Mitchell boys race past Spearfish behind second-half surge, win fifth straight

No. 3 Kernels have not lost since Jan. 4 and enter the back half of their schedule at 9-2.


SPEARFISH, S.D. — After winning a pair of contests in less than 24 hours by a combined 50 points, the Mitchell High School boys basketball team is flying into the second half of its season.

Spearfish stuck with the Class AA No. 3-ranked Kernels early, but Mitchell grew its lead to as many as 26 points in the second half and cruised to a 76-56 victory over the Spartans on Saturday afternoon.

Mitchell has now won five straight games since its last loss on Jan. 4, all by at least 13 points.

Caden Hinker continued a blistering stretch of games in the scorebook, as the senior poured in 32 points on 13 of 18 shooting. Hinker is averaging 25 points per game across his last seven games, which includes six efforts of 22 points or more.

Harassing halfcourt defense flustered the Kernels early in the second quarter, allowing the home team to briefly claim a lead at 23-22. But the Kernels recomposed themselves to pull back in front 35-29 by the halftime horn.


The second half was not as competitive. Mitchell inflated its advantage to 13 points by the end of the third quarter before scoring 14 of the first 15 points of the fourth to make the score 70-44.

Hinker added six rebounds, four assists and two blocks to his 32-point outing, while Dylan Soulek put up 18 points, three rebounds and three assists and Steele Morgan had 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Mitchell shot 58.5% from the field for the game, including a scorching 18 of 25 (72%) mark after halftime.

Seth Hamilton led Spearfish (3-6) with 17 points and four assists, with Brayden Delahoyde recording 12 points and five rebounds. Ryan Heinert had 10 points for the Spartans.

The Kernels (9-2) have a six-day break from game action before hosting Sioux Falls Lincoln on Saturday, Jan. 29.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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