Comeback charge falls short for Mitchell girls basketball against top-ranked Sioux Falls Jefferson
Despite a fourth-quarter surge that featured a 12-0 run, a 21-6 first-quarter advantage for Sioux Falls Jefferson proved too much for the Kernels to overcome.
MITCHELL — Despite a fourth-quarter surge that featured a 12-0 run, the Mitchell girls basketball team fell short Tuesday night.
A 21-6 first-quarter advantage for Sioux Falls Jefferson proved too much for the Kernels to overcome, as the top-ranked Cavaliers down Mitchell 56-47 at the Corn Palace.
Sawyer Stoebner led the comeback effort for Mitchell, netting 12 of her season-high 26 points in the fourth quarter, while Addie Siemsen knocked down two of her three 3-pointers in the final frame as well. Mitchell trailed by 18 before a 12-0 run brought the Kernels to within six when they began to intentionally foul with under two minutes to go.
Jefferson (12-2) knocked down seven of its 10 free throws after the Kernels started fouling to ice the game and pick up the win.
“Our leaders kept going, ‘We got 16 minutes left. We got eight minutes left. Just keep going, let’s see what we can do,’” head coach Dave Brooks said. “So with that kind of attitude, some good things happened and we got close and all of a sudden we got a ballgame.”
But the Cavaliers’ hot first quarter where they hit four 3-pointers — the same amount Mitchell hit all game — and ended the frame on a 10-0 run proved too much. The Kernels struggled to get set in their half-court offense in the first quarter due to the speed of Jefferson, with their six first-quarter points coming in transition.
After switching from zone defense to man defense, though, Brooks said it “got the juices flowing,” as Mitchell outscored Jefferson 41-35 throughout the final three quarters.
“The kids said, ‘We just got to get it and go. We just can't take it out of bounds and wait for something to happen,’” Brooks said. “But that first quarter, we just couldn't adjust to the pressure.”
The duo of Stoebner and Siemsen combined for 39 of Mitchell’s 47 points, while Lauren Van Overschelde added six and Makenzie Peterson chipped in two. For Jefferson, Cierra Watkins scored 19 points and Aliyah McGovern-Harrington tacked on 11.
Mitchell dropped to 6-6, as it wrapped up its five-game homestand. The Kernels head west to take on Sturgis and Spearfish on Friday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 4.
“I think they’re ready to play whomever,” Brooks said. “They were a determined group in (the locker room) after. … We can put together four games in a row here if we just play like we did for three quarters, and I just firmly believe that but more importantly, I think they believe it.”