Kernel girls fall to O'Gorman, claim sixth place at Class AA state tournament

O’Gorman, the No. 3 seed, surged on offense all day, shooting nearly 57% from the field.

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Mitchell's Addie Siemsen drives to the basket while being guarded by O'Gorman's Clare Benson (20) during the girls high school basketball fifth-place game at the Class AA state tournament on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS — O’Gorman got out in front and didn’t look back on Saturday.

The Knights cruised to a win over the Mitchell girls basketball team Saturday at the Pentagon in the fifth-place game at the Class AA girls state tournament, taking down the Kernels, 70-33.

O’Gorman wanted to play fast, according to head coach Kent Kolsrud, and the Knights did just that, racking up 18 fastbreak points, many of which came off of the 27 turnovers they forced.

“We wanted to try to get some things out of our full-court pressure,” Kolsrud said. “We’re at our best when we can play fast.”

The pressure kept the Kernels at bay all game long, as they shot 26.5% from the floor (9 of 34) for the contest.


“We struggled with their press more than I thought we would,” Mitchell head coach Dave Brooks said. “And when we did get it over, we just weren’t attacking. … Trying to get our offense set up they just pushed us out of everything. (We had to) catch it higher than we wanted to catch it and get started later than we wanted to start.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Brooks said the Kernels tried to face guard Mahli Abdouch, but the Knights countered by getting the ball to their bigs for points down low. All told, O’Gorman picked up 44 points in the paint and held Mitchell to eight.

Mitchell transitioned back to a 2-3 defense, but the Knights kept sinking shots, finishing the game at 56.9% (29 of 51) from the floor. In the first half, the Knights shot 61.5% (16 of 26) from the floor and knocked down four of their 10 3-pointers, as they opened up a 20-point lead at the break.

“When you’re down trying to get in it, it seems like every shot they throw up goes in,” Brooks said. “I knew it’d be a tough game, but it just got out of hand.”

Sawyer Stoebner paced 12th-seeded Mitchell with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Addie Siemsen added six points for the Kernels.

The Knights had three players score in double figures, as Lucy Moore and Julia Eggert each had 11. But O’Gorman was led by 17 points from the South Dakota State-commit Abdouch on 7-for-11 shooting, to go along with four assists and six steals.

“She’s just a tremendous player,” Kolsrud said of Abdouch. “She can kind of do it all. She can hit the perimeter shot, great passer, she’s really active on defense, great in transition.”

Mitchell closed its season at 10-14 and took sixth place in Class AA, while O’Gorman finished as the fifth-place squad at 19-5. But after the game, Brooks reminded his team in the locker room of how far it had come within the final week of the season.


“I wrote No. 12 on the whiteboard, then I wrote No. 6 on the whiteboard and I crossed out No. 12,” Brooks said of his message after the game. “I said, ‘You were No. 12, you ended up No. 6. Only one team gets to be No. 1. You did enough to get to No. 6 and we’re just really darn proud of you.’”

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 or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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