Third-ranked Mitchell boys pull away from Rapid City Central in second half to complete West River road sweep

The victory likely sets up a Class AA No. 1 versus No. 3 showdown between the Kernels (9-2) and undefeated Sioux Falls Jefferson on Tuesday in Sioux Falls.

Mitchell Republic file art

RAPID CITY — Two days, two more wins for the Mitchell High School boys basketball team.

After scraping by Stevens on Friday night, the No. 3-ranked Kernels ventured across town and completed the weekend sweep, pulling away after halftime to defeat Rapid City Central, 72-48 on Saturday afternoon at Naasz Gymnasium.

It was Mitchell's sixth win in its last seven games and the fourth time this season going over 70 points for the second-best scoring team in Class AA. The victory likely sets up a Class AA No. 1 versus No. 3 showdown between the Kernels (9-2) and undefeated Sioux Falls Jefferson on Tuesday in Sioux Falls.

Unlike Friday night's game against Stevens where the Kernel defense dominated in the early going, the Cobblers were able to keep pace throughout the first quarter. But after a Charlie McCardle steal and breakaway layup in the closing seconds of the quarter edged Mitchell in front 15-14, the home team never led again.

After the Cobblers tied the score at 18-all in the second quarter, the Kernels held Central scoreless for more than 4 1/2 minutes straight and used a 9-0 spurt to create a 27-18 lead. A pair of 3s by Central's Jet Janvrin brought the margin down to a single possession, but were almost immediately answered by back-to-back 3s from Aiden Myers to restore a nine-point Mitchell lead at halftime, 33-24.


The Cobblers weren't able to pull any closer than seven points (40-33) in the third quarter, with a 17-5 Kernel run over the final 4:45 of the third quarter giving the visitors complete control at 57-38 entering the final eight minutes. And the lead continued to expand from there as Mitchell never led by less than 17 points and the 24-point final margin was the largest of the contest.

Off the bench for Mitchell, Gavin Soukup led all scorers with 16 points, including three 3-pointers and a traditional three-point play, and Colton Smith also recorded a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double with three steals. Steele Morgan notched 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Myers and Dylan Soulek each scored 10 points. Myers also finished with six assists, and Soulek chipped in six rebounds and four assists.

For the game, Mitchell shot 48.3% — including 17 of 31 (54.8%) in the second half — compared to the Cobblers' 36%.

Central (6-7) got 14 points and three blocked shots from Shun-Zi White Woman along with 13 points from Janvrin.

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.
What To Read Next
Get Local