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Fast breaks and 3-pointers lead Watertown over Mitchell girls basketball

The Arrows had 16 fast-break points and rained down seven 3-pointers on Mitchell on the night, connecting on two in each of the first three quarters.

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Mitchell's Carsyn Weich drives with the ball as Watertown's Emery Thury (5) and Kendall Paulson (35) defend her during a high school girls basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The closing seconds of the third quarter were the epitome of how things unfolded on Thursday.

Mitchell brought the game to within five with under a minute left in the third quarter, but a quick 3-pointer from Watertown was followed up by a steal and a fast-break layup just seconds later as the buzzer sounded, pushing the lead back to 10, as the Arrows walked away with a 48-44 win over the Kernel girls at the Corn Palace.

The Arrows had 16 fast-break points and rained down seven 3-pointers on Mitchell on the night, connecting on two in each of the first three quarters.

“One of the things in the way we run our 2-3 (zone): the corner is vulnerable,” head coach Dave Brooks said. “That’s usually the worst percentage shot that teams have, so that’s the risk that we take. … It seemed like whenever we needed them to miss, they made it.”

Miranda Falconer was the leading scorer for Watertown with 10 points, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Jade Lund also connected twice from behind the arc, as she collected six points.

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Brooks said when his team switched to man-to-man defense in the third quarter, they struggled to find their assignment in transition, leading to fast-break points for the Arrows.

Conversely, Mitchell knocked down five 3-pointers, with three of them coming in the fourth quarter. The Kernels went 5-for-25 from 3-point range and struggled to get its offense set up in the half-court. All told, Mitchell went 18-for-49 (36.7%) from the floor but scored its lowest point total since a 37-point game against Rapid City Stevens on Jan 27.

“They were back and forth between their zone and man-to-man,” Brooks said. “We just didn’t handle it very well. … We were out of sync.”

Addie Siemsen led the Mitchell offense with 15 points, while Sawyer Stoebner had 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

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Mitchell's Addie Siemsen makes a crossover move while Watertown's Maddy Rohde picks her up near halfcourt during a high school girls basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

The loss is Mitchell’s second straight and drops the Kernels to 8-8 and 2-6 at home. Mitchell hits the road and puts its 6-0 road record to the test when it takes on Sioux Falls Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The Kernels’ slate to close out the season features four games against teams all sitting in the top-seven teams in seed points in Class AA in Washington (first), Pierre (third), Brandon Valley (seventh) and O’Gorman (fifth).

“We told them, ‘We’re still .500. We got four tough games coming up, but a lot of teams have been playing these teams close. Why can’t we do that?’” Brooks said. “I told them, ‘We need to compete and you never know. That’s why you play to the end.’”

Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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