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Cavanaugh has been a bright spot for Kernels

In a season that has yet to produce a win for the Mitchell High School boys basketball team, bright spots for the Kernels have been few and far between.

Mitchell's Carter Cavanaugh, right, goes to the basket as a Harrisburg's Micheal Curry, left, defends him during a high school boys basketball game earlier this season at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Mitchell's Carter Cavanaugh, right, goes to the basket as a Harrisburg's Micheal Curry, left, defends him during a high school boys basketball game earlier this season at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

In a season that has yet to produce a win for the Mitchell High School boys basketball team, bright spots for the Kernels have been few and far between.

Carter Cavanaugh has been one of those bright spots.

The junior is finishing up his second full season as a member of the varsity team and Cavanaugh has gained more experience, starting every game for the Kernels. For a team averaging just 40.5 points per game, Cavanaugh has emerged as a reliable scoring threat for Mitchell.

This season, Cavanaugh has had eight games where he's scored 10 points or more and he's averaging 9.5 points per game.

MHS head coach Erik Skoglund credited Cavanaugh's hard work and dedication to the sport and added the junior has played above his age group in every season he's been in the Kernel basketball program.

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"He's always played up because of his athletic ability and skill development," Skoglund said. "Last year, he was able to get varsity minutes as a sophomore and produce. This year he's stepped into the starting lineup and has been a leader on the floor. He's wise beyond his years."

In two of Mitchell's closest games this season, Cavanaugh has had big games. He scored a season-high 22 points in a 58-46 loss at Watertown on Feb. 11 and he had 16 points in Mitchell's 52-43 loss to Huron at the Corn Palace on Jan. 27.

"When the team plays together as a team and we get some defensive stops there's a lot of energy on the other end," Cavanaugh said. "When we convert positive energy to the offensive end, it makes shots easier for me."

Skoglund added Cavanaugh continues to mature physically and mentally as a player, but added his basketball mind in one of his strongest assets. Skoglund called Cavanaugh more than just a scorer for the Kernels, specifically noting his ability to guard multiple positions and handle the ball.

"The staff and his teammates know, we need Carter Cavanaugh to produce," Skoglund said. "He's put a lot of time into his game and it's no surprise he's playing at the level he's playing at."

While Cavanaugh will be the lone returning starter for the Kernels next season, he said the entire team is focused on finding a way to earn a win in the postseason.

"It's been kind of rough all year and we've gone through some pains of trying to play as a team," Cavanaugh said. "I've learned that we have to play together as a team if we want to get some wins."

The Kernels (0-19) had their last regular season game against Rapid City Central canceled and will enter postseason play searching for their first victory. Mitchell will take on No. 4 Huron in the first round of the District 3AA tournament at 7:15 p.m. today in Huron. It's a similar scenario to last season, when Mitchell upset Huron in the district tournament.

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"Hopefully we can give Huron a battle. If we can get our defense going, it's going to lead to buckets on offense," Cavanaugh said. "When buckets are going in, the game is a lot easier. We played them tough here, so hopefully we can do it again."

Related Topics: KERNELSBASKETBALL
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