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Kernels snap six-game skid with 55-54 win over Pierre

The Mitchell High School girls basketball team was all smiles in the locker room on Thursday. The Kernels snapped a six-game skid by grinding out a 55-54 win over Pierre at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. "We needed one," Mitchell head coach Wes Mor...

Tess Limberg dribbles up the court during a game between Mitchell High School and Pierre High School, Thursday at the Corn Palace. (Sarah Barclay/Republic)
Tess Limberg dribbles up the court during a game between Mitchell High School and Pierre High School, Thursday at the Corn Palace. (Sarah Barclay/Republic)

The Mitchell High School girls basketball team was all smiles in the locker room on Thursday.

The Kernels snapped a six-game skid by grinding out a 55-54 win over Pierre at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

"We needed one," Mitchell head coach Wes Morgan said. "It's huge, it gives us justification for how hard we've been working in practice. Our guards went to the basket tonight and got it done."

With the score tied at 51 late in the contest, junior forward Jenna Weich put the Kernels up by two with a basket in the post with 39 seconds remaining.

After a defensive stop, Mitchell's Tess Limberg was fouled and put at the free throw line with 13.7 seconds left. After Limberg went 1-of-2 from the line, Nikky Farnsworth tied the game for Pierre with a mid-range shot with 7.4 seconds remaining.

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The Governors brought full court pressure while the Kernels were trying to inbound the basketball, but the move backfired as Limberg was fouled with 3.5 seconds remaining. The freshman guard-who had 13 points for the Kernels-sank her first free throw to put Mitchell up by one point. Limberg's second free throw missed but landed in the hands of Kernel freshman Mackenzie Miller, who kept the ball away from Pierre in the final seconds to secure the victory.

"It felt really good to finally get a win after a couple of losses," Limberg said. "We finally came together as a team and put the free throws in like we should."

An Achilles' heel for the majority of the season for Mitchell, the Kernels were 17-of-32 from the free throw line. The Governors also forced 25 Mitchell turnovers, using a full-court press for the majority of the game.

"We made the free throws at crunch time, but making 17 of 32 free throws, whew," Morgan said after the game. "We shouldn't have won that game. If we played this game in Pierre, it's going to be a blowout their way. We have to clean a lot of stuff up."

Freshman guard Jordyn Cranny contributed in the win with 13 points on a 4-of-7 shooting effort, while Miller scored eight points and grabbed 16 rebounds.

The Kernels shot 17-of-42 from the floor and grabbed 38 team rebounds.

"Mitchell's freshmen stepped up and played with a lot of confidence," Pierre head coach Scott DeBoer said. "We knew throughout the season, eventually they were going to get comfortable. Unfortunately, tonight was that night. This was a tough one for us. If we're a little more aggressive, I think we come out on the winning end of it."

Hallie Jerome led the Governors with 14 points, while Emily Mikkelsen chipped in 10. Pierre shot 18-of-60 from the floor and 13-of-18 from the free throw line. The Governors grabbed 27 team rebounds.

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"I don't think we were very aggressive offensively in the first half," DeBoer said. "We were looking to get the ball in the right spots, but we were really passive."

It wasn't an easy road to get the win for the Kernels, falling behind 13-8 after the first quarter and 25-24 at halftime. But Morgan said he was proud of his team for showing resilience.

"The kids weathered the storm and fought to the end," Morgan said. "We didn't put our heads down, and you can tell the team is growing up. The future is bright for the Kernels, we just have to keep making plays."

Mitchell (2-6) plays Harrisburg on Tuesday in Harrisburg, while Pierre (3-5) takes on Rapid City Central on Tuesday in Rapid City.

Subvarsity:

JV: Mitchell won 44-42. Tess Limberg had 14 points for Mitchell, while Maddie Reinke and Emily Mikkelsen recorded 10 points for Pierre.

Sophomore: Pierre won 51-21. Shianne Hiemstra and Mandy Schmidt had six points each for Mitchell, while Kylie Kessler had 14 points for Pierre.

P 13 25 34 54

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M 8 24 39 55

Pierre (3-5)

Hallie Jerome 4-11 3-4 14 Jordyn Lemieux 1-2 1-3 3 Nikky Farnsworth 3-13 1-2 7 Cody Ryckman 3-7 3-3 9 Tori Thorpe 0-4 4-4 4 Kallie Stout 2-8 0-0 4 Emily Mikkelsen 4-10 0-0 10 Maddie Sutton 0-0 0-0 0 Maddi Reinke 0-1 0-0 0 Erika Stout 0-0 0-0 0 Macy Halverson 1-4 1-2 3 TOTALS 18-60 13-18 54

Mitchell (2-6)

Kaelyn Kaul 0-1 0-0 0 Jayci Hinker 0-0 0-0 0 Brenna Morgan 1-2 2-2 5 Mackenzie Miller 3-10 2-3 8 Jenna Weich 2-10 0-0 4 Jordyn Cranny 4-7 2-2 13 Erin Farnham 1-3 3-9 5 Tess Limberg 3-4 7-12 13 Kendra Brewster 1-2 0-2 2 TOTALS 17-42 17-32 55

3-point goals: P 5-19 (Jerome 3, Mikkelsen 2), M 4-8 (Morgan 1, Cranny 3); Rebounds: P 27 (Mikkelsen 6), M 38 (Miller 16); Assists: P 3 (Lemieux 1, Farnsworth 1, Mikkelsen 1), M 5 (Miller 3); Total fouls: P 26, M 14; Turnovers: P 18, M 25

Related Topics: KERNELSBASKETBALL
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