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Second quarter slump hurts Mitchell at Aberdeen

ABERDEEN--A second-quarter shutout was all the space Aberdeen Central needed. The Golden Eagles, after struggling through a faltering first quarter on the offensive end, turned up the pressure on the defensive end in the second quarter and used i...

Mitchell's Payton Morgan, right and Aberdeen Central's Laura Babcock, left, battle for a ball on the floor as the Golden Eagles' Haylee Mork (25) looks on during Tuesday night's game at the Golden Eagles Arena in Aberdeen. (John Davis/Aberdeen American News)
Mitchell's Payton Morgan, right and Aberdeen Central's Laura Babcock, left, battle for a ball on the floor as the Golden Eagles' Haylee Mork (25) looks on during Tuesday night's game at the Golden Eagles Arena in Aberdeen. (John Davis/Aberdeen American News)

ABERDEEN-A second-quarter shutout was all the space Aberdeen Central needed.

The Golden Eagles, after struggling through a faltering first quarter on the offensive end, turned up the pressure on the defensive end in the second quarter and used it to to spur a 54-35 Eastern South Dakota Conference girls' basketball victory over Mitchell Tuesday night at Golden Eagles Arena.

The scoring drought lasted nearly 11 minutes for the Kernels, who never recovered in the second half.

"I thought Mitchell did a nice job in the first quarter of getting to their tempo," said Central coach Dawn Seiler. "I don't think we expended a lot of energy there. The second quarter, we got up and we defended and we created some good offense for ourselves."

The Golden Eagles, playing for the first time at home, struggled to connect on both passes and shots in the early going. Central took a few shots early in possessions and missed, which, in turn, led to more offensive opportunities for the Kernels at the other end.

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"We didn't have any rhythm on the offensive end," Seiler said. "We left a lot of points out there."

The Golden Eagle coaching staff challenged the team at the quarter break to turn up the defensive pressure in the second stanza.

It worked.

Mitchell scored its final point of the first quarter with 2:32 to play and did not hit again until the 7:21 mark of the third quarter.

"The nice things is, as we go forward, those kids will continue to get better," said Mitchell coach Wes Morgan. "Throw them to the wolves now, but teach them as we go. This is about coaching them up and about making them better as we go forward."

Despite the mid-game slump, the Kernels, who started three sophomores and a pair of juniors, played even with Aberdeen Central in the remaining three quarters, matching the hosts nearly point-for-point in the first, third and fourth stanzas.

"If we can continue to work on our stuff, get better at some things and not get that deer-in-the-headlights look, this team will be fun to be around for the next three years," Morgan said.

Paiton Burckhard finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, a pair of blocks and a steal for the Golden Eagles, keying several fast-break opportunities.

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Karli Gardner proved to be the spark on the defensive end and totaled 13 points and six steals. Melia Mounga had 12 points, getting to the free throw line a total of 10 times throughout the night.

Jenna Weich had eight points to lead the Kernels on offense. Mandy Schmidt and Tess Limberg each had six points, as well.

The Golden Eagles go back out on the road to face Pierre Friday. Mitchell will begin its West River swing on Friday, visiting Rapid City Central.

MITCHELL (0-1): Mandy Schmidt 2 0-0 6, Tess Limberg 3 0-0 6, Mackenzie Miller 1 2-6 4, Jenna Weich 2 4-4 8, Jordyn Cranny 1 0-0 3, Chelsea Brewster 0 2-2 2, Payton Morgan 1 0-0 3, Carly Haring 0 2-2 2, Brittany Robinson 0 1-2 1. Totals 10-25 11-16 35.

ABERDEEN CENTRAL (2-0): Karli Gardner 4 4-6 13, Haylee Mork 1 0-0 3, Paiton Burckhard 9 4-6 22, Melia Mounga 3 6-10 12, Jianna Gelhaus 1 0-0 3, Emma Yeske 0 1-4 1. Totals 18-38 15-26 54.

M 9 9 20 35

AC 10 30 39 54

3-point field goals - Mitchell 4-10 (Schmidt 2, Cranny, Morgan); Aberdeen Central 3-10 (Gardner, Mork, Gelhaus). Total fouls - Mitchell 18; Aberdeen Central 15. Fouled out - None. Rebounds - Mitchell 26 (Haring 5); Aberdeen Central 26 (Burckhard 10). Assists - Mitchell 5 (Limberg 2, K. Brewster 2); Aberdeen Central 12 (Mork 5, Laura Babcock 4). Turnovers - Mitchell 27; Aberdeen Central 19. Steals - Mitchell 6 (Limberg 3); Aberdeen Central 16 (Gardner 6, Mork 4).

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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