Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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The future looks bright for the Marlin girls. The junior varsity team sits at No. 1 in league play and is an undefeated 12-0 this season. Watertown is second behind the Marlins with an 8-1 overall record. "We have a tough defense," Mitchell coach Randy Rezac said. "The girls are really good at keeping the shots away from the goalie." The net has been shared by three goalies. Cara Beck has made 98 saves on 108 shots on goal and allowed 10 goals.
PLATTE -- For the first time in school history, Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian is not playing 11-man football. The Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian football team, which was co-oped in 2007, has moved down to Class 9AA from Class 11B. The entire list with each school from all seven classes was released by the South Dakota High School Activities Association Tuesday. Regions have yet to be assigned and will be determined at a later date.
Dominant shooting lifted No. 2-ranked Pierre over the Mitchell Kernels 62-47 Tuesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. "We've played in this building enough to know that if Mitchell gets rolling, they play with a lot of confidence the rest of the game," said Pierre coach Terry Becker, an Avon native. "It was important for us to get off to a good start and execute.
PLATTE -- Like most athletes, Josie DeGroot has one thing on her mind -- winning. And winning has been something she and the Platte-Geddes girls' basketball team have become accustomed to. "Last year, we really struggled playing as a team," DeGroot said. "This year no one cares about how much time they play or individual stats. We just care about winning." The Black Panthers (8-2) are on a three-game winning streak, earning all victories last week. The 6-foot-1 forward scored a team-high 14 points to help lift Platte-Geddes to a 36-34 victory against Corsica/Stickney Monday.
With six weeks remaining in the regular season, Tom Young is staying true to what he has preached to his team from the beginning. "I'm hoping in our second half that our effort is there 100 percent and the kids are able to make a full commitment on both ends of the floor," Mitchell High School boys' basketball coach Young said. Last week, the Kernels began playing opponents for the second time. So far, the outcome of these rematches has been encouraging as Mitchell stunned then-No. 4 Brandon Valley 46-44 Jan. 8 in Brandon.
The Marlin girls' varsity team split games over the weekend. In Saturday's game at Sioux Falls, Haley Stahl scored a goal three minutes into overtime to lift the Marlins over the Flyers 4-3. Stahl also recorded a hat trick in the game, scoring the final three goals for the Marlins. Kayla Murtha scored the opening goal of the game to put Mitchell up 1-0, but a goal by Sioux Falls' Robin Hatcher tied the game at 1-1.
The Beavers were within striking distance but top-ranked St. Thomas More's composure sealed the 48-39 victory at the Hanson Classic Saturday at the Corn Palace. The Hanson girls' basketball team scored seven straight points on baskets from Kynedi Cheeseman and Leah Marsh to bring itself within one of the defending Class A state champions with 3:29 left in the game. From that point, the Cavaliers controlled the ball, closing out the game on an 8-0 run. "We gave up a couple of easy ones that they were able to feed off of," St. Thomas More coach Brandon Kandolin said.
Tom Young thought the Kernels put together their best game of the season. "I'm really proud of our kids and how they played for 32 minutes," said Mitchell's head coach after Mitchell's 46-44 win over No. 4-ranked Brandon Valley Tuesday in Brandon. "This is really the first time this year that we've been able to do that. We definitely played our best game of the year." Since the first part of the season, Mitchell was able to have a week's worth of practice.
Because of budget cuts in the school district, the Mitchell School High School gymnastics team began paying $8,000 per year to participate as a sanctioned sport four years ago. Who knew this would allow Mitchell's gymnastics program to bloom? The MHS gymnastics program, along with the community's club program -- Mitchell Extreme Gymnastics Academy -- began working together to save the sport. As a result, Mitchell Gymnastics Booster Club Inc.
LETCHER -- Within every undefeated team, there is a leader. And for the Blackhawks, it's senior Nick Miller. Last season, Sanborn Central/Woonsocket went on a 5-0 run before losing in the district semifinals. "We were playing with such confidence at the end of last year and we wanted to carry that over," Sanborn Central/Woonsocket co-head coach Rod Weber said. "(Miller) has always been one to lead his team in the offseason and get the other players involved in the gym.