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Kernel girls stay perfect with 71-39 win over Yankton

Mitchell's Shelly Iburg, 44, contests a shot by Yankton's Sophie Drotzmann during their Eastern South Dakota Confer-ence girls' basketball game on Saturday at the Summit Center. (James D. Cimburek/Yankton Press & Dakotan)

YANKTON — The Yankton Gazelles knew they would have their hands full with Mitchell’s Macy Miller and Taylor Volesky.

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The Kernels’ dynamic duo lived up to billing, scoring a combined 49 points in a 71-39 victory over Yankton in Eastern South Dakota Conference action at the Summit Center Saturday in Yankton.

“We’re well aware of who and what Macy Miller is,” said Yankton head coach Doug Pesicka. “I thought in the first half she really set the tone of the game.”

Miller finished with 29 points, while Volesky added 20 in the win over the Bucks.

In the first quarter, Yankton (2-3, 2-2 ESD) came out of the gate roaring, as they went on a 6-3 run in the opening minutes.

Miller and Mitchell (6-0, 4-0 ESD) answered the bell and set the tone in the first quarter, going on two crucial runs to skip ahead of the Gazelles.

Halfway through the first, Mitchell took their first lead of the game at 11-8. The next possession, Yankton sophomore Becky Frick hit a baseline jumper to cut the lead to one.

The Gazelles did not score the rest of the quarter, as Mitchell went on a 10-0 run to end the quarter, giving the Kernels a 21-10 advantage going into the second period.

According to Mitchell coach Wes Morgan, the first quarter is when his team sets the pace for the rest of the contest.

“I thought we had a lot of energy tonight, even after playing a tough game last night,” Morgan said. “I felt Yankton came out with great intensity and kind of weathered the storm there early. That first quarter definitely set the tone for us the rest of the game.”

The Kernels were able to coast to a 43-22 lead going into the second half.

After a Yankton time-out and turnover, Volesky sunk a wide open three pointer to give the Kernels a 54-22 lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

“We didn’t do a very good job of defending the ball and our transition defense wasn’t up to par,” Pesicka said. “They got a lot of easy baskets and got to the free-throw line a lot. I really thought their transition game was a huge difference in this game.”

Morgan feels the Yankton game was solid timing to get his bench ready for the rest of the season.

“We have to get our sixth through ninth girls ready to go and get them some playing time,” Morgan said. “We set some goals for them to be more active on the offensive side of the ball.

 “I think our fast break was the deciding factor in this game, I also thought we played great man-to-man defense. We made every shot tough, we got the rebound and ran, that’s what we’re good at.”

Miller added had six rebounds and seven steals for the Kernels, with Volesky contributing five rebounds.

“Macy Miller had a number of steals where she just jumped the passing lane or picked our ball handlers pocket,” Pesicka said. “She did a lot of things that way. Once you get a little tired, you stop being aggressive and when you play a team like Mitchell, you just can’t do that.”

Emma Schmidt added 7 points and three assists for Mitchell, while Shelly Iburg and Torrie Michels each had four points. Iburg finished with a team-high five rebounds.

The Kernels will host Brandon Valley on Tuesday in the Corn Palace. The Gazelles will travel to Brookings on Tuesday night.

“We have to play good half-court defense against Brandon Valley in order to win, we’ll also have to spread the ball around offensively,” Morgan said.

Mitchell ....................... 71

Yankton ....................... 39

MIT (6-0)

Torrie Michels 2-5 0-0 4, Taylor Volesky 8-10 3-3 20, Macy Miller 11-13 5-6 29, Emma Schmidt 3-5 1-2 7, Shelly Iburg 2-2 0-0 4, Cassidy Musick 1-1 0-0 3, Julie Knight 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Weber 1-1 0-0 2, Hallie Misiaszek 0-2 0-0 0, Rachel Bucholz 0-1 0-0 0, Ally Goldammer 0-2 2-4 2, Kaley Nolz 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28-42 11-25 71.

YAN (2-3)

Andi Sprakel 4-6 0-0 8, Whitlee Larson 2-6 2-2 6, Becky Frick 2-4 0-0 4, Morgan Tessier 3-4 1-2 7, Sophie Drotzmann 0-3 1-2 1, Sarah Rockne 0-2 0-2 0, Anna Gulick 0-0 0-0 0, Lindsay Hale 5-7 0-0 11, Allie Thiesse 0-0 0-0 0, Kami Cornemann 1-3 0-0 2, Allie Murphy 0-2 0-0 0, Carson Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Danielle Schmidt 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17-39 4-8 39.

MIT ................  20 42 55 71

YAN ................. 10 22 32 39

3-Point field goals: M 4-6 (Miller 2-3, Volesky 1-1, Musick 1-1, Schmidt 0-1), Y 1-3 (Hale 1-2, Tessier 0-1). Rebounds: Y 18 (Tessier 4), M 18 (Iburg 5). Personal fouls: Y 16, M 11. Fouled out: None. Assists: Y 8 (Larson 4), M 8 (Schmidt 3). Turnovers: Y 28, M 17. Blocked shots: None. Steals: M 16 (Miller 7), Y 11 (Larson 3, Hale 3).