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Balanced Sturgis beats MHS

A trio of Sturgis players outscored the Mitchell Kernels girls' basketball team Friday night. Scoopers' junior guard Carsey Barden, forward Rebekah Larson and 6-foot-4 center Breanna Janovy combined for 50 points and 86 percent of Sturgis' offens...

MHS loses to Sturgis
Luke Hagen/Republic Mitchell's Caitlin Way loses the ball to two Sturgis defenders in the first half of Friday's game against Sturgis at the Corn Palace. Mitchell lost, 58-48.

A trio of Sturgis players outscored the Mitchell Kernels girls' basketball team Friday night.

Scoopers' junior guard Carsey Barden, forward Rebekah Larson and 6-foot-4 center Breanna Janovy combined for 50 points and 86 percent of Sturgis' offense, while the team held off Mitchell's fourth-quarter comeback attempt.

Sturgis handed Mitchell its 10th loss of the year, 58-48, while moving to 7-6 on the season at the Corn Palace.

"We keep saying everyone has to do something offensively," Sturgis head coach Mike Friedel said. "Bekah came out and did some really nice things, and Carsey and (Breanna) scored well for us, too."

Mitchell started its sixth-consecutive game with fewer than 10 first-quarter points and hit 23 percent from the field in the first half.

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Barden finished with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, but the first team all-state guard wasn't the Scoopers' leading scorer.

Larson set the pace for Sturgis early, scoring 14 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, and Janovy and Barden teamed to pester Mitchell late. Janovy finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

"Barden took over at the end of the game for them," Kernels' head coach Wes Morgan said. "We don't necessarily have a kid like that yet. She did the things it took to win them the game."

After pulling within four points late in the fourth quarter, Mitchell couldn't get the crucial defensive stop it needed and turned the ball over in transition. Barden took advantage, and she hit two 3-pointers, and Janovy battled down low, banking in two late baskets.

But Morgan said his team's late turnovers didn't cost it the game.

Instead, he said missing too many open looks in the first half hurt the Kernels more.

"Early on in the game, the plays we were running, we were getting wide-open shots and just not hitting them," Morgan said. "We were three of 15 for 3-pointers in the first half, and those were our best kids shooting. What it comes down to is we've got to make baskets."

Sturgis held a three-point lead after the first. Mitchell's only baskets came on 3-pointers from Alli Fredericksen and Taylor Piper. The Kernels got within one point in the second quarter at 16-15, but Sturgis went on a 9-1 run to finish the half.

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Sturgis' Larson had six points in the final three minutes of the second quarter, and two buckets came on long passes from the opposite end of the court.

The Scoopers' offense held a three-basket lead through most of the third until Mitchell's Courtney Miller scored on the rare four-point play. She drained a 3-pointer from the wing, was fouled and hit the free throw, which pulled Mitchell within five points.

"We didn't defend smart the whole game," Friedel said. "At times we got lackadaisical and didn't get to shooters. But down the stretch we hit big shots and converted on some big turnovers."

After Mitchell got within four at 46-42, Sturgis picked up its defense, causing Mitchell to turn the ball over late in the game.

"That's kind of the bumps we're going through right now," Morgan said.

Caitlin Way and Fredericksen each finished with 12 points for Mitchell, and Way also had 10 rebounds.

Mitchell will try and rebound from the loss today with a 4 p.m. game against 1-10 Spearfish, while Sturgis travels to Huron at 1:45 today.

Notes: Mitchell's Charlee Nelson went down with a knee injury early in the third quarter. She was helped off the court, but Morgan didn't know how serious the injury was.

Luke Hagen was promoted to editor of the Mitchell Republic in 2014. He has worked for the newspaper since 2008 and has covered sports, outdoors, education, features and breaking news. He can be reached at lhagen@mitchellrepublic.com.
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