Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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Erik Skoglund leaned on Doc Rivers' coaching methods for ways to improve his best player. Rivers, coach for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, had rules for ways to improve star player Chris Paul. They were to cut his dribbles in half, take better shots to score more points, receive more assists and dish out more assists. Skoglund has watched Beau Brown take these rules to heart in Brown's final year with the Mitchell boys basketball team. Through nine games this season, Brown is averaging 26.4 points per game and has recorded 30 or more points in four games.
For the second straight game, the fourth quarter doomed the Mitchell boys basketball team. Tuesday, the Kernels were outscored 20-11 in the final frame and fell 71-63 to Brandon Valley in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game. The loss was Mitchell's fifth in a row. "They had an 11-1 run in the fourth, and we talk about stopping those runs at four and six," Mitchell head coach Erik Skoglund said.
Just because the Kernel gymnastics team leads the rest of the Class AA field, doesn't mean it isn't pushing for higher scores. Mitchell has an average team score that is 10 points higher than every other school in the state. "It's a substantial margin," Mitchell head coach Audra Rew said. "We don't want to get complacent because we are beating everyone." The Kernels are on a winning streak that dates back to 2013. At the 2013 state meet, Mitchell placed third.
PARKSTON -- Miles Semmler is fearless. That's how Parkston first-year head coach James Boehmer describes the senior wrestler. "He's wrestling with determination that we look for in all of our wrestlers," Boehmer said. Semmler used those attributes to find success at The Clash, a major wrestling tournament that featured more than 20 teams over the weekend in Rochester, Minn. Semmler led the Trojans at The Clash, going 5-1 in the 195-pound weight class. For his efforts, Semmler has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff. Semml
The Mitchell boys basketball team had no answer for Yankton's size. The Bucks (3-1, 3-0 ESD) boasted three starters who were 6-foot-3 or taller and were led by Brady Hale, whose 23-point performance lifted Yankton past Mitchell on Saturday evening. "Because we don't have outstanding post presence, we can't see that in practice every day," said Mitchell second-year head coach Erik Skoglund, whose team fell 67-52 at the Corn Palace on Saturday.
Macy Miller still can't put words on the year she's had. "It all went so fast and it's hard to believe," Miller said.
As coaches, players and referees waited anxiously for the Kernels' home opener, Steve Stanforth sat at the head table with a smile on his face. The 66-year-old surveyed the Corn Palace from the seat he's obtained since 1988 and readied himself for another basketball season as the official scorer. "Basketball season rolls around, and it's just natural to go back to the Corn Palace and sit at the scorer's table," Stanforth said during halftime of the Mitchell High School boys basketball game against Pierre on Dec. 12.
David Kocer was one of four South Dakota State University wrestlers to make it to the second day of competition of the Midlands Championships, which was Monday and Tuesday in Evanston, Ill. The Wagner native and 174-pounder fell to eventual tournament champion Mike Evans, of Iowa, by a 10-3 in the opening round. Kocer won the next three matches before falling to Indiana's Nate Jackson in wrestlebacks. Kocer, who recorded a 5-1 decision win over the ninth seed Sam Hughes, of Columbia, finished the tournament with a 3-2. His older brother, Alex, went 2-2 in the 141-pound weight class.
Dave Thorson's team is no stranger to the Corn Palace. DeLaSalle High School returns to Mitchell's venue today to participate in its fifth consecutive Mike Miller Classic. "We have felt that the Mike Miller Classic, on all fronts, has been really positive for our team," Thorson said Friday. "We love the hospitality that we have gotten from the Mike Miller Foundation.
Mike Miller has had some ups and downs in December. After missing seven straight games after suffering a concussion on Dec. 4 against the New York Knicks, the Cleveland forward and former Mitchell Kernel came back with a vengence. Miller, 34, entered back into Cleveland's rotation on Friday, when he got his first start of the season.