HURON -- Mitchell High School and Huron reconvened for the second time this season and the Kernels owned the second half once again Saturday.

Much like the first time the teams squared off in the season opener on Dec. 12, the Tigers were within striking distance. But once again, Mitchell pulled away in the final 16 minutes, only this time it was emphatic.

After leading by three at halftime, the Kernels outscored Huron 25-4 in the first 11 minutes of the second half. The Tigers used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to eliminate a 14-point deficit, but mustered 13 points total in the second half as the Kernels remained unbeaten with a 54-34 win.

Up-to-date photos, stories and statistics for Mitchell basketball's 2020-2021 season

“I thought our defense was solid all game, but in the first half I thought we rushed some shots and we missed them,” MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. “In the second half we told them to slow down, take those same shots and you’ll make them and they did. I think that’s a testament to the kids. I thought we were good all game defensively and the offense came around in the second half.”

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Mitchell (7-0) scored the first 10 points of the game, but Huron managed to hang around thanks to nine first-half turnovers by the Kernels. Zane Alm also picked up his second foul midway through the first quarter, but came back to score seven quick points to start the second to build a 20-6 lead, only for the Tigers to use seven offensive rebounds to erase the lead.

Coming into the third quarter, Caden Hinker decided the score was too close and took control of the game. The 6-foot-6 junior accounted for every point in the third frame, tallying seven points and three assists as Mitchell had a 13-4 advantage.

Hinker scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, while also adding 13 rebounds and seven assists. Throughout the game, Huron had no match for Hinker’s dribble penetration, as he frequently found open teammates for easy baskets or drew fouls, finishing 7 of 9 from the free-throw line.

“I just kept telling myself, ‘I just need one (shot) to fall and I’d be good,’” Hinker said. “After you hit the first, you start getting a feeling.”

With the 6-foot-10 Alm on the bench nearly six minutes in the first half, Huron (1-5) was more brazen in its play in the paint. But when he returned in the second half, clean looks at the basket were a struggle.

The Tigers were limited to 24% shooting in the final two quarters and 26.4% for the game. Meanwhile, the turnover battle flipped completely. After a 9-4 disadvantage in the first half, Mitchell committed four turnovers in the second half, while forcing eight Huron turnovers.

“We just don’t have to bark at them very much,” Neuendorf said. “I got after them a little bit at halftime, but they responded. They’re believing in our defense and they’re doing what we want to do. We’re fortunate to have a good group of guys.”

Alm finished with 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting and collected six rebounds, while Dylan Soulek added eight points.

Derick Siemonsma and Reilyn Zavesky had seven points apiece for Huron.

Mitchell returns to action against Sioux Falls Christian at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Corn Palace.



Mitchell 54, Huron 34

Mitchell (7-0): Caden Hinker 6-13 7-9 21, Zane Alm 6-9 0-0 13, Lucas Moller 2-3 0-0 6, Ben Helleloid 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Soulek 3-5 2-2 8, Aiden Myers 0-1 0-0 0, Landon Waddell 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Childs 0-0 0-0 0, Jonah Schmidt 0-1 2-2 2, Gavyn Degen 0-2 0-0 0, A.J. Siemsen 0-0 0-0 0, Charlie McCardle 1-1 0-0 2, Steele Morgan 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 19-39 11-13 54.

Huron (1-5): Derick Siemonsma 3-17 0-0 7, Teegan Pfitzer 1-4 0-0 3, Kler Hae 1-2 0-0 2, Jaren Schley 0-7 0-0 0, Brandon Decker 2-6 0-0 4, Ryan Janes 0-0 0-0 0, Max Kranzler 1-4 0-0 2, Cade McNeil 0-0 0-0 0, Reily Zavesky 2-6 2-2 7, Juan Urena 0-0 0-0 0, Roger Puterbaugh 1-1 0-0 3, James Bock 0-0 0-0 0, Isaiah Decker 3-6 0-1 6. Totals 14-53 2-3 34.

MHS 13 24 37 54

HHS 6 21 25 34

3-point field goals: MHS 5-14 (Moller 2-3, Hinker 2-7, Alm 1-1, Degen 0-1, Soulek 0-1, Waddell 0-1), HHS 4-18 (Puterbaugh 1-1, Pfitzer 1-2, Zavesky 1-3, Siemonsma 1-5, Kranzler 0-1, B.Decker 0-2, Schley 0-4). Rebounds: MHS 32 (Hinker 13), HHS 28 (I.Decker 5). Assists: MHS 13 (Hinker 7), HHS 5 (Five players with 1). Steals: MHS 2 (Hinker 2), HHS 4 (Pfitzer 2). Blocks: MHS 2 (Alm 2), HHS 0. Fouls: MHS 12, HHS 14. Turnovers: MHS 13, HHS 12.

Sub-varsity scores: Freshmen: Mitchell ‘A’ 80, Huron 52. Mitchell ‘B’ 53, Huron 43.