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Kernel offense sputters in loss at Watertown

WATERTOWN--One week ago, the Mitchell High School boys basketball team put forth its best offensive effort of the season in a near upset of No. 1 Sioux Falls Lincoln, but that seems like it happened in the distant past.

Mitchell’s Derek Factor dribbles around a pick by teammate Kiel Nelson while being guarded by Watertown’s Mason Morris during their Eastern South Dakota Conference boys basketball game Tuesday night in Watertown. (Roger Merriam / Watertown Public Opinion)
Mitchell’s Derek Factor dribbles around a pick by teammate Kiel Nelson while being guarded by Watertown’s Mason Morris during their Eastern South Dakota Conference boys basketball game Tuesday night in Watertown. (Roger Merriam / Watertown Public Opinion)

WATERTOWN-One week ago, the Mitchell High School boys basketball team put forth its best offensive effort of the season in a near upset of No. 1 Sioux Falls Lincoln, but that seems like it happened in the distant past.

On Tuesday, the Kernels returned to the floor for the first time since a game at Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Watertown was pushed back from Friday due to snow. Early on, it was apparent they did not have the same shooting stroke they did a week prior and were never able to find an rhythm on offense.

Mitchell was held without a made field goal in the first quarter, two in the second quarter and shot 23.3 percent from the floor in a 54-28 Arrow rout.

"We thought we were in good positions to hit shots and it was just one of those deals where shots weren't going in," MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. "...We just weren't with it (Tuesday). From when we got off the bus, it was a different feel than I've had all year. I don't know what it was. It was a different feel since I've been in Mitchell. I don't know what it was."

There appeared to be a lid on the Mitchell basket all night, as it tallied one point in the first quarter and did not get much better throughout the remainder of the night. Whether the shot came from the 3-point line, midrange and or in the paint, nothing went in the hoop.

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As shots continued to go awry, the Kernels (0-10) began to unravel offensively. In an attempt to find some source scoring, they resorted to one-on-one tactics, players ran into each other and shot attempts were not always high percentage.

The end result was 10 of 43 shooting-including 1-for-18 from beyond the 3-point arc-in Mitchell's lowest offensive output since scoring 28 in a Jan. 2017 loss at Huron.

"It wasn't from a lack of effort. It was shots just didn't go in and then we started pressing and playing too much one-on-one," Neuendorf said. "It's frustrating because we played good enough defense to win a basketball game. Coming in, we weren't worried offensively, we were concerned defensively and the offense let us down."

Kiel Nelson led Mitchell with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Kernels are back in action on Thursday at Brookings.

Watertown 54, Mitchell 28

Mitchell (0-10): Kiel Nelson 3-10 4-6 10, Hunter Stahle 0-1 0-0 0, Derek Factor 0-1 0-0 0, Kaden Soukup 1-5 0-0 3, Caden Hinker 2-13 2-2 6, Ben Helleloid 0-2 0-0 0, Carter Jacobsen 3-7 1-3 7, Ryley Johansen 0-1 0-0 0, Zane Alm 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 10-43 7-11 28.

Watertown (5-6): Adam DeJong 4-6 0-0 10, Jacob Tisher 1-2 0-0 3, Parker Schmidt 2-2 0-0 4, Evan Falconer 2-5 2-2 7, Brandon Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Wyatt Berner 1-1 0-0 3, Solomon Bach 5-9 1-2 12, Pierre Lear 0-6 1-2 1, Brandon Florey 4-9 0-0 10, Mason Morris 0-2 0-0 0, Cooper Heiser 0-1 0-0 0, Lucas Bierscheid 1-2 0-0 2, Sully Mack 1-1 0-0 2, Blake Holden 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-47 4-7 54.

M 1 7 16 28

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W 8 27 44 54

3-point field goals: M 1-18 (Soukup 1-5, Helleloid 0-1, Jacobsen 0-1, Nelson 0-3, Hinker 0-8); W 8-24 (DeJong 2-2, Florey 2-7, Berner 1-1, Tisher 1-2, Falconer 1-3, Bach 1-3, Heiser 0-1, Morris 0-2, Lear 0-3). Rebounds: M 25 (Nelson 9); W 37 (Bach 6, DeJon 6). Assists: M 3 (Factor 2); W 7 (Bach 2, DeJong 2). Steals: M 5 (Jacobsen 2); W 5 (Falconer 2). Turnovers: M 14; W 10. Total fouls: M 10; W 15.

Sub-varsity scores: JV: Watertown 77, Mitchell 45; Freshman A: Watertown 64, Watertown 36; Freshman B: Watertown 51, Mitchell 43.

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