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Huron wins battle at free-throw line to top Mitchell girls

Wide disparity of free-throw success provides Huron a winning difference

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Mitchell's Carsyn Weich attempts a layup during a high school girls basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — The story of Tuesday night’s girls basketball game between rivals Mitchell and Huron could be told 15 feet at a time.

The Tigers got to the free throw line 27 times and converted 21 shots, while the Kernels made only 4-of-12 attempts in a 49-45 loss at the Corn Palace.

The struggles for the Kernels included a 3-for-8 effort in the second half on free throws, which capped the early erasure of a 13-point lead for MHS after the first 5 minutes.

Hamtyn Heinz had the go-ahead basket with 56 seconds remaining to put Huron for good at 46-44, part of her game-high 26 points. Allison Meyerink split a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left but Huron added three more free throws in the final seconds after a potential game-winning 3-pointer from Carsyn Weich rimmed off.

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Mitchell's Delaney Degen brings the ball up the court against the defense of Huron's Hylton Heinz during a high school girls basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

For Huron, Isabelle Ellwein was a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws, Heinz was 6-for-8 and Bryn Huber was 7-for-10 to do the bulk of the damage for the Tigers. There were 36 total fouls called in the game.

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“We knew that if we got into a free-throw shooting contest with them, we probably weren’t going to win that,” Mitchell coach Dave Brooks said. “(Heinz) and (Ellwein) and (Huber), they’re all good free throw shooters. … We work on free throws a lot because they’re important. And we will continue to work on them."

There was also a dichotomy in how the Kernels scored in the game. In the first quarter, Mitchell (2-3) built a 17-8 lead, with 15 points from someone other than Sawyer Stoebner, paced by nine points from Addie Siemsen. Over the final three quarters, Mitchell scored 28 points and 17 of those came from Stoebner, including a stretch of 12 points in a row late in the third quarter and into the fourth.

Stoebner, who finished with 19 points, was 9-for-13 from the field, while the rest of her team was 10-for-27 shooting. Addie Siemsen scored 11 points, with Meyerink scoring six points and Weich adding five. The game was close once Huron rallied in the second quarter, with the score tied at 23 at halftime and Huron leading 36-34 after three quarters.

“We talked in the locker room about how in the (Yankton) game, we finished strong and tonight, we started strong. We want to be the team that can play strong all the time and close those games out,” Brooks said.

Huber and Ellwein each scored nine points for Huron (3-3), which plays at Sioux Falls Lincoln on Friday, Jan. 13. Mitchell plays at Brookings, also on Friday.

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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