Strong second half propels Mitchell girls on the road, improving to 15-0

Feb. 6—ABERDEEN, S.D. — For two quarters, Mitchell High School girls basketball was kept in check by Aberdeen Central, knowing it was going to take a strong back half of the game to come out with a road win.

Then, the shots began to fall in quick succession.

Riding a 56.3% second-half shooting performance, the Class AA No. 2 Kernels came through to down the Golden Eagles 51-39 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference contest. With the victory, Mitchell remains undefeated, improving to 15-0. The Kernels also held their opponents a 25% shooting percentage from the three-point line.

Sawyer Stoebner opened the scoring with a quick layup, also beginning a brief 6-0 Kernels run. Taryn Hermansen put the Golden Eagles on the board, bringing them back to within two while Mitchell was held scoreless for nearly four minutes in the first quarter. A Stoebner 3-point basket with 2:31 left catapulted a 9-2 run for Mitchell to end the first.

In the second quarter, Hermansen brought the Golden Eagles to within five points of the lead. Lauryn Burckhard's consecutive jumpers with 2:49 remaining in the first half brought Aberdeen Central within a single possession of the Kernels' lead, going into the locker room with Mitchell on top 21-18.

The Golden Eagles were able to tie the game early in the third quarter, but the Kernels got into a rhythm from behind the arc, draining four consecutive 3-pointers en route to opening a nine-point lead at the end of the third quarter, only growing when the final buzzer sounded. In all, Mitchell was 6-of-10 from the 3-point line in the second half, and shot 42.1% from there for the game.

Stoebner led the Kernels' offense with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, collecting four rebounds, six assists, and nine steals. Lauren Van Overschelde was 4-of-7 behind the arc, finishing with 14 points. Allison Meyerink scored six points and grabbed four rebounds, and Addie Siemsen had six points and a pair of steals.

Despite the loss, Aberdeen Central (8-6) outshot Mitchell for the game 47.1% to 42.1% and outrebounded the Kernels 29-18. Burckhard led the Golden Eagles with 17 points, shooting 70% from the field. Hermansen collected a game-high seven rebounds and finished with nine points. Emma Dohrer had four points and six rebounds off the bench.

Mitchell (15-0) now has a week off before returning to the court and beginning a stretch of four straight home games. The Kernels take on Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Corn Palace.