Mitchell High School is still searching for its signature boys basketball win.
The Kernels saw their four-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of Class AA No. 5 Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 68-61, on Thursday at the Corn Palace in what seemed like an all too familiar tale.
The Rough Riders gained an advantage with an 11-0 run to start the second quarter, but Mitchell clawed back and remained within striking distance for the remainder of the night. Carter Jacobsen eventually tied the game in the fourth quarter, but a game defined by bruising play in the paint was decided by Tyler Feldkamp’s step-back 3-pointer with 1 minute, 41 seconds left.
“We got away with some stuff in our last four or five ballgames that didn’t show up,” MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. “But when you play against a top team -- and I think we’re a top team -- they show your mistakes. A small mistake turns into a big problem.”
Roosevelt (10-5) established its physicality from the opening tip and played a full-court press for the majority of the game, while attempting to push Mitchell’s post players off the block in the half-court.
The Kernel big men held their own in the paint, as Zane Alm and Caden Hinker combined to block 10 shots to guarantee no easy baskets were scored at the rim.
“They contest a lot of shots at the rim,” Roosevelt head coach Mitch Begeman said. “They made it tough for us to get those shots up. When you have bigs like that that can contest, you have to alter shots sometimes, which ended up being more difficult than we wanted.”
The Rough Riders were eventually able to use Mitchell’s shot blockers as an advantage, however. Alm and Hinker were frequently forced to rotate to stop driving players, and even though they created a miss, an open Roosevelt player was there for an offensive rebound.
The Kernels were beaten 45-24 on the boards, including 21-4 on the offensive glass, which proved costly when the Rough Riders shot 28.1 percent from the field in the second half. One possession late in the game, Roosevelt missed three shots, but were able to continually grab rebounds to score on the fourth.
“(Roosevelt) is really athletic and quick, so they got by us a couple times,” Neuendorf said. “Our guys were really nervous about that drive.”
Still, Mitchell (5-9) was able to hang around as Hinker scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Kernels eventually tied the game with 2:09 to play when Carter Jacobsen hit a jumper for two of his game-high 20 points.
Feldkamp was held to 3 of 13 shooting until he pump faked to put the Mitchell defender in the air and hit the shot fading to his left in what proved to be the game-deciding play.
“Tonight, this game could have gone the other way had we done a couple things,” Neuendorf said. “It’s on us. We did it to ourselves and the kids know that. But if we shore these things up, we’re going to be a handful.”
Alm had 11 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks and six assists. Hinker had six rebounds and three blocks to go along with his 17 points.
Feldkamp finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Taylen Ashley had 14 points and Brady Dannenbring had eight points and 14 rebounds (10 offensive).
Mitchell returns to action against Harrisburg at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Corn Palace.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt 68, Mitchell 61
Sioux Falls Roosevelt (10-5): Tyler Feldkamp 4-15 5-6 16, Taylen Ashley 5-9 3-5 14, Brady Dannenbring 3-5 2-5 8, Kor Kuol 0-0 0-0 0, Brandon Dannenbring 4-9 0-2 8, Michael Paulson 2-11 2-2 6, Jackson McCormick 4-10 0-0 10, Marcus Phillips 1-4 0-0 3, Trey Horner 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 24-65 13-22 68.
Mitchell (5-9): Gavyn Degen 3-4 0-0 8, Macon Larson 0-0 0-0 0, Lucas Moller 0-0 0-0 0, Caden Hinker 7-14 2-2 17, Ben Helleloid 1-2 2-2 5, Carter Jacobsen 6-15 8-12 20, Jonah Schmidt 0-0 0-0 0, Zane Alm 5-12 1-2 11. Totals 22-47 13-18 61.
SFR 14 36 52 68
MHS 14 29 46 61
3-point field goals: SFR 7-17 (Feldkamp 3-8, McCormick 2-3, Ashley 1-2, Phillips 1-3, Paulson 0-1), MHS 4-10 (Degen 2-2, Helleloid 0-1, Hinker 1-2, Jacobsen 0-1, Alm 0-1). Rebounds: SFR 45 (B.Dannenbring 14), MHS 24 (Alm 8). Assists: SFR 7 (Feldkamp 2, McCormick 2), MHS 11 (Alm 6). Blocked shots: SFR 0, MHS 10 (Alm 7). Turnovers: SFR 6, MHS 7. Total fouls: SFR 19, MHS 18.
Sub-varsity scores: Freshmen: Dylan Soulek scored 24 points as Mitchell ‘A’ beat Roosevelt 49-30. Roosevelt beat Mitchell ‘B’ 60-39.