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Kernel girls finish perfect ESD season

Mitchell’s Macy Miller blocks the shot of Brookings’ Sara Tvedt in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game Monday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Also pictured is Mitchell’s Cassidy Musick (11), Shelly Iburg (44) and Brookings’ Hailey Hale, right. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Following the emotion of pre-game senior night festivities, the Mitchell girls’ basketball team immediately shifted its focus to the court to close out a perfect record in the Eastern South Dakota Conference.

“It’s a special thing to go undefeated in the ESD,” Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. “It just shows what kind of kids we have in that locker room.”

The No. 1 Kernels (19-1, 16-0 ESD) topped Brookings 61-32, as senior guard Macy Miller scored a game-high 29 points, with 21 coming in the first half.

Miller, a South Dakota State University signee, sits just seven points shy of Kerri Young’s school career scoring record of 1,760, which was set one year ago.

“We’re happy she’s a senior,” Brookings coach Lynn Frederick said of Miller. “Every 10-15 years we have a special player like that come through South Dakota and Mitchell has had a couple of them the last few years.”

The game started with Mitchell bursting out of the gate, as Miller and junior forward Taylor Volesky each scored six points to put Brookings in a quick 12-2 hole. The Kernels did not let up as the home team led 24-4 after one quarter and 36-13 at the half.

Miller and Volesky combined to score 31 points for Mitchell in the first half, as the Bobcats shot just 14 percent before the break.

“The strong start tonight just shows how mentally prepared we are,” Mitchell senior center Shelly Iburg. “We know when to bring it.”

Brookings (12-8, 11-5 ESD), the second-place team in the ESD, tightened its defense in the second half, but a 23 percent shooting night for Brookings could not be overcome.

Volesky finished with 17 points, including three 3-pointers, while Miller added five rebounds and four steals to go along with a 9-for-9 performance at the free-throw line.

Julie Knight, Erin Farnham and Torrie Michels each added a three-pointer for the Kernels, who have started to find a touch from beyond the arc.

“We haven’t been shooting as many threes as we had been,” Morgan said. “But it’s good when you see your first couple go in. It is something we have continued to work on in practice.”

The Kernels shot 21-of-42 for 50 percent from the field and 13-of-16 at the line. Brookings was led by Sara Tvedt, who scored a team-high eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss. Kaitlyn Hadley added six points for the Bobcats, while Hailey Hale chipped in with seven rebounds.

“You take away the start tonight and we competed at a pretty high level,” Frederick, a former member of the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team, said. “We just didn’t shoot the ball well. Finishing second in the ESD is, I think, a lot better than what people thought this team would do.”

The Bobcats shot 12-of-52 from the field and 6-of-12 from the free-throw line in the loss. Brookings outrebounded Mitchell 37-31.

The Kernels have a week off before opening district play against Huron (4-15) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Corn Palace.

“Home games are everything for this team this year,” Morgan said. “Huron is a different team than earlier in the year and they will be ready to play.”

Brookings will play its first district game against Sioux Falls Roosevelt Monday.

Notes: Five seniors were honored for senior night including Macy Miller, Torrie Michels, Shelly Iburg, Emma Schmidt and Cassidy Musick…. Miller is seven points shy of tying Kerri Young’s school career scoring record on 1,760. She is shooting 92.6 percent from the free-throw line this season, which would set a new Kernel record if she stays on that pace. … With Monday’s win, the Kernels have won 41 consecutive games at home.

Brookings 32 Mitchell 61 M (19-1, 16-0 ESD) Taylor Volesky 6-14 2-3 17; Shelly Iburg 1-4 0-0 2; Torrie Michels 1-1 0-0 3; Macy Miller 10-14 9-9 29; Emma Schmidt 0-2 2-2 2; Erin Farnham 1-1 0-0 3; Kaelyn Kaul 0-1 0-0 0; Cassidy Musick 0-1 0-0 0; Julie Knight 1-1 0-0 3; Alex Weber 0-1 0-0 0; Hallie Misiaszek 0-0 0-0 0; Rachel Bucholz 0-0 0-0 0; Ally Goldammer 0-1 0-0 0; Kaley Nolz 1-1 0-2 2; Totals 21-42 13-16 61.

B (12-8, 11-5 ESD) Kaitlyn Hadley 2-10 1-3 6; Lauren Coughlin 0-1 3; Sidney Berreth 1-9 1-2 3; Sara Tvedt 4-13 0-0 8; Maddy Reed 1-2 0-0 2; Kara McDougal 2-4 0-0 4; Baylee Tetzlaff 0-1 0-0 0; Mariah Livingston 1-1 0-2 2; Makenna Mahanke 0-1 0-0 0; Colleen Hieb 0-0 0-0 0; Hailey Hale 0-3 4-4 4; Totals 12-52 6-12 32.

B 4 13 22 32 M 21 36 47 61 3-point field goals: M 6-12 (Volesky 3), B 2-16. Rebounds: M 31 (Iburg 5, Miller 5), B 37 (Tvedt 12, Hale 7). Assists: M 9, B 3. Steals: M 7 (Miller 4), B 7. Turnovers: M 12, B 14 (Berreth 5, Hadley 4). Personal fouls: M 16, B 17. Technical fouls: none. Fouled out: M (Michels), B (none).

Subvarsity scores: JV: Brookings won 34-27. Hallie Misiaszek led Mitchell with seven points.

Sophomores: Brookings won 37-22. Brenna Morgan led Mitchell with six points.

Freshmen: Mitchell won 33-28. Kendra Brewster led Mitchell with 12 points.