The Mitchell High School girls basketball team's full-court press caused Pierre problems all night, and it eventually paid off in the second half. The Kernels broke open a five-point halftime lead to finish with a 67-46 win in Eastern South Dakota Conference play on Thursday at the Corn Palace.

With a 32-27 lead at the break, the Kernels switched to a 2-3 zone while continuing to full-court press. Mitchell (5-3) coach Wes Morgan called the adjustment the difference in the game. That proved true as Pierre, which made five first-half 3-pointers, went just 1-for-4 in the second half. As a result, the Governors could only muster six points in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth.

"We're not real big-we got outrebounded-but we're kind of scrappy in the open court," Morgan said. "We got to get after teams and get them tired so they don't have their legs anymore."

The Kernels were outrebounded 26-23 in the game, but their scrappiness made up the difference. No one was more scrappy than Tayler Factor. Her activeness and quick hands led to three of the Kernels' 10 steals, while Mackenzie Miller and Tess Limberg both had two.

Using six Pierre (0-8) giveaways in the third quarter, the Kernels were able to pull away 51-33 after three. The Kernels also held Pierre to 43.6 percent shooting on the night.

On a night when Mitchell shot 50 percent (24-for-48) from the field and connected on 8 of 18 3-pointers, its 19-point third quarter still stood out. It continued to find open looks all over the court, with Limberg stepping up and scoring eight of her 12 points in the frame. She and Payton Morgan combined to score 10 straight points as part of a 17-2 run to end the quarter.

"Just running the plays," coach Morgan said when asked the key to Mitchell's big offensive third quarter. "Run the plays and be hard headed about it. Run the play and run it correctly."

And just like most nights, Mitchell's points came from a flurry of players. Miller lived in the mid-range and near the basket, finishing with a team-high 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Factor and Payton Morgan added 11 and 10, respectively, while Avia Haley also scored 12 points off the bench thanks to three 3-pointers.

"Having that much balance really makes a difference on this team, and everyone is happy for each other," coach Morgan said.

Jordyn Cranny scored the team's first six points with back-to-back triples to start the game. Her pair of 3-pointers, along with holding Pierre without a field goal for the first three minutes, helped Mitchell jump out to an 8-2 lead. The Governors would tie the game at 10-10, though never was able to take the lead.

Miller, Camryn Krogman and Mandy Schmidt all had a team-high four assists, as well for Mitchell. Emily Mikkelsen scored a game-high 18 points for Pierre, while Mack Rath added 11.

"This was a big game," coach Morgan said. "This was a team we've had problems with in the past and tonight we got after them."

Mitchell travels to Sioux Falls Lincoln at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Mitchell 67, Pierre 46

Mitchell (5-3): Mackenzie Miller 6-9 2-2 14, Tess Limberg 4-6 2-2 12, Avia Haley 4-6 1-2 12, Tayler Factor 3-8 3-4 11, Payton Morgan 3-8 3-4 10, Jordyn Cranny 2-5 0-0 6, Camryn Krogman 1-2 0-0 2, Mandy Schmidt 0-0 0-0 0, Regan Waddell 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Hohn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-48 11-13 67.

Pierre (0-8): Emily Mikkelsen 6-16 3-4 18, Mack Rath 4-7 2-5 11, Kylie Kessler 3-7 0-2 7, Hannah lungle 1-4 1-2 3, Kodi Severyn 1-2 0-0 3, Miah Kienholz 1-1 0-0 2, Caytee Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Hallie Gronlund 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Lutmer 0-0 0-0 0, Kylee Thorpe 0-0 0-0 0, Kenzie Gronlund 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-39 6-13 46.

MHS 17 32 51 67

P 12 27 33 46

3-pointers: MHS 8-18 (Haley 3-3, Limberg 2-3, Cranny 2-5, Morgan 1-5); P 6-10 (Mikkelsen 3-7, Kessler 1-1, Rath 1-1, Severyn 1-1). Rebounds: MHS 23; P 26. Assists: MHS 18 (Miller 4, Krogman 4, Schmidt 4); P 2 (Rath 1, Lingle 1). Blocks: MHS 1 (Hohn 1); P 0. Steals: MHS 10 (Factor 3, Limberg 2, Miller 2); P 0. Turnovers: MHS 5; Pierre 13. Total fouls: MHS 9; P 7.