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Kernels' offense struggles in loss to Pierre

The Mitchell Kernels girls basketball team didn't bring enough offense to the Corn Palace on Thursday night. While they played solid defense for much of the first half, the Kernels' offense remained mostly dormant against Pierre, the Governors le...

Mitchell's Carly Haring splits Pierre's Emily Mikkelsen, left, and Erica Stout, right, to grab a rebound during Thursday's Eastern South Dakota Conference girls basketball game at the Corn Palace. (Marcus Traxler / Republic)
Mitchell's Carly Haring splits Pierre's Emily Mikkelsen, left, and Erica Stout, right, to grab a rebound during Thursday's Eastern South Dakota Conference girls basketball game at the Corn Palace. (Marcus Traxler / Republic)

The Mitchell Kernels girls basketball team didn't bring enough offense to the Corn Palace on Thursday night.

While they played solid defense for much of the first half, the Kernels' offense remained mostly dormant against Pierre, the Governors left Mitchell with a 57-34 victory in Eastern South Dakota Conference action.

The Kernels made two field goals in the first half, shot 12 percent and finished shooting 30 percent for the game, as Pierre scored 37 points in the second half to make it a rout.

"The first half, that was probably our best defensive half of the year," Mitchell coach Wes Morgan said. "But we've got to be able to put the ball in the basket. We're just not doing that and it's frustrating."

The first half was anything but pretty, with Mitchell scoring only one point in the first quarter and a litany of fouls and turnovers for both teams. But the Kernels were within eight points at the break due to their free-throw shooting, making 8 of 10 in the first half.

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But any dreams of a Mitchell upset on Thursday night were washed away early in the second half. After Kendra Brewster scored to cut the lead to six points, an 18-0 run by Pierre over the course of the next 5 minutes put the game away, as Pierre stretched its lead out to 38-14.

"We weren't executing to the level that we wanted to in the first half and we were able to make some adjustments to get ourselves a few more open looks," said Pierre coach Scott DeBoer. "When we get into a rhythm in our offense, we've got kids that can knock down shots and it was good to get that going."

Morgan said it's all about confidence for the Mitchell girls at this stage of the season.

"We know we can score, we know we're in the right position," Morgan said. "We knew we would be young and we knew we would struggle some. We just have to be aggressive."

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Pierre (7-5, 6-3 ESD), which completed the season sweep of the Kernels.

"This is a good win for us, because we haven't gotten many wins (in Mitchell) in the last 10 years or so," DeBoer said. "You don't want to spend too much time look at the districts but it's an important win there, too."

The Governors, who will now host No. 1-ranked Harrisburg on Saturday, were paced by guard Hallie Jerome, who was 7 for 10 on field goals and drilled 3 of 4 3-pointers, while adding four steals. Emily Mikkelsen had 11 points for Pierre in the win and Kylee Tessler and Mack Rath each had nine points. Pierre had a 26-23 edge in rebounding and forced 21 Mitchell turnovers.

Mitchell spread around its offensive output, with Chelsea Brewster leading the Kernels with seven points off the bench. Mackenzie Miller and Carly Haring each had six points. Kendra Brewster had a game-high seven rebounds and five points.

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Mitchell can put its struggles with Pierre behind them and focus on Spearfish, which comes to the Corn Palace for a 7 p.m. contest today. It will be the Kernels' first non-conference game of the season.

Subvarsity

JV: Pierre 54, Mitchell 18. Carly Haring had eight points for Mitchell.

Sophomores: Pierre 50, Mitchell 12.

Pierre 57, Mitchell 34

Pierre (7-5, 6-3 ESD): Hallie Jerome 7-10 0-0 17 Emily Mikkelsen 3-7 3-4 11 Tori Thorpe 0-0 0-0 0 Maddie Reinke 2-3 0-0 4 Erica Stout 1-7 0-0 2 Abigail Foster 1-4 2-2 4 Abbi Kitts 0-1 1-2 1 Kylee Tessler 3-5 1-3 9 Mack Rath 2-5 5-6 9 Cayley Bush 0-3 0-1 0 Totals 19-45 12-18 57

Mitchell (2-9, 2-9 ESD): Mandy Schmidt 0-2 0-0 0 Tess Limberg 1-5 2-4 4 Kendra Brewster 2-4 1-2 5 Mackenzie Miller 0-4 6-8 6 Jenna Weich 1-3 0-0 2 Jordyn Cranny 0-2 2-2 2 Shianne Hiemstra 0-0 0-0 0 Chelsea Brewster 2-3 3-3 7 Payton Morgan 0-2 0-0 0 Carly Haring 3-6 0-2 6 Brittany Robinson 1-2 0-0 2 Totals 10-33 14-21 34

P 8 20 45 57

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M 1 12 20 34

3-point goals: P 7-12 (Jerome 3, Mikkelsen 2, Tessler 2), M 0-3. Rebounds: P 26 (Bush 6), M 23 (K. Brewster 7), Total fouls: P 21, M 20. Fouled out: Limberg. Assists: P 3 (Reinke, Tessler, Bush), M 5 (Weich 3). Turnovers: P 12, M 21. Blocks: P 1 (Reinke), M 0. Steals: P 12 (Jerome 4), M 5 (K. Brewster, Miller, Weich, Cranny, Haring).

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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