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Third-quarter surge sends No. 1 O'Gorman past No. 2 Mitchell in Class AA girls clash

Feb. 23—SIOUX FALLS — For a half, No. 2 Mitchell gave unbeaten No. 1 O'Gorman everything it could handle and then some.

But as the contest wore on, the Knights' top-ranked scoring defense clamped down, creating a game-defining second-half run that vaulted O'Gorman to a 51-35 victory in front of a capacity crowd on Friday night at O'Gorman High School.

With Mitchell leading 26-22 at halftime, O'Gorman came out of the locker room and stretched out a 19-2 run that spanned the entire third quarter and into the fourth, swinging the game firmly into the Knights' control.

"Give Mitchell a ton of credit. They came in with a really nice game plan and were ready to play," said O'Gorman head coach Kent Kolsrud. "... In that third quarter, we got some stops and some rebounds; and then made some big shots and big plays. I'm proud of our kids because they really responded to adversity."

But in the first half, no star shined brighter than that of Mitchell senior Sawyer Stoebner, who erupted for 20 points in the opening 16 minutes.

O'Gorman led 10-8 after the first quarter courtesy of a Mahli Abdouch 3-pointer to beat the buzzer. But as Stoebner dropped in 14 of her points in the second quarter, it spurred the Kernels to their first-half advantage and, on the flip side, made the Knights face a rare halftime deficit.

"If we had any doubts about if we could play with them, I think that first half erased them," said Mitchell head coach Dave Brooks. "The locker room was in a good place at halftime. And, obviously, Sawyer had a monster first half and really carried us there."

In the second half, O'Gorman's big run — aided by a defensive switch from zone to playing more man-to-man — pushed the score to 39-28 heading into the fourth quarter. During the final period, an Addie Siemsen 3-pointer helped the Kernels stem the tide, but the damage had already been done.

"We always talk about the first three minutes of the second half being big, but our first three or four possessions, we got nothing out of them," Brooks said. "We couldn't get anything done; they were going down and scoring, and all of a sudden, momentum had shifted, and we couldn't get it back. But the kids were still playing hard."

O'Gorman (20-0) slammed the door shut on any potential Mitchell (18-2) comeback with two more Abdouch triples, and the Knights closed out a double-digit win, as they have in all but one of 20 games.

"It was just a great high school basketball game with two really good teams going head-to-head in a fun environment," Kolsrud said. "I'm just proud of our kids for finding a way to win; we're certainly excited."

Powered by six 3s, Abdouch paced O'Gorman at 23 points, with Lucy Moore, Sydney Terveen and Julia Eggert chipping in seven points apiece. Paydyn Peterson and Ruby Moore each made a 3-pointer off the bench for the Knights.

Stoebner finished with 24 points to lead all scorers along with eight rebounds and three steals. Siemsen scored five points, Meyerink tacked on four points and six rebounds and Van Overschelde had two to round out the Kernels' scoring. Mitchell shot 13-for-44 (29.5%) as a team and had 20 turnovers.

Both teams await seeding into the Class AA SoDak 16, which will be finalized following the conclusion of Saturday's games. Heading into Friday night's action the Knights and Kernels stood at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the seed-point standings.

O'Gorman 51, Mitchell 35

O'Gorman (20-0): Mahli Abdouch 23, Lucy Moore 7, Sydney Terveen 7, Julia Eggert 7,

Paydyn Peterson 4, Ruby Moore 3, Aweng Akoi 0, Tyla Mauney 0, Abby Mikuska 0, Clare Benson 0, Ruth Dvoracek 0, Kyra Hermanson 0, Lizzie Kattman 0. Total: 51.

Mitchell (18-2): Sawyer Stoebner 8-16 5-6 24, Addie Siemsen 2-11 0-0 5, Allison Meyerink 2-4 0-1 4, Lauren Van Overschelde 1-7 0-1 2, Breanna Kirsch 0-1 0-0 0, Makenzie Peterson 0-2 0-0 0, Carsyn Weich 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 13-44 5-8 35.

MHS 8 26 28 35

OG 10 22 39 51

3-pointers: MHS 4-16 (Stoebner 3-6, Siemsen 1-5, Van Overschelde 0-3, Weich 0-2). Rebounds: MHS 24 (Stoebner 8, Meyerink 6), OG 24. Assists: MHS 4 (Stoebner 2). Steals: MHS 8 (Stoebner 3). Blocks: MHS 2 (Stoebner).