Kernel girls hang on to capture road win at Brookings
The Kernels improved to 3-3 on the season and 3-0 on the road with the win Friday night.
BROOKINGS — There were no “magic words” from Mitchell girls basketball head coach Dave Brooks.
Instead, it was his squad’s will to win that pushed the Kernels to their third win of the season Friday, beating Brookings 52-50 on the road in an Eastern South Dakota Conference game.
Mitchell was up by as much as 13 in the second quarter and held a nine-point halftime lead over the Bobcats. Those advantages dwindled and with under 30 seconds left in regulation, the Kernels found themselves down 50-49.
That was until Sawyer Stoebner found Allison Meyerink under the basket for a layup that gave Mitchell the lead back with 27 seconds to go. It was one of Stoebner’s six assists on the night, to go along with 12 points, 13 rebounds, six steals and two blocks, as she collected her fifth double-double in a row.
“We’ve always said rebounding is hard work. So not only scoring points, but rebounding, is hard work,” Brooks said of Stoebner. “That’s what it takes to get wins, especially on the road. She’s a hard worker and … she just has a knack for knowing where the ball is or where it might be.”
Her 12 points tied a team-high in the contest, as Carsyn Weich also put up 12. Meyerink finished with 10, while Addie Siemsen had seven and Lauren Van Overschelde contributed six.
“She’s had potential. And we just kind of see every game (it’s) growing a little bit,” Brooks said of Weich, who poured in eight second-quarter points. “Her confidence showed tonight, she stepped up.”
The comeback charge for Brookings was led by Logan Smidt, who finished with 21 points for the Bobcats. On top of that, Mitchell had 27 turnovers and shot 10-for-29 from the free-throw line, which kept Brookings in the game.
But defensively, the Kernels came up with 13 steals and blocked 10 shots, and in the first half they limited Brookings to 18 points on 6-for-26 (23%) shooting from the field and 2-for-11 (18%) shooting from 3-point range. On the glass, Mitchell came down with 27 rebounds to the Bobcats’ 19, with 10 of Mitchell’s boards coming on the offensive glass.
Mitchell also faced a full-court press for much of the game, with the Bobcats dropping back into a zone defense. Mitchell was able to break the press a few times for layups, but it also caused a few turnovers for the Kernels, too.
“I give us maybe a C, maybe a B-minus on it,” Brooks said on how he feels his team handled the press. “Brookings, they play hard and they were after us, but our kids hung in there.”
The Kernels finished the game shooting 40% from the field, connecting on 18 of their 45 shots, and went 6-for-20 from 3-point range
Mitchell improved to 3-3 with the win and will be back in action Tuesday, Jan. 17, when the Kernels put their 3-0 road record to the test against Sioux Falls Roosevelt.
“It’s a nice thing to know they can be in a game, they can get behind, they can come back and they can win if they just stick with it,” Brooks said of his team. “I had no magic words for them, they just wanted to win.”