O'Gorman's third-quarter run sends it past Mitchell High School in Class AA state tourney

“We knew we could do it. I think we got the best of ourselves,” Mitchell senior Avia Haley said. “Instead of sticking with it and playing through things, I think we started to hang our heads a little bit.”

Mitchell's Avia Haley (10) drives to the basket past the defense of Sioux Falls O'Gorman's Mahli Abdouch (15) in a game during the first round of the Class AA state tournament on Thursday at the Sanford Pentagon. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS -- Sioux Falls O’Gorman’s 3-point barrage in the final 3 minutes, 18 seconds of the third quarter sent it past the Mitchell High School girls basketball team and into the Class AA semifinals.

The Knights hit four 3s during an 18-1 run on Thursday at the Sanford Pentagon, blowing open a 69-42 win over the Kernels.

“We knew we could do it. I think we got the best of ourselves,” Mitchell senior Avia Haley said. “Instead of sticking with it and playing through things, I think we started to hang our heads a little bit.”

Despite a rocky start that saw the Kernels (15-7) only make one field goal in the first quarter, Mitchell matched O’Gorman (16-6) until the game-deciding run. The Kernels trailed 28-22 at the half, and Haley made a bucket to cut the deficit to 37-32 with 3:35 to play.

O’Gorman’s hot shooting reached its peak to end the quarter, though. With Macy Kempf and Sawyer Stoebner on the bench with four fouls, O’Gorman’s Isabelle Moore, Mahli Abdouch and Hannah Ronsiek drilled back-to-back-to-back 3s to push its lead back to double-digits. Ronsiek, who scored 13 points, drilled one of her three 3s of the afternoon in the quarter’s final seconds to cap the 27-point quarter.


Abdouch, who had a team-best 18 points off the bench, and Moore also created turnovers to get easy transition baskets. Moore finished with 15 points, as each shot 6-for-8 from the field.

“We had (Kempf and Stoebner) at the table trying to get them back in, and they hit three 3s as they sit there,” Knippling said. “I probably should’ve called a timeout and stopped the game, but it happened quick.”
The Knights’ outside shooting quickly wiped away Mitchell’s comeback efforts. Due to O’Gorman’s length in the paint leading to seven blocks, along with a cold-shooting start, the Kernels trailed 13-4 at the end of the first quarter. It went over 5 minutes without a point.

O’Gorman held a slight 27-25 advantage on the glass, as each team grabbed 11 offensive rebounds. Ronsiek had a game-high seven boards, while Kempf added six rebounds for the Kernels.

“Sometimes when they’re so much longer than you, you can try to get the rebound but sometimes those long arms are just going to get them,” Haley said. “We were pretty even with them (in rebounding) for how much taller they are than us.”

A switch to a zone defense helped the Kernels slow down O’Gorman. It closed out on shooters, made driving lanes smaller and forced the bigger Knights to go away from post-ups.

Haley also shot well from deep, making 3 of 5 for a team-high 12 points. The Kernels relied on their outside shooting (6-for-14) due to O’Gorman’s length in the post. They shot 30.8 percent from the field in the loss.

“I thought our shooting looked really good from about two minutes left in the first quarter, through the second quarter until about that time everything went south,” Knippling said. “We had about a two-quarter stretch we looked pretty good and two quarters we didn’t.”

O’Gorman plays Sioux Falls Washington at 5:30 p.m. today. Mitchell plays Rapid City Central at noon Friday. The Kernels beat Central, 48-41, in the regular season.


Sioux Falls O’Gorman 69, Mitchell 42

Sioux Falls O’Gorman (16-6): Kennedi Kolsrud 0-0 0-0 0, Ellie Thie 1-2 0-0 2, Reagan Reilly 1-3 3-4 6, Lucy Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Isabelle Moore 6-8 2-4 15, Mahli Abdouch 6-8 5-6 18, Karsten Schlimgen 0-0 0-0 0, Kira Mentele 1-3 0-0 2, Bergen Reilly 4-11 0-2 9, Hannah Ronsiek 5-10 3-5 13, Hannah Friedman 2-3 0-0 4, Megan VanDenHemel 0-0 0-0 0. Team totals: 26=48 10-17 69.

Mitchell (15-7): Lizzie Tyler 0-0 1-1 1, Adaya Plastow 3-8 1-1 8. Avia Haley 4-8 1-2 12, Taylor Giblin 0-2 0-0 0, Ella Flippin 0-0 0-0 0, Camryn Krogman 2-6 2-2 7, Sawyer Stoebner 1-4 1-2 3, Sarah Sebert 1-7 0-0 3, Kaitlyn Christensen 0-0 0-0 0, Gabby Sonne 0-0 0-0 0, Macy Kempf 1-4 6-12 8, Mariyha Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Team totals: 12-39 12-20 42.

SFO 13 28 55 69

MHS 4 22 33 42

3-point: SFO 7-16 (Ronsiek 3-5, B. Reilly 1-4, Abdouch 1-1, Moore 1-3, R. Reilly 1-2, Thie 0-1); MHS 6-14 (Haley 3-5, Plastow 1-2, Krogman 1-1, Sebert 1-5). Rebounds: SFO 27 (Ronsiek 7); MHS 25 (Kempf 6). Assists: SFO 17 (B. Reilly 4, Ronsiek 4); MHS 9. Blocked shots: SFO 7; MHS 2. Steals: SFO 11; MHS 4. Turnovers: SFO 12; MHS 19. Total fouls: SFO 20, MHS 15.

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