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No. 1 Kernel boys churn out 13th straight win, down O'Gorman to close regular season at 19-1

Feb. 23—SIOUX FALLS — It was business as usual for the Mitchell High School boys basketball team in Friday night's regular-season finale.

Though the Kernels were tested by O'Gorman throughout, one second-half spurt was all it took for Mitchell to take decisive control and turn back the Knights in front of a standing-room-only crowd on their home floor.

With the victory, Mitchell ends the regular season with a 19-1 record, the program's best mark since going undefeated at 23-0 in 1984-85.

"How can you complain (about 19-1)?" said Mitchell head coach Ryker Kreutzfeldt. "The biggest thing is I feel like we're getting better every night. Watching film, we're a different team than we were at the beginning of the year. ... But we're not in the tournament yet, so we have business to take care of still."

Gavin Soukup powered the effort on both ends from start to finish, collecting a game-high and season-high 23 points with four 3-pointers and seven rebounds.

"Soukup's the guy who had the energy going for us all night," sophomore Colton Smith said. "He got us going and helped us out a lot tonight."

A fast start by O'Gorman (10-10) saw the Knights take a 13-11 lead into the second quarter and create a six-point lead early in the frame. But the Kernels pushed back and led 31-27 at halftime.

From there, an 11-1 run during the opening four minutes of the second half broke the contest open, creating Mitchell's largest lead of the night at 42-28. Despite the Knights' efforts, they were never able to whittle the deficit down to closer than two possessions the rest of the way.

"It kind of felt like that run was coming eventually," Kreutzfeldt said. "I thought we were doing things well — getting good shots, rebounding hard and defending pretty well — and that's the recipe for going on one of those runs. Thankfully, we did."

In a last gasp, Caleb Terveen buried a corner 3-pointer to draw O'Gorman within eight points with 1:22 remaining, but it ended as the final points the Knights mustered, as the Kernels closed out the win.

Alongside Soukup's final tally, Colton Smith put up 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Markus Talley tacked on 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Gavin Hinker had five points and snagged eight boards.

For the Knights, Nyun Dut scored 14 points to lead the way, while Caleb Terveen offered 13 points and two steals. Austin Terveen added 11 points, and Hayden Groos had five points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

With the regular season wrapped up, Mitchell now turns its attention to the SoDak 16, where the No. 1 seed is secured and an opponent will be determined following the final action of the Class AA regular season on Saturday.

Mitchell 60, O'Gorman 50

Mitchell (19-1): Gavin Soukup 6-13 7-7 23, Colton Smith 8-12 2-4 19, Markus Talley 5-14 0-1 10, Gavin Hinker 2-3 1-4 5, Parker Mandel 1-2 1-1 3, Landen Soulek 0-3 0-0 0, Nic Moller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-47 11-17 60.

O'Gorman (10-10): Nyun Dut 5-13 2-2 14, Caleb Terveen 5-9 0-0 13, Austin Terveen 4-12 3-4 11, Hayden Groos 2-6 0-0 5, Ryland Satter 1-7 0-1 2, Henry Theobald 1-5 0-0 3, Jackson Bjorkman 1-1 0-0 2, James Stewart 0-2 0-0 0, Taten Mauney 0-3 0-0 0, Million Amare 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-58 5-7 50.

MHS 11 31 45 60

OG 13 27 37 50

3-pointers: MHS 5-18 (Soukup 4-8, Smith 1-2, Mandel 0-1, Soulek 0-3, Talley 0-4), OG 7-28 (C. Terveen 3-6, Dut 2-6, Groos 1-2, Theobald 1-4, Stewart 0-2, Mauney 0-2, A. Terveen 0-3, Satter 0-3). Rebounds: MHS 37 (Talley 8, Hinker 8, Smith 7, Soukup 7), OG 20 (Satter 4, Groos 4). Assists: MHS 11 (Talley 5, Smith 3), OG 7 (Groos 3). Steals: MHS 4 (Talley 2), OG 8. Blocks: MHS 1 (Mandel), OG 0.

MHS subvarsity scores

Junior varsity: O'Gorman 64, Mitchell 46. Lincoln Bottum scored 11 points and Luke LeBrun added 10 points.

Sophomore: O'Gorman 50, Mitchell 47. LeBrun tacked on 11 points to his tally and Owen Raml chipped in 10 points.

Freshman A: O'Gorman 57, Mitchell 27.