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Late 3 sends Kernel girls past Yankton

Mitchell's Payton Morgan, left, drives around Yankton defender Hannah Muth during Thursday night's ESD girls' basketball game at the Yankton High School gym. (Jeremy Hoeck / Yankton Press & Dakotan)

YANKTON—The Mitchell High School girls basketball team made five 3-pointers on Thursday, but Jordyn Cranny provided the dagger with 14 seconds to play. Her triple gave the Kernels back the lead, resulting in a 55-52 Eastern South Dakota Conference win.

"I just think it was a hard-fought game," Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. "I thought our defense was really good at the end. I thought we just played through some tough moments, and it worked out."

It was a back-and-forth game, which only had more lead changes in the final minute. Mitchell (11-6) held a 51-50 lead with 41 seconds to play until the Gazelles (7-9) took it back, 52-51, with 31 seconds remaining.

Cranny took over from there, nailing a 3-pointer and splitting a pair of free throws at the end to secure Mitchell's sixth straight win. After not scoring in the first quarter, she poured in a game-high 18 points as she went 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. Cranny also played strong defense when switched onto Madison Wuebben, who scored 10 points.

"She was engaged the whole game," Morgan said. "They were leaving her open from 3, even though she was pretty deep. That's a shot we talked about her taking."

The Kernels' big stops at the end were fitting considering their strong defense following the first quarter. Yankton led 16-14 after the first, though never topped 13 points in any of the final three periods. Despite Tess Limberg and Tayler Factor both fouling out, Mitchell "didn't panic and just played through it," holding the Gazelles to 38 percent shooting.

Helped by only turning it over six times, the Kernels retook the lead, 28-27, at halftime and 44-40 heading to the fourth.

Payton Morgan scored 11 points, while Factor added 10. Mackenzie Miller added nine as she helped Mitchell shoot 46 percent from the field. Maddy Hochstein scored a team-high 12 points on 6 of 10 shooting, while Payton Wolfgram finished with 10 points and five assists for the Gazelles.

Mitchell plays at Class AA No. 1 Sioux Falls O'Gorman at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"We're going to go in there and play (O'Gorman) hard and see what happens," coach Morgan said. "We have to take it upon ourselves to get something out of it. See if we can shoot the ball, play hard and try to get better."

Mitchell 55, Yankton 52

Mitchell (11-6): Jordyn Cranny 5-11 4-5 18, Payton Morgan 5-10 0-0 11, Tayler Factor 5-8 0-0 10, Mackenzie Miller 3-6 3-4 9, Tess Limberg 1-6 1-2 3, Mandy Schmidt 1-1 0-0 2, Haley Hohn 1-1 0-0 2, Macy Kempf 0-1 0-0 0, Camryn Krogman 0-1 0-0 0. Team totals: 21-45 8-11 55.

Yankton (7-9): Maddy Hochstein 6-10 0-0 12, Madison Wuebben 2-12 4-4 10, Payton Wolfgram 2-7 5-6 10, Kelsey Oswald 3-6 00-0 8, Ellie Karolevitz 3-4 0-0 7, Sadie Fedders 1-3 2-2 4, Hannah Muth 0-2 1-2 1. Team totals: 17-44 12-14 52.

MHS 14 28 44 55

Y 16 27 40 52

3-pointers: MHS 5-12 (Cranny 4-8, Morgan 1-2); Y 6-10 (Wuebben 2-4, Oswald 2-2, Wolfgram 1-2, Karolevitz 1-1). Rebounds: MHS 11 (Schmidt 3); Y 18 (Fedders 5). Assists: MHS 5 (Miller 2); Y 10 (Wolfgram 5). Steals: MHS 5 (Factor 3); Y 1 (Fedders 1). Turnovers: MHS 6, Y 2. Total fouls: MHS 16, Y 14.

Sub-varsity scores: JV: Mitchell 46, Yankton 35; Sophomore: Mitchell 31, Yankton 30.