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Kernels fall to Mountain Brook's size and pressure

National power Mountain Brook's size and pressure were too much for the Mitchell Kernels on Saturday at the Corn Palace. The Kernels were outmatched against the bigger and stronger Spartans, falling 89-44 at the Hoop City Classic. Mitchell (0-6) ...

Mitchell's Carter Jacobsen, left, attacks the basket against Mountain Brook's Holt Bashinsky on Saturday during the Hoop City Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)
Mitchell's Carter Jacobsen, left, attacks the basket against Mountain Brook's Holt Bashinsky on Saturday during the Hoop City Classic at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

National power Mountain Brook's size and pressure were too much for the Mitchell Kernels on Saturday at the Corn Palace.

The Kernels were outmatched against the bigger and stronger Spartans, falling 89-44 at the Hoop City Classic.

Mitchell (0-6) faced an uphill climb against Mountain Brook and their constant pressure. It showed as the Spartans forced 33 turnovers on 25 steals.

"Team that presses you like that, we are just not going to run across that," Mitchell coach Todd Neuendorf said. "They make you play so fast and they are so strong. I am not all disappointed with our kids' effort. I thought we played really hard right up until the final buzzer."

Mountain Brook was paced by 6-foot-9 Trendon Watford, who logged 29 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals.

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The Spartans, who are ranked No. 16 nationally by USA today, seized control of the game early on and never looked back. The Kernels trailed 50-26 at halftime and went cold from the field to close the first half.

"Everything was so fast," Neuendorf said. "We had to shoot so fast. Kids weren't shooting in rhythm, but you learn from that situation. We told them before the game we were going to use this to get ready for Huron next week."

The Kernels tinkered with the starting lineup as Ben Helleloid started in place of Derek Factor. Helleloid finished with seven points and was sound with the basketball.

"Derek was better coming off the bench," Neuendorf said. "He played more relaxed and that's the only reason we did it. We need Derek and Derek needs to play a lot of minutes for us. We are happy with Ben. Ben played tonight and had two total turnovers. So Ben did a nice job and that's what the change was for."

Caden Hinker continued his solid freshman campaign with 13 points and eight rebounds. Factor added seven points and five boards in his reserve role.

Lior Berman finished with 14 points and Colby Jones added 13 points for the Spartans.

The Kernels will now play Huron on Jan. 5 in Huron. Mitchell was nipped by the Tigers in the season opener, 49-48.

"We are excited to play and they are playing really well, too," Neuendorf said. "So we are going to have to make sure we have our ducks in a row."

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