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Yankton's hot 3-point shooting too much for Kernels

Yankton uses 17-point effort from Matthew Mors to take down Mitchell Thursday night in the opening round of the class AA state tournament

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Mitchell's Zane Alm (40) goes to the basket past a pair of Aberdeen Central defenders during a game on Friday night at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

RAPID CITY -- The Mitchell boys basketball team gave No. 2 Yankton a scare in their opening round game of the class AA state tournament, but it wasn’t enough for the upset.

In their first trip to the state AA tournament since 2012, the Kernels showed they belonged, losing to Yankton by a score of 50-46.

Mitchell will face the loser of Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Brandon Valley on Friday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in consolation play.

From the opening tip, Mitchell controlled the tempo of the game on both ends of the floor, jumping out to a 12-1 lead after one quarter of play. Ben Helleloid and Gavyn Degen helped provide the offensive spark in the first-half, as the Mitchell guards put up 7 points a piece.

Early on the first quarter, Mitchell sophomore guard Charlie McCardle took a hit in the head from Yankton's Matthew Mors, which stopped the game. After McCardle hit the floor from the off-the-ball play with Mors, his head smacked the court. Referees did not call a foul on the play, but McCardle exited the game for brief period of time and was later sidelined with a concussion.

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The Kernels (15-7) held Yankton to just one point in the first quarter, leading 12-1. But Yankton’s Mors came alive in the second quarter. The 6-foot-7 Wisconsin-bound Mors powered his way into the lane, scoring 11 of his 17 points to end the first-half. After a pair of threes from junior guard Dylan Prouty, the Bucks tied the game at 20 with just 2 minutes left in the first-half. Despite shooting just over 20% to end the half, Yankton pulled ahead 23-22 heading into the break.

Yankton’s perimeter shooting helped widen the lead mid-way through the second-half, as the Bucks pulled ahead 40-32 after the third quarter.

The Kernels hung tight with the Bucks throughout the entire second-half, thanks to big man Zane Alm. The 6’11 senior led the way for Mitchell, posting 12 points, along with hauling in six rebounds.

With 3 minutes left in the game, Mitchell lost its leading scorer, Caden Hinker, who fouled out on an offensive charge. The junior standout left the game with the Kernels trailing by three points.

Despite Mitchell’s gritty defense causing Yankton (19-3) to shoot 27% from the field, Prouty was lights out from beyond the arc. The junior guard led Yankton with 25 points, going 7-10 from 3-point range.

Mitchell shot 41% from the field, connecting on 16-39 field goals. Degen and Helleloid tallied 10 and 9 points, respectively.

For more on the game, check back with mitchellrepublic.com.

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Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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