YANKTON -- Containing Matthew Mors is difficult enough, but when he is capitalizing on steals, it’s nearly impossible.

Mitchell High School learned the hard way on Friday, committing 16 turnovers that turned a tight Eastern South Dakota Conference tilt into a 61-40 Yankton rout.

The Kernels managed to stay within striking distance for the first 2 1/2 quarters, but after cutting the Class AA No. 1 Yankton lead to four midway through the third quarter, the Bucks went on a 25-4 run and outscored Mitchell 17-6 in the fourth quarter.

““We started to panic a little bit, we started to force things and I think that was the difference in the game,” MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. “If we can score the basketball, we can put them back on their haunches a little bit. We didn’t score, so there was no fear for them. Our defense was decent, we just couldn’t score.”

When Mors had the ball in the half-court, Carter Jacobsen was tasked with guarding him, but the Kernels frequently sent a second defender to force a pass to offset the 6-inch height advantage. Despite Mors scoring a game-high 26 points, Mitchell (7-10) was happy with its defense.

In fact, Mors proved to be more dangerous off the ball, using his 6-foot-7 as a screener for Cooper Cornemann, who used those screens for open jumpers. Cornemann finished with 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting for Yankton (14-3).

The issues came when the Kernels rushed passes and shots, which led to wide-open layups, two of which resulted in thunderous two-handed dunks by Mors.

“I thought our guards played perpendicular to the basket,” Neuendorf said. “When you’re playing backwards to the other team’s basket, it’s a pick-six going the other way. We did that a number of times.”

Tough interior defense from Yankton kept Mitchell from establishing its offensive game in the post and once the turnovers began to increase and the Bucks began to capitalize, ill-advised shots became frequent, often early in the shot clock. Two days removed from shooting 61.9 percent in a win over Sioux Falls O’Gorman, the Kernels shot 38.5 percent and were held to fewer than 50 points for the first time in 10 games.

The Kernels had already struggled to consistently make shots -- particularly with a 2-for-12 night from 3-point range -- and low percentage shots contributed to Yankton’s fourth-quarter surge to put the game away.

“We couldn’t establish ourselves inside, so they started moving their defense up,” Neuendorf said. “They made plays and we didn’t. As well as we shot (against O’Gorman), we shot that poorly tonight. They made us shoot tough shots.”

Jacobsen led Mitchell with 12 points, while Caden Hinker added 10 points and six rebounds.

The Kernels return to action against Sioux Falls Washington at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.



Yanton 61, Mitchell 40

Mitchell (7-10): Kaden Geppert 0-0 0-0 0, Gavyn Degen 0-2 0-0 0, Macon Larson 1-2 1-2 3, Lucas Moller 1-1 0-0 3, Caden Hinker 5-13 0-1 10, Ben Helleloid 1-2 3-5 5, Carter Jacobsen 4-10 3-3 12, Jonah Schmidt 1-3 1-2 3, Charlie McCardle 0-0 0-0 0, Zane Alm 2-6 0-1 4. Totals 15-39 8-14 40.

Yankton (14-3): Kaden Luellman 0-0 0-0 0, Trevor Fitzgerald 4-8 1-3 9, Rugby Ryken 1-4 1-1 3, Aidan Fesner 0-3 0-0 0, Cooper Cornemann 10-15 2-4 23, Michael Mors 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Horn 0-1 0-0 0, Jaden Kral 0-0 0-0 0, Matthew Mors 9-19 6-8 26, Hunter Kotrous 0-2 0-0 0, Colton Potts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-54 10-16 61.

MHS 8 22 34 40

Y 12 29 44 61

3-point field goals: MHS 2-12 (Moller 1-1, Jacobsen 1-3, Degen 0-1, Larson 0-1, Hinker 0-6); Y 3-18 (Mors 2-7, Cornemann 1-4, Fitzgerald 0-1, Horn 0-1, Feser 0-2, Ryken 0-3). Rebounds: MHS 23 (Alm 6, Hinker 6); Y 36 (Cornemann 7, Feser 7). Assists: MHS 11 (Four players with 2); Y 5 (Mors 3). Steals: MHS 2 (Larson 1, Moller 1); Y 12 (Cornemann 3, Feser 3, Mors 3). Blocked shots: MHS 2 (Alm 2); Y 2 (Kotrous 1, Mors 1). Turnovers: MHS 16, Y 7. Total fouls: MHS 15, Y 20.

Sub-varsity scores: Sophomore: Mitchell 41, Yankton 37; Junior varsity: Yankton 52, Mitchell 39; Freshmen: Mitchell ‘A’ 66, Yankton 47; Yankton 52, Mitchell ‘B’ 48.