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Huron pulls away from Kernel girls with second, third quarter surges

Mitchell falls to Huron for second time, drops to 1-6 on the season

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Mitchell's Sarah Sebert goes up to the basket in a game against Huron on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at Huron Arena.
Luke Hagen / Mitchell Republic

HURON — The season’s second girls basketball meeting between Mitchell and Huron took on a different feel early on than last month’s contest at the Corn Palace, though the score didn’t reflect it for much of the evening.

Huron went on runs to start the second and third quarters that totaled 20-0, as the Tigers raced past the Kernels, 69-46, Tuesday night at Huron Arena.

“Even though we lost by a similar amount (to the first meeting), I thought we played a lot better,” said Mitchell coach Cole Knippling. “I saw a lot of good things and we put ourselves in a lot of good positions. There were a lot of times we did everything right but make the shot.”

Mitchell shot 14 of 39 (35.9%) from the field for the game, with a 30.4% mark after halftime, compared to the Tigers' 41.4% overall shooting.

Despite a similar final margin to the 50-26 defeat from Dec. 11, Mitchell continued to show improvement after posting the season’s first win and a narrow overtime loss in the previous two contests. While the Huron runs are impossible to ignore, so too is the fact that Kernels played three quarters worth of minutes to a near-draw.

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“We played ‘em even for a majority of the game,” Knippling said. “We started the second and third bad, but you take out those two four-minute spans and the other 24 minutes we probably played better ball.”

Last month in Mitchell, Huron charged out to a 20-3 lead after the opening quarter, aided by defensive pressure that caused 17 turnovers. This time around, Mitchell handled Huron's press much better — though the Kernels committed 15 turnovers to Huron's eight — and stuck with the Tigers early on, trailing just 11-9 after eight minutes, but an 11-0 run to start the second quarter boosted the Tigers to a 33-21 halftime advantage.

A 9-0 Huron run coming out of the locker room only added to Kernels’ troubles, extending the Tiger lead to 20-plus points, where it remained for the rest of the evening. The win stopped a three-game slide for Huron, which hadn't won since Dec. 14 after jumping out to a 3-0 record.

Sarah Sebert led the Kernels with 20 points, the second-highest individual scoring effort by a Kernel this season, as Sawyer Stoebner notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Huron (4-3, 4-2 ESD) was led by Isabella Shreeve, who matched Sebert’s 20 points to go with six rebounds, while Bryn Huber and Hamtyn Heinz recorded 13 and 12 points, respectively.

“You’d like to learn and win, sometimes you have to learn and lose,” Knippling said. “Unfortunately that’s what we’re doing right now, but I do feel like we’re moving in the right direction. I don’t think this game was a step back.”

Mitchell (1-6, 0-5 ESD) hosts Pierre at 7 p.m. Friday at the Corn Palace.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at ldierks@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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