Golden Eagles drop Kernel boys
ABERDEEN -- After hanging 88 points on a top-five team in Harrisburg last week, No. 5 Aberdeen Central used a more methodical approach against Mitchell Tuesday at home.
ABERDEEN - After hanging 88 points on a top-five team in Harrisburg last week, No. 5 Aberdeen Central used a more methodical approach against Mitchell Tuesday at home.
The Golden Eagles gave up - but quickly regained - the lead at the end of the opening quarter and pulled steadily away for their seventh straight win, a 66-37 Eastern South Dakota Conference boys basketball victory over the visiting Kernels at Golden Eagles Arena.
Central led early, but stalled out at 13 points for most of the final 3 minutes of the opening quarter, a drought that allowed Mitchell to inch ahead 14-13 with 35 seconds left in the stanza.
That lead lasted all of 33 seconds, as Nate Rook drained the first of five 3-pointers in the game with just two seconds left to put Central back on top heading into the second.
The Golden Eagles never looked back.
Still, the Kernels showed some grit late, putting up five more shot attempts than their hosts and gathering up 11 total offensive rebounds. However, Mitchell converted on just 27 percent of those field goals - 21.7 percent from long range - and did not reach the free-throw line until midway through the fourth quarter.
"This is where we've been all year," said first-year Mitchell coach Todd Neuendorf. "We are shooting from inside the three, we're shooting 32 percent for the year. From the three, we're shooting 24 percent. And we are averaging 34 points a game. We struggle to score the ball. At this level, when you don't have any size, you've got to be able to shoot the ball. We struggle to shoot it from the perimeter. So, bad combo."
Rook led all players with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from long range. Cole Bergan was 7-of-8 from the free-throw line for 12 points, while Collin Stoebner finished with 10 points before fouling out of his final home game, picking up all five of his fouls in the second half.
Jordon Johnson had three first-half threes and led the Kernels with 13 points and nine rebounds.
"The one thing I'm proud of, the kids play hard," Neuendorf said. "They play hard right to the very end. Coming in, they knew they were out matched. We watched 88 get hung on Harrisburg the other night, and we think Harrisburg is the best team we've seen... So we're coming in here and we wanted to play good solid defense. You hold (Cole) Bergan to two field goals and 12 points, you feel pretty good about life. But they had some other guys chip in. That's what good teams do. They have more than one guys getting stuff done."
Central will close out the regular season Thursday, traveling to Watertown for a rematch with the Arrows. Watertown snuck away with a 55-51 victory in the second game of the season back on Dec. 12.
Mitchell, which remains winless and will miss the Class AA postseason, closes out its season at home Friday against Pierre.
JV: Mitchell won 54-53. Kaden Soukup had 15 points, while Derek Factor scored 11.
Sophomores: Aberdeen won 48-41 in overtime. Ben Helleloid, Lucas Moller and Brady Brosz each scored eight points for Mitchell.
Aberdeen Central 66, Mitchell 37
MITCHELL (0-19): Kiel Nelson 1 0-0 2, Jordon Johnson 5 0-0 13, Carter Cavanaugh 3 0-0 6, Baley Miller 1 0-0 2, Vincent Michael 1 0-0 2, Kaden Soukup 1 0-0 3, Derek Factor 1 2-3 5, Carter Jacobsen 1 2-3 4. Totals 14-52 4-6 37.
ABERDEEN CENTRAL (12-7): Nate Rook 6 0-0 17, Jonah Dohrer 4 0-0 9, Collin Stoebner 5 0-0 10, Cole Bergan 2 7-8 12, Mason Flakus 1 1-2 3, Andrew Bergan 3 1-2 8, Salesi Mounga 1 0-0 3, Seth Martens 1 0-0 2, Ben LaPointe 1 0-0 2. Totals 24-47 9-12 66.
M 14 21 26 37
AC 16 35 48 66
3-point field goals - Mitchell 5 (Johnson 3, Soukup, Factor); Aberdeen Central 9 (Rook 5, Dohrer, C. Bergan, A. Bergan, Mounga). Total fouls - Mitchell 12; Aberdeen Central 12. Fouled out - Aberdeen Central (Stoebner). Rebounds - Mitchell 28 (Johnson 9); Aberdeen Central 35 (C. Bergan 8). Assists - Mitchell 4 (Miller 2); Aberdeen Central 18 (C. Bergan 7, Brandon Kusler 4). Turnovers - Mitchell 16; Aberdeen Central 12. Steals - Mitchell 8 (Johnson 3); Aberdeen Central 8 (Dohrer 2, Stoebner 2, Kusler 2).