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Mitchell Kernels lead early, fall in season finale to Bobcat boys

Mitchell’s Kanin Nelson knocks down a basket in the lane over Brookings’ Seth Moret during the second half of the Kernels’ 69-58 Eastern South Dakota Conference loss to the Bobcats on Tuesday at Bob Jostad Gymnasium in Brookings. ( Troy Maroney/Brookings Register)

BROOKINGS — For the first six minutes of Tuesday’s Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup between the Kernels and Bobcats, Mitchell looked anything but the one-win team that it was coming into the game.

The Kernels scored the first six points of the game and still led 16-6 following Kanin Nelson’s basket with 1:46 to play in the quarter.

But the Bobcats scored the final six points of the quarter, and then outscored Mitchell 36-23 over the middle two frames on the way to a 69-58 victory.

“It’s a testament to our kids playing hard (tonight on the road), when we haven’t had a win in months,” said Mitchell head coach Erik Skoglund. “Our seniors and upperclassmen have been keeping us together; having great practices — enthusiastic, competitive and always learning when we throw a new wrinkle in. “Our defense has gotten better, our dribble-drive has gotten better and our trapping has gotten better. If we could have just kept our three-point shooting on after the first four minutes, it would have been a different ball game.”

Brookings tied the game at 18-18 with 4:51 to play in the second quarter but the Kernels responded with a 5-0 run on a 3-pointer by Ethan Jones and a basket by Keegan Soukup in the lane.

The Bobcats took their first lead of the game with 2:42 to play in the second when Tyler Nagy stole a pass and then dished to Trevor Hornig for a layup, as the two seniors combined for 45 of Brookings’ 69 points. Brookings quickly extended its lead to six points and led 31-28 heading into the locker room at halftime.

Nelson’s fast-break layup pulled Mitchell within a point to open the second half, but then the ’Cats went on a 15-2 run over the next four minutes as Nagy capped off the run with a 3-pointer to give Brookings its largest lead of the game at 46-32.

Jon Jamison’s basket in the paint pulled the Kernels back within nine points at the quarter break, and then Jared Weich opened the final frame with another basket in the lane to cut the lead to seven points.

But that was as close as Mitchell would get as the Bobcats again built their lead to 14 points midway through the quarter following a Hornig 3-pointer.

Beau Brown led the Kernels with 14 points and five rebounds, Nelson finished with 13 and Jones chipped in with nine points and five boards as Mitchell ended the regular season with a 1-19 mark (1-15 in the conference).

Hornig’s 23 points and eight rebounds led Brookings, which improved to 5-15 and 5-11 in the ESD. Nagy finished with 22 points, seven boards, four assists and three steals, while Jared Tschetter contributed nine points and three dimes.

On Tuesday, Mitchell will open District 3AA play at top-ranked Huron — a 69-61 winner over Pierre on Tuesday night, while the Bobcats travel to Sioux Falls to face Roosevelt in the District 1AA opener. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the postseason.

Mitchell 58

Brookings 69

Mit (1-19, 1-15 ESD)

Jaron Weich 2-4 1-2 6; Derek Miller 1-5 1-2 4; Beau Brown 6-16 0-0 14; Neil Schlimgen 1-5 0-0 3; Kanin Nelson 6-11 0-0 13; Tyler Houwman 0-1 1-2 1; Connor Morgan 0-3 0-0 0; Carter Brewster 1-4 0-0 2; Ethan Jones 4-10 0-0 9; Keegan Soukup 1-2 0-0 2; Jon Jamison 2-2 0-0 4; Totals: 24-63 3-6 58.

Br (5-15, 5-11 ESD)

Trevor Hornig 9-14 4-5 23; Seth Moret 1-5 2-6 4; Tyler Nagy 7-12 5-6 22; Mikey Daniel 0-1 0-0 0; RJ Helsper 0-0 0-0 0; Jared Tschetter 4-7 0-0 9; Carter Gordon 0-2 0-0 0; Devin Coughlin 2-2 1-2 5; Isaac Brandt 2-5 2-2 6; Totals: 25-48 14-21 69.

M 16 28 39 58

B 12 31 48 69

3-point goals: M 7-26 (Weich, Miller, Brown 2, Schlimgen, Nelson, Jones), B 5-13 (Hornig, Nagy 3, Tschetter); Rebounds: M 30 (Brown 5, Jones 5), B 37 (Hornig 8, Nagy 7); Assists: M 13 (Brown 4), B 13 (Nagy 4); Steals: M 11 (Morgan 3), B 6 (Nagy 3); Blocks: M 1 (Weich), B 4 (Nagy 2, Helsper 2); Turnovers: M 10, B 17; Personal fouls: M 17, B 9; Technical fouls: None.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Mitchell won 80-74. Ben Miller scored 15 points, Tyler Houwman had 14 and Gray Determan added 13.

Sophomore: Brookings won 73-58. Justin Syring scored 13 points and Jet Li Heng added 11 for Mitchell.

Freshmen A: Brookings won 53-34. Reed Overweg scored 20 points for the Kernels.