Slow second half plagues Kernel girls basketball against Rapid City Stevens
Stevens opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, erasing the 25-24 advantage the Kernels held at half. The Raiders never gave the lead back.
MITCHELL — Rapid City Stevens came out of the halftime break firing.
Despite a halftime lead for the Mitchell girls basketball team, the Raiders outscored the Kernels 32-12 in the second half en route to a 56-37 win Friday night at the Corn Palace.
Stevens, which was ranked tied for fifth in Class AA in the most recent South Dakota Prep Media poll, opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, erasing the 25-24 advantage the Kernels held after the first 16 minutes. The Raiders outscored Mitchell 18-6 in the third quarter and the Kernels never reclaimed the lead in the final 16 minutes.
“The third quarter, I think, was our undoing,” head coach Dave Brooks said. “We tried with that (full-court) press to get back. … And I think the second half we were getting tired out there.”
The Raiders got out in transition against Mitchell, something not many teams have consistently done this season. Brooks said the Kernels haven’t seen too many transition teams, and that halfway through the season Stevens has been able to “perfect” getting the ball in transition, something he knew the Raiders had been working on dating back to the beginning of the year.
In the first half, Mitchell trailed by as many as three points, but a 7-0 run in the second quarter gave the Kernels a four-point lead — their largest advantage of the night. Brooks said his squad matched the Raiders’ intensity and speed during the opening two quarters, as well.
“We were making some shots, Addie (Siemsen) hit a couple big 3s,” Brooks said of the first half success. “I think we were fresher.”
Sawyer Stoebner led Mitchell offensively, pouring in 14 points, pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out five assists. She also tacked on four steals and six blocks. Addie Siemsen also hit double-digit points for Mitchell, chipping in 11 points, including 10 in the first half, while Lauren Van Overschelde had six.
Offensively, though, the Kernels are averaging 33 points per game over their last two, having scored 29 against Harrisburg and 36 against Stevens. Prior to those two games, the Kernels were averaging 55 points per game during their three-game winning streak.
Nine players scored for Stevens (10-2), led by 14 from Hailey Oswald and 12 from Taaliyah Porter.
Mitchell fell to 5-5 with the loss but will have a quick turnaround, hosting Rapid City Central on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
“I can’t fault the effort. Sometimes you play your tail off and you lose, and that’s sports,” Brooks said. “They’re looking forward to coming back (Saturday) with a good chance. We can’t sit here and think about this one very much.”