ABERDEEN -- Class AA No. 3 Aberdeen Central’s Brooklyn Kopecky took over in the fourth quarter, guiding the Golden Eagles to a 50-43 win over the Mitchell High School girls basketball team on Friday.

It’s the third straight loss for the Kernels, while Aberdeen Central clinched the Eastern South Dakota Conference championship.

“We put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Mitchell coach Cole Knippling said. “In the end, we had too many turnovers and not enough quality shots in the fourth quarter.”

Mitchell held a 26-22 lead at halftime, but a late turnover changed momentum late in the third quarter. Aberdeen Central’s Melanie Jacobs, who had 10 points, recorded one of her game-high four steals in the closing seconds, and then made a last-second layup to put it ahead, 37-36.

Mitchell’s 14 turnovers led to its struggles on offense in the final frame. It only scored seven points in the fourth quarter.

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“I think more than anything we were being careless,” Knippling said. “... I think we got tired and we weren’t moving as much. When we’re not moving, the defense is on us.”

Meanwhile, Kopecky put the finishing touches on a 21-point performance. Adaya Plastow’s foul trouble forced a slew of Kernels to guard the 5-foot-10 senior, which ended in Kopecky shooting 7-for-17 from the field and 2-for-4 from deep.

“Normally Adaya would’ve been on her and made her life pretty tough,” Knippling said. “But Adaya got in some early foul trouble. She got her fourth foul right away in the third quarter. We couldn’t afford to have her on her.”

Mitchell’s Macy Kempf paced the Kernels with 15 points. Sawyer Stoebner added four points and six rebounds, while Avia Haley and Camryn Krogman each scored nine points.

The Kernels await their SoDak 16 matchup on March 5.



Aberdeen Central 50, Mitchell 43

Mitchell (14-6): Adaya Plastow 0-1 0-0 0, Avia Haley 3-7 0-0 9, Camryn Krogman 3-9 2-2 9, Sawyer Stoebner 2-3 0-0 4, Macy Kempf 6-11 3-3 15, Taylor Giblin 1-1 0-0 3, Sarah Sebert 1-5 0-0 3. Team totals: 16-37 5-5 43.

Aberdeen Central (17-2): Melanie Jacobs 3-6 2-2 10, Taryn Hettich 0-2 1-4 1, Abby Kopecky 7-17 5-8 21, Brooklyn Kusler 5-12 1-2 11, Jordan Hermansen 0-0 1-2 1, Karly Wellman 0-0 0-0 0, Meghan Mork 0-0 0-0 0, Grace Kuch 0-0 0-0 0, Kianna Mounga 2-2 2-2 6. Team totals: 17-39 12-20 50.

MHS 12 26 36 43

AC 14 22 37 50

3-pointers: MHS 6-19 (Haley 3-6, Krogman 1-5, Giblin 1-1, Sebert 1-3, Plastow 0-1, Kempf 0-3); AC 4-8 (Jacobs 2-4, Kopecky 2-4). Rebounds: MHS 19 (Stoebner 6); AC 28 (Kopecky 5). Assists: MHS 6; AC 10 (Kopecky 4). Blocked shots: MHS 2; AC 1. Steals: MHS 3, AC 4 (Jacobs 4). Turnovers: MHS 14; AC 11. Total fouls: MHS 17; AC 10.