Beaten at the buzzer: Pierre sinks Kernels on last-second shot
PIERRE—The last time Mitchell High School and Pierre tangled in boys basketball action, the Kernels snapped a 42-game losing streak on a basket in the waning moments of the game last February.
On Friday night, the two teams squared off once again in an Eastern South Dakota Conference contest, but Mitchell found that turnabout is fair play.
The Kernels were able to knot the game at 50 apiece on a Caden Hinker 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, but Garrett Stout hit a runner near the basket with 3.2 seconds remaining to give Pierre a 52-50 win and dash Mitchell's hopes of getting its first win of the season.
"We made a play to get ourselves tied up, but they made a play to win it," MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. "It's great when you win that way, but it's terrible to lose that way."
Mitchell led by three after the first quarter, but trailed by five at halftime despite the Governors dominating the boards to the tune of 11 offensive rebounds and 35-19 for the game.
Much of that was done with starting forward and leading scorer Hinker on the bench for all but two minutes of the first half and the majority of the third quarter due to foul trouble.
Kiel Nelson stepped up to the challenge in Hinker's absence, holding Pierre's Grey Zabel to just three points and snatching six rebounds, while Carter Jacobsen scored a team-high 17 points.
"That hurts a little bit when your leading scorer is on the bench," Neuendorf said. "Kiel Nelson did a great job on the boards and held Zabel to three. Carter Jacobsen played a wail of a ballgame. ... The first half is what cost us some points."
The Kernels shot as well in the second half as any point during the course of the season. They were able to shoot 47.4 percent from the field, including 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc to help keep pace with the Governors.
Kaden Soukup connected on three triples to score 10 points, while Hinker added eight points in his limited action. Still, Mitchell could not find a way to get one last shot to send the game to overtime.
"They played their tails off and you just wish they could catch a break," Neuendorf said. "People say you make your own breaks, but I don't always buy that, because sometimes you need a break. ... The guys played hard enough to win the basketball game and they deserved better than that."
Jack Maher led Pierre (3-4) with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Adam added 17 points and seven boards.
Mitchell (0-8, 0-3 ESD) returns to the Corn Palace on Tuesday to host No. 1 Sioux Falls Lincoln.
Pierre 52, Mitchell 50
Mitchell (0-8): Kiel Nelson 2-5 0-2 4, Hunter Stahle 0-1 0-0 0, Derek Factor 3-8 0-0 7, Kaden Soukup 3-7 1-2 10, Caden Hinker 3-7 0-0 8, Ben Helleloid 1-3 0-0 2, Carter Jacobsen 6-12 5-7 17, Ryley Johansen 0-0 2-2 2, Zane Alm 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 8-13 50.
Pierre (3-4): Alec Miller 2-4 0-0 5, Chase Sattgast 1-2 0-0 2, Paul Adam 7-12 1-2 17, Garrett Stout 2-5 0-2 4, Bennett Dean 0-0 1-2 1, Andrew Coverdale 1-5 0-1 2, Zach Letellier 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Maher 8-11 2-2 18, Grey Zabel 1-6 1-2 3. Totals 22-45 5-11 52.
M 12 25 39 50
P 9 28 42 52
3-pointers: M 6-15 (Soukup 3-7, Hinker 2-4, Factor 1-1, Jacobsen 0-1, Nelson 0-2); P 3-9 (Adam 2-3, Miller 1-2, Coverdale 0-2, Stout 0-2). Rebounds: M 19 (Nelson 6); P 35 (Maher 10). Assists: M 4 (Nelson 2, Helleloid 2), P 3 (Three players with one). Turnovers: M 15, P 21. Total fouls: M 13, P 16.