No answer: No. 2 Harrisburg cruises past Kernel boys
The Harrisburg Tigers were the aggressors Tuesday night at the Corn Palace.
The No. 2-ranked team in Class AA boys basketball dictated every aspect of its Eastern South Dakota Conference contest with Mitchell in a 70-38 win. The win was the sixth in a row for the visiting Tigers (16-2), while a frustrating season continues for Mitchell, now 0-18.
"Harrisburg looked like a college team out there with their size and their strength," Mitchell coach Todd Neuendorf said. "We looked like a high school team and they just completely dominated us. It was a 32-point game and it didn't feel that close."
Almost every aspect of the game was challenging for Mitchell, which shot 32 percent for the game, after shooting 25 percent in the first half. The Kernels were 3-for-21 on 3-point attempts and Mitchell had its worst free-throw performance of the year, converting 5 of 15 attempts. Harrisburg grabbed 15 offensive rebounds on the way to a 44-24 rebounding advantage.
"We're not big enough and strong enough," Neuendorf said. "They were bigger and stronger and that was the difference in the game."
The Tigers made a concerted effort to avoid a replay of the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season, in which Mitchell drained the shot clock on each possession and forced Harrisburg to earn a 55-41 win.
"We wanted to make sure that if we could get some stops and not let them run so much time off the clock, that we could get out and run a little bit," Harrisburg coach Scott Langerock said.
It took Mitchell more than five minutes to get on the scoreboard and by the time it did with a Kiel Nelson basket, the Kernels trailed 10-2. Carter Jacobsen's basket and a free throw late in the half helped narrow the Tiger lead to 16-8 after a quarter but the Harrisburg lead slowly widened for much of the second half. Six-foot-five senior Ace Zorr was a persistent problem for Mitchell all night, logging 15 points and 12 rebounds on 7-for-11 shooting with four steals.
A 17-6 second quarter made the game 33-14 at halftime and Harrisburg led by as many as 28 in the third quarter, spurred by a 13-4 run to start the second half.
"They shot until they made it and moved us out of the way if they had to," Neuendorf said. "It's an offseason deal. Harrisburg won one game three years ago and they went to work and got bigger and stronger and that's what the Kernels will have to do. We have to get bigger and stronger."
If there was a bright spot for the Kernels Tuesday, it was sophomore Carter Jacobsen, who was 4-for-5 shooting and had a team-high 12 points.
Nelson had six but no other Kernel had more than four points. Harrisburg did a solid job of holding Kernel leading scorer Carter Cavanaugh in check, allowing just two points.
"We were at least there to contest shots and to get in their face and make some shots difficult for them," Langerock said of the defensive effort against Mitchell.
Both teams will now turn to meetings against Aberdeen Central. Harrisburg hosts Aberdeen Central on Saturday, while the Kernels have a week off before traveling to Aberdeen for a Tuesday game. Neuendorf said his team can play better.
"We're better than that. Harrisburg is better than us but we can play better than we did tonight," he said.
JV: Harrisburg won 60-43. Kaden Soukup had eight points and Brady Brosz had seven points for Mitchell.
Sophomores: Mitchell won 55-40. Caden Hinker had 16 points for the Kernels.
Freshmen A: Harrisburg won 63-48. Gage Renken scored 16 points for MHS.
Freshmen B: Harrisburg won 90-36.
No. 2 Harrisburg 70, Mitchell 38
Harrisburg (16-2, 13-2 ESD): Brady VanHolland 4-11 0-0 9 Nick Hoyt 3-6 1-2 9 Chase Altenburg 3-5 2-2 10 Brooks Fuller 3-6 1-2 7 Michael Curry 3-4 1-2 7 Adam Erickson 0-1 0-0 0 Hunter Headlee 1-5 0-0 2 Nick Walter 0-1 2-2 2 Isaac Brower 1-1 0-0 2 Brady Samuelson 1-1 0-0 2 Cale Murphy 1-1 0-0 3 Payton Marquardt 1-3 0-0 2 Karter Lein 0-1 0-0 0 Ace Zorr 7-11 1-2 15 Totals 28-57 8-12 70
Mitchell (0-18, 0-14 ESD): Kiel Nelson 3-9 0-1 6 Jordon Johnson 1-4 0-0 3 Carter Cavanaugh 1-13 0-0 2 Baley Miller 0-1 0-0 0 Vincent Michael 2-6 0-3 4 Kaden Soukup 1-3 0-0 3 Derek Factor 1-2 0-0 3 Tate Larson 0-0 0-0 0 Koby Larson 0-0 0-0 0 Carter Jacobsen 4-5 4-8 12 Caden Hinker 2-3 0-0 4 Hunter Stahle 0-1 1-2 1 Totals 15-47 5-15 38
H 16 33 52 70
M 8 14 27 38
3-point goals: H 6-13 (Altenburg 2, Hoyt 2, VanHolland, Murphy), M 3-21 (Johnson, Soukup, Factor); Rebounds-offensive: H 44-15 (Zorr 12), M 24-8 (Nelson 6). Total fouls: H 16, M 12. Fouled out: Curry (6:45, 4th). Assists: H 9 (VanHolland 3, Fuller 3), M 7 (Michael 2). Turnovers: H 9, M 14. Blocks: H 3 (Zorr 2), M 0. Steals: H 14 (Fuller 5), M 6 (Michael 2).