Kernel boys open Kreutzfeldt’s first season with home win over Huron

Dylan Soulek scored 16 points to lead Mitchell to a 14-point win in its 2021-22 season opener.

Mitchell guard/forward Dylan Soulek attempts to finish near the basket during a game against Huron on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

The start to Mitchell High School’s boys basketball season may have been delayed by 24 hours, but the Kernels’ 2021-22 campaign got off to a winning start.

Mitchell kicked off the Ryker Kreutzfeldt coaching era with a 61-47 victory over Huron in Eastern South Dakota Conference play on Saturday night at the Corn Palace.

GALLERY: Mitchell Kernel boys defeat Huron 61-47 to kick off Ryker Kreutzfeldt head coaching era
“This was kind of personal in a way because this was coach’s first game and we really wanted to get that win,” said junior guard/forward Dylan Soulek. “Every first game of the year is kind of nitty-gritty, but it was a lot of fun.”

It was Soulek who scored six points in the first quarter and the Kernels’ first seven out of halftime, providing Mitchell with the boost it needed to create separation from their rivals to the north.

“He just gave us a spark,” Kreutzfeldt said of Soulek. “It was a spark rebounding, defensively and then getting himself to the rim and not settling. He had a great night tonight and he deserved it.”


Behind Soulek’s first-quarter efforts, the Kernels edged ahead 13-11 after eight minutes. Mitchell began to pull away from Huron in the second quarter, but the Tigers closed the first half strong to keep the margin at two points, 23-21, heading into the break.

The Mitchell Kernel boys defeated Huron 61-47 to kickoff the 2021-22 season on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

Then Mitchell brought out full court pressure to start the second half, leading to Soulek’s solo run that included a one-handed dunk following a steal. At the end of three quarters, Mitchell led 37-33.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Kernels eventually proved too much for the visitors. Caden Hinker connected on a pair of free throws with just over three minutes remaining to give the Kernels a 50-39 cushion it would use to put the game away.

“Mitchell versus Huron is always a battle and it definitely was tonight,” Kreutzfeldt said. “They played very, very hard, rebounded the ball well and made shots when they needed to. Luckily we settled down a little bit, got to the rim and got the ball to Caden [Hinker] in the post. Hopefully we’ll just make some more free throws next time.”

Mitchell finished the game shooting 17 of 38 (44.7%) from the field and 24 of 41 (58.5%) from the free-throw line. Huron shot 19 of 56 (33.9%) from the field and 5 of 15 (33.3%) from the free-throw line.

Soulek paced the Kernels with 16 points, while Caden Hinker notched 10 points and 15 rebounds. Charlie McCardle added 10 points off the bench to round out Mitchell’s double-digit scorers.


For the Tigers, Brandon Decker and Roger Puterbaugh each scored 10 points, and Reilyn Zavesky had five points and five rebounds.

The Mitchell boys return to the court against Watertown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14, at the Corn Palace.

Mitchell 61, Huron 47

Huron (0-1): Roger Puterbaugh 4-6 1-1 10, Brandon Decker 4-12 1-3 10, Max Kranzler 2-11 2-6 7, Isaiah Decker 4-12 1-3 6, Reilyn Zavesky 2-5 0-0 5, Cade McNeil 1-1 1-3 3, Peyton Grace 1-2 0-0 2, Dawsyn Rogers 1-2 0-0 2, Jayden Beck 1-6 0-0 2, Dylan Lichty 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-56 5-15 47.

Mitchell (1-0): Dylan Soulek 3-7 10-12 16, Charlie McCardle 4-6 2-4 10, Caden Hinker 2-9 2-5 10, Steele Morgan 3-5 2-5 8, Gavyn Degen 3-6 0-0 8, Macon Larson 2-4 3-5 7, Aiden Myers 0-1 2-4 2. Totals: 17-38 24-41 61

HHS 11 21 33 47

MHS 13 26 37 61

3-point field goals: H: 4-11 (Kranzler 1-3, Zavesky 1-1, B. Decker. 1-2, Puterbaugh 1-2, Lichty 0-1, Beck 0-2); M: 3-7 (Degen 2-3, Hinker 1-2, Larson 0-1, Soulek 0-1). Rebounds: H: 35 (Zavesky 5); M: 50 (Hinker 15). Assists: H: 4 (Puterbaugh 2); M: 0. Steals: H: 0; M: 3 (Morgan, Degen, Myers 1). Blocks: H: 1 (Zavesky 1), M: 0. Turnovers: H: 9, M 5.

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 and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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