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Kernels fend off Arrows

Mitchell's Tori Misiaszek (35) goes to the basket as Watertown's Taylor Terronez (22) defends as Mitchell's Carly Haring (30) is also involved in the play during a game on Thursday night at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

For the fifth time this season, the Mitchell High School girls basketball team scored 50 points or more.

And for the fifth time, the Kernels earned a victory. Clutch free throws and tough defense proved to be enough as Mitchell outlasted Watertown 52-49 in Eastern South Dakota Conference action on Thursday at the Corn Palace.

"The key was we kept the pressure on," MHS head coach Wes Morgan said. "We got them to turn it over 29 times. If we make our layups, it's a different game."

Despite shooting 45 percent from the free-throw line, the Kernels (5-8, 4-7 ESD) made free throws when they needed them the most. With the game tied at 49 and 35 seconds left on the clock, Mackenzie Miller knocked down back-to-back free throws to put Mitchell up by two points.

On the ensuing possession, Watertown turned the ball over for the 29th time and Chelsea Brewster hit one of two free throws to make the score 52-49. A possible game-tying 3-pointer by Watertown's Taylor Terronez fell well short and the Kernels held on for the victory.

"That put us up by three which was big," Morgan said about Brewster's free throw. "The energy that we had them spend (throughout the game), Terronez didn't have much to get it there. That played a part in the game."

Watertown head coach Tom Mattingly said his team had plenty of missed opportunities, not just in the final minute. The Arrows (3-10, 3-8 ESD) reclaimed the lead 48-47 with 2 minutes and 48 seconds left, but a Miller offensive rebound and field goal put the Kernels back ahead.

"We never got comfortable trying to run an offense and that's a credit to how Mitchell played tonight," Mattingly said. "We didn't box out on a free throw, they converted and didn't trail the rest of the way."

Watertown led 13-9 after the first quarter before Mitchell was able to tie the contest at 24 at halftime. The Arrows started the second half on a 6-0 run, but the Kernels responded with a 14-5 run to lead 38-35 at the end of the third period.

Nine different Kernels scored in the contest with Miller scoring a team-high 12 points and Tayler Factor added 10 points. Jordyn Cranny tossed in seven points and Tori Misiaszek chipped in seven points off the bench. For Watertown, Megan Fannin finished with a game-high 21 points and Anni Cummings added 10 points.

"They have some good players. Terronez is a h--- of a player and Fannin goes off for 21 (points)," Morgan said. "They are good players, they can shoot it and they found a way to hang around. But, we missed six or seven layups. We need to make those easy ones."

Mitchell plays at Spearfish on Saturday, while Watertown hosts Brandon Valley today in Watertown.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Mitchell won 45-36. Ten Kernels scored, led by Camryn Krogman's nine points.

Sophomore: Watertown won 52-51. Avia Haley had 19 points and Krogman added 15.

Mitchell 52, Watertown 49

Watertown (3-10, 3-8 ESD): Anni Cummings 2-3 6-6 10, Annie Norberg 1-2 0-0 2, Mariah Gloe 1-3 2-4 4, Megan Fannin 8-12 3-4 21, Jackie Tetzlaff 2-5 0-1 4, Sierra Tennis 0-0 0-0 0, Meghan Heggelund 0-2 0-0 0, Drew VerDouw 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Terronez 2-7 3-4 8, Kailey Lindahl 0-0 0-0 0, Kallie Jurgens 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 16-37 14-19 49.

Mitchell (5-8, 4-7 ESD): Shianne Hiemstra 1-2 0-0 2, Mackenzie Miller 5-13 2-5 12, Jordyn Cranny 3-7 0-0 7, Payton Morgan 1-8 1-1 3, Tayler Factor 4-13 2-4 10, Tess Limberg 1-1 0-2 2, Mandy Schmidt 2-6 0-2 4, Avia Haley 0-1 0-0 0, Chelsea Brewster 2-3 1-2 5, Carly Haring 0-0 0-1 0, Tori Misiaszek 2-6 3-4 7, Totals 21-60 9-20 52.

W 13 24 35 49

M 9 24 38 52

3-point goals: W 3-8 (Fannin 2, Terronez 1), M 1-11 (Cranny 1); Rebounds: W 33 (Fannin 5), M 37 (Miller 7); Assists: W 4 (Terronez 2), M 6 (Factor 2); Steals: W 10 (Tetzlaff 4), M 16 (Miller 5); Blocks: W 7 (Terronez 5), M 3 (Miller 2); Fouls: W 21, M 17; Fouled out: W (Gloe), M (none); Turnovers: W 29, M 18.