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Aberdeen Central overpowers Mitchell girls

Mitchell's Payton Morgan (11) dribbles to the basket as Aberdeen Central's Karli Gardner (23) defends during a game on Tuesday night at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

For the second time this season, the Mitchell High School girls basketball team came close to knocking off top-ranked Aberdeen Central.

With the game tied at 37 early the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles went on a 9-0 run to pull away for good. Aberdeen Central ended Mitchell's upset bid and earned a 58-47 victory in a physical Eastern South Dakota Conference contest on Tuesday at the Corn Palace. The Kernels, who lost to Aberdeen 47-46 on Jan. 19, fell to 7-12 on the season and 5-10 in the ESD.

Sparking Aberdeen Central (18-1, 16-0 ESD) all game was standout Paiton Burckhard, who finished with a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals.

"Burckhard just did a heck of a job. We threw everything, including the kitchen sink at her tonight. She handled it," MHS head coach Wes Morgan said. "She was tired but she put the ball in the basket. Our kids played their hearts out, but the equalizer is Burckhard."

After Burckhard, a South Dakota State signee, scored 14 points in the first half, Mitchell switched to a box-and-1 defense, face-guarding her every move. Along with the full-court pressure, the Kernels used their defense for a 13-1 run—capped off by an old-fashioned three-point play by Mackenzie Miller.

The start of the second half saw Mitchell flip a 27-18 halftime deficit into a 31-28 lead, but Burckhard and the Golden Eagles responded to take a 34-33 lead into the fourth quarter. Despite being constantly double-teamed, Burckhard added 11 points in the second half, doing most of her damage from the free-throw line (8-of-10).

"She stayed patient in it and our other kids got some good looks," Aberdeen Central head coach Dawn Seiler said. "Our kids were tough with the ball tonight and we didn't give in to all that pressure."

Haylee Mork took advantage of some extra space on the floor and drilled two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Golden Eagles put the game away. The Kernels turned the ball over after each of Mork's 3-pointers and finished the game with 16 turnovers. Morgan pointed to Mitchell's mistakes as the team's downfall.

"We'd get a steal, then miss the layup. We have to play a perfect game to get this (game) even," Morgan said. "It was a good girls basketball game. It's fun to watch and fun to coach. They just played a little more solid then we did."

Payton Morgan led Mitchell with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while Miller added 12 points and seven rebounds. Jordyn Cranny tossed in eight points, as Mitchell went 17-of-40 from the field for 42 percent shooting.

Mitchell will close out the regular season at Pierre on Friday, while Aberdeen Central takes on Watertown on Thursday in Aberdeen.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Aberdeen won 55-41. Carly Haring scored nine points for Mitchell.

Sophomore: Aberdeen won 40-34. Haley Hohn and Regan Waddell each scored 12 points.

Aberdeen Central 58, Mitchell 47

AC (18-1, 16-0 ESD): Emma Yeske 0-2 5-6 5, Karli Gardner 1-1 4-6 6, Paiton Burckhard 8-18 8-10 25, Laura Babcock 0-0 7-10 7, Haylee Mork 2-5 4-4 10, Myah Malchow 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Kopecky 0-0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Kusler 1-1 0-0 2, Ana Hase 0-0 0-0 0, Cassidy Gough 1-5 1-2 3, Brooklyn Munsen 13-32 29-38 58.

MHS (7-12, 5-10): Shianne Hiemstra 0-1 0-0 0, Mackenzie Miller 5-6 2-3 12, Jordyn Cranny 3-4 1-2 8, Payton Morgan 4-11 2-2 13, Tayler Factor 2-8 2-5 6, Tess Limberg 1-3 0-0 2, Mandy Schmidt 1-2 0-0 3, Avia Haley 0-2 0-0 0, Camryn Krogman 0-0 0-0 0, Chelsea Brewster 1-3 1-2 3, Tori Misiaszek 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 17-40 8-14 47.

AC 16 27 34 47

MHS 13 18 33 58

3-point goals: AC 3-6 (Mork 2-5, Burckhard 1-1), MHS 5-11 (Morgan 3-5, Cranny 1-2, Schmidt 1-2, Haley 0-2); Rebounds: AC 23 (Burkchard 8), MHS 20 (Miller 7); Assists: AC 4 (Mork 2), MHS 7 (Cranny 3); Steals: AC 7 (Burckhard 4), MHS 8 (Factor 4); Blocks: AC 3 (Gardner 1), MHS 2 (Miller 1); Fouls: AC 13, MHS 26; Fouled out: AC (none), MHS (Miller, Cranny); Turnovers: AC 15, MHS 16.