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Kernel girls pick up first road win of season

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Mitchell's Macy Kempf, left, drives past Watertown's Devyn Keller during a game on Friday in Watertown. (Roger Merriam / Watertown Public Opinion)

WATERTOWN -- Giving up big runs has haunted the Mitchell High School girls basketball team this season.

On Friday, the Kernels had the decisive scoring stretch. Between the third and fourth quarters, Mitchell went on a 14-2 run to take control of a back-and-forth Eastern South Dakota Conference contest with Watertown to earn its first road win, 62-54.

“It was kind of our goal to get that first (road and conference win),” MHS coach Cole Knippling said. “I’m just happy. Any road win is a tough win. (Watertown) was hungry to get its first win, so to survive and play well enough to get a happy ride home, we’re happy with that.”

Mitchell stayed with the Arrows (0-10) in the first half, but couldn’t find a go-ahead basket. It trailed 25-24 at the half, even with Macy Kempf scoring 13 of her game-high 25 points.

Mitchell’s (4-6) defensive pressure allowed it to string together stops after the break, and a slew of Kernels hit big shots to spark their second-half turnaround.

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Camryn Krogman nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 36-36 midway through the third quarter, followed by Taylor Giblin making a 3 of her own to give Mitchell its first lead since the first quarter. Krogman, who scored all 11 of her points in the second half, capped its 14-2 run with a basket in the fourth.

The Kernels shot 10-for-15 from the field in the second half and made four 3-pointers, including Avia Haley in the middle of the fourth.

“You get a couple of stops, you get a couple of scores and you build some momentum,” Knippling said. “... When we got the shots, we made them.”

Mitchell never relinquished the lead, as it matched Watertown’s free-throw output. The teams combined to shoot 53 free throws, with Kempf leading the way with an 11-for-13 performance at the line. She also added a team-best six boards and five steals.

Mitchell outscored Watertown 19-16 in the final quarter, ending the game on a 6-2 run. Still, the Arrows hung around, as Megan Fannin, Abby Bramer and Maggie Heesch combined to score 47 points. Watertown shot just 37.5 percent from the field, though.

“We didn’t play the cleanest fourth quarter,” Knippling said. “I think their pressure got to us a little bit, but we weathered the storm, hit some big free throws and didn’t buckle.”

Adaya Plastow finished with nine points, five rebounds and three steals. Giblin scored six points in the win.

Mitchell hosts Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.

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Mitchell 62, Watertown 54

Mitchell (4-6): Adaya Plastow 3-6 2-2 9, Avia Haley 1-6 3-3 6, Haley Hohn 1-2 1-1 3, Macy Kempf 7-12 11-13 25, Atlanta Stahle 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Giblin 2-3 1-2 6, Camryn Krogman 3-7 4-5 11, Gia Winger 0-1 0-0 0, Mariyah Turner 1-1 0-1 2. Team totals: 18-39 22-27 62.

Watertown (0-10): Siri Kranz 1-3 1-2 3, Abby Bramer 5-8 3-5 14, Megan Fannin 5-12 7-8 19, Devyn Keller 0-3 1-2 1, Maggie Heesch 4-11 6-6 14, Maddy Rohde 0-1 0-0 0, Jaida Young 0-1 2-2 2, Olivia Coret 0-1 1-1 1.

MHS 9 24 43 62

W 9 25 38 54

3-pointers: MHS 4-11 (Plastow 1-2, Haley 1-4, Giblin 1-1, Krogman 1-3, Stahle 0-1); W 3-9 (Fannin 2-4, Bramer 1-2, Kranz 0-2, Rohde 0-1). Rebounds: MHS 25 (Kempf 6, Plastow 5); W 27 (Fannin 5, Heesch 5). Assists: MHS 9 (Giblin 3); W 4 (Heesch 2). Steals: MHS 14 (Kempf 5, Plastow 3); W 11 (Bramer 4). Turnovers: MHS 21; W 21. Total fouls: MHS 22; W 20.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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