Harrisburg's fourth-quarter offensive outburst proves too much for Mitchell girls basketball

Jan. 24—MITCHELL — The Mitchell girls basketball team couldn't withstand a fourth-quarter charge from No. 4-ranked Harrisburg.

After the Kernels pulled to within three points, the Tigers went on an 11-0 run, icing the game with a pair of 3-pointers and five free throws to take down Mitchell, 40-29, on Tuesday night at the Corn Palace.

A third quarter where the Kernels surrendered just two points brought them back into the game after Harrisburg had taken a 20-12 lead to halftime. But Harrisburg's four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter — two from Jaylee Hofer and one each from Abigail Flanagan and Hannah Eide — proved too much for Mitchell.

"It's kind of demoralizing a little bit when that shot goes in," head coach Dave Brooks said of the late 3-pointers. "You look up and you go, 'Dang, we worked our tails off and they still got it through.' And then they hit another 3. So, six points in a close game and we're trying to crawl back, that's big."

Harrisburg knocked down seven 3-pointers on the night, while Mitchell went 2-for-16 (12.5%) from behind the arc and 12-for-49 (24.5%) from the field. Defensively, Mitchell held Harrisburg under its season average of 45.4 points and came away with 10 steals.

The bright spot for Mitchell, according to Brooks, came during the third quarter when his squad gave up two points and ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, turning what was once a 10-point game, into a three-point contest.

"I think we threw away what was bothering us and we just went and played and had some good results," Brooks said of the third quarter.

Part of the offensive struggles for the Kernels came from the physicality of the Harrisburg defense. Brooks said he felt his team did "OK" with the physicality, but that it's tough to simulate in practice. He also credited the Tigers' defense for knocking the Kernels out of rhythm on 3-point shots, saying his team didn't have as much time Tuesday as they usually do to square up to shots.

For the Kernels, Sawyer Stoebner led the team in scoring with eight points, while Addie Siemsen tacked on seven and Allison Meyerink added six. Carsyn Weich and Lauren Van Overschele each had four.

Hofer picked up 12 points for Harrisburg in the win and Flanagan had 11.

Harrisburg improved to 9-2 with the win, while the loss ended a three-game winning streak and dropped Mitchell to 5-4. The Kernels will face Rapid City Stevens on Friday, Jan. 27, at the Corn Palace for their next game.

"I guess tomorrow we will," Brooks said about gaining confidence in a loss. "Tonight, it's a loss and it hurts. ... We know it's going to be a process, and it's one loss, that's all it is. We'll take it tonight, be done tomorrow."