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MHS boys fall to Yankton 62-42

Mitchell's Derek Miller drives to the basket as he is guarded by Yankton's Reid Swatzke during an Eastern South Dakota Conference game Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

According to head coach Chris Haynes the Yankton Bucks played perhaps their best defensive game of the season Saturday at the Corn Palace.

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The Bucks held the Mitchell Kernels to a 30 percent shooting night en route to earning a 62-42 Eastern South Dakota Conference victory.

“We thought our defense was great,” Haynes said. “We were able to force a couple of turnovers and get into transition.”

The Bucks (2-2, 2-1 ESD) forced 17 turnovers with pres-sure man-to-man defense in the half court. Yankton elected for a full court press when Mitchell was taking the ball out.

The Kernels (1-7, 1-3 ESD) were able to break the press with relative ease. But the pressure did affect Mitchell, which finished the night 15-of-49 from the field.

More than half of the 49 shots taken by the Kernels were 3-pointers. While Mitchell took 26 threes it converted only six.

“They took us out of what we wanted to do,” Mitchell senior guard Jaron Weich said. “The shots weren’t falling. We probably took too many threes and we should have gone to the hoop more.”

Weich finished with a team-high nine points. Seven of those nine points came in the first half, while the Kernels were fighting back and forth with Yankton.

Junior guard Beau Brown chipped in with seven points and five rebounds. Junior Forward Carter Brewster had eight points for Mitchell, which outrebounded Yankton 40-32.

At the end of the first quarter Mitchell trailed Yankton 12-8.

The Bucks built their lead to 21-14 in the second quarter. But the Kernels an-swered back with a 7-3 run to close the gap to three points with just under two minutes to go in the half.

Yankton forward’s Brady Hale and JJ Hejna answered the Mitchell run with a run of their own. Hejna scored four points in the paint to close out the half and Hale converted a 3-point play to give the Bucks a 31-23 lead at the half.

Both players finished the half with 12 points. Hale would go on to score a game-high 19 points, while Hejna tallied 18 points.

Down eight points at half, Mitchell had hopes of coming back and making it a game. But any hopes the Kernels had of winning were dashed early in the third quarter as Yankton went on a 15-2 run to start the quarter. During that run the Bucks lead ballooned from eight to 21 points.

“To only be down eight was a good thing,” MHS basketball coach Erik Skoglund said. “We thought we could go on a 10-point run there. All we needed was two minutes, but it snowballed on us real quick.”

Skoglund said this was sup-posed to be the weekend that his team turned things around. The first-year Kernel coach was referring to Mitchell’s back-to-back home games at the Corn Palace on Friday and Saturday. But instead of winning its two home games Mitchell went 0-2.

The Kernels will hit the court again in hopes for a better result at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Brandon Valley. Yankton hosts Brookings at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Yankton 62

Mitchell 42

Mitchell (1-7, 1-3 ESD)

Jaron Weich 4-10 0-0 9; Derek Miller 2-7 1-1 5; Beau Brown 2-6 1-2 7; Neil Schlimgen 2-7 0-0 5; Kanin Nelson 2-7 2-2 6; Noah Thompson 0-0 0-0 0; Tyler Houwman 0-1 0-0 0; Connor Morgan 0-1 0-0 0; Ben Miller 0-0 0-0 0; Carter Brewster 3-4 0-0 8; Ethan Jones 0-4 2-2 2; Keegan Soukup 0-1 0-0 0; Jon Jamison 0-1 0-0 0; Tyler Larson 0-0 0-0 0; Alex Hartman 0-0 0-0 0.

Yankton (2-2, 2-1 ESD)

Ryan Olson 2-8 3-4 8; Reid Swatzke 4-10 0-0 8; Chipper Granflatte 2-6 0-0 4; Lane Sawatzke 1-2 0-0 3; Brady Hale 7-11 4-5 19; Austin Johnson 0-2 0-0 0; Brody McClure 0-0 0-0 0; Matt Fitzgerald 0-1 0-0 0; JJ Hejna 6-9 6-10 18; Mitchell Gullikson 1-3 0-1 2; Evan Greeneway 0-1 0-4 0; Nick Raab 0-0 0-0 0; Sam Bisgard 0-0 0-0 0.

Yankton 12 31 48 62

Mitchell 8 23 29 42

3-point goals: Mitchell 6-26 (Weich, Brown 2, Brewster 2, Schlimgen), Yankton 3-16 (Olson, Sawatzke, Hale); Rebounds: Mitchell 40 (Nelson 7), Yankton 32 (Olson 6); Assists: Mitchell 8 (Brown 2, Houwman 2); Yankton 9 (Swatzke 2, Sawatzke 2); Steals: Mitchell 4 (Weich, Brown, Schlimgen, Brewster); Yankton 11 (Olson 4); Turnovers: Mitchell 17, Yankton 11; Team fouls: Mitchell 19, Yankton 15; Tech-nical fouls none.