourth-quarter points. Harrisburg cut the Kernel lead to seven with less than a minute to play but would get no closer.

“It was good to see our kids play through adversity like that and get the game close,” first-year Harrisburg coach Nick Mayer said. “The first couple of games in the ESD for us have been battles. The next time we play we will have to do a better job of containing Macy.”

All-state forward Morgan Beaner led the Tiger rally with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds. Morgan Darner added seven points, four rebounds and three steals for the Tigers.

The Kernels outrebounded the Tigers 40-35, while Harrisburg committed 15 turnovers. Mitchell was 19-of-45 from the field and 17 of 25 from the free-throw line. Harrisburg was 18-of-62 from the field and 10-of-12 from the line.

For the second consecutive game, the Kernels’ bench was held scoreless, with the starters each playing at least 27 minutes and accounting for all of the team’s points.

The Mitchell bench will get a test this weekend with games on back-to-back nights at the Corn Palace.

“We are going to work on our depth this weekend with two games in a row,” Morgan said.

The Kernels host Rapid City Central at 7 p.m. Friday and Rapid City Stevens at 1:45 p.m. Saturday. Both games are at the Corn Palace.

Harrisburg is off until after the holiday break and will host Sioux Falls O’Gorman Jan. 3 in Harrisburg.

Mitchell 55

Harrisburg 48

Mitchell (2-0, 2-0 ESD)

Taylor Volesky 1-9 1-1 3; Shelly Iburg 3-5 1-2 7; Torrie Michels 4-7 0-0 8; Macy Miller 10-15 7-8 27; Emma Schmidt 1-7 8-11 10; Cassidy Musick 0-1 0-0 0; Rachel Bucholz 0-0 0-0 0; Ally Goldhammer 0-0 0-0 0; Kaley Holz 0-0 0-0 0: Totals 19-45 17-25 55.

Harrisburg (1-1, 1-1 ESD)

Danni Hanner 2-11 3-4 7; Hailey Halling 3-5 0-0 6; Morgan Darner 3-11 1-1 7; Alex Johnson 2-11 2-2 8; Tiara Ugofsley 0-2 0-0 0; Hailey Axtell 0-3 0-0 0; Jordan Bieswanger 0-0 0-0 0; Hailey Bruggeman 0-1 0-0 0; Morgan Beaner 8-18 4-5 20; Totals 18-62 10-12 48.

M 18 32 45 55

H 6 19 26 48

3-point field goals: M 0-8, H 2-14 (Johnson 2). Rebounds: M 40 (Miller 10, Iburg 8, Volesky 5), H 35 (Benaer 8, Ugofsley 7). Assists: M 4 (Miller 2), H 2. Steals: M 8 (Miller 5), H 10 (Halling 3, Darner 3). Turnovers: M 20 (Miller 6, Volesky 5), H 15 (Johnson 4). Personal fouls: M 15, H 20. Fouled out: none.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Harrisburg won 47-34. Leading scorer: Julie Knight 10 points.

Freshmen: Harrisburg won 50-12. Leading scorer: Rachel Whalen 4 points.

No sophomore game.