Ice-cold Mitchell Kernels can't keep pace after O'Gorman's early offensive onslaught

·5 min read

Feb. 17—South Dakota's cold snap seeped into the Corn Palace Tuesday.

At least for Mitchell High School.

Shot after shot clanged off the rim for the Class AA No. 4 Kernels, while Sioux Falls O'Gorman seemingly could not miss. Mitchell missed its first 11 3-point field goals of the game and finished 2-for-17, while the Knights built a 19-point halftime lead by shooting 6 of 12 from downtown and 8-for-19 for the game.

The Kernels were held under 40% shooting for the third time in six outings, this time posting a season-low 36.8% in a 60-42 loss to the Knights.

"You never tell kids to not shoot," MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. "If you want a kid to hit a shot at the end of the game, you can't tell him not to shoot at the beginning of the game. ... We have to have five guys out there and if they're open, they have to shoot and not think about it. We've got some guys thinking if they should shoot it and they can't. They have to rise up and shoot the ball."

O'Gorman's hot streak began at the opening tip, scoring the first eight points of the game and capped a 40-point first half with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Matt Eng. Ben Renshaw scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter as the Knights shot 53.3% in the first half.

Mitchell (13-4) was able to hold O'Gorman to 20 points in the second half, but the Knights used second-chance points and unexpected scorers to maintain the lead.

Up-to-date photos, stories and statistics for Mitchell basketball's 2020-2021 season

O'Gorman grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, while post Eddie Meylor capitalized on a defensive game plan that allowed him open 15-foot jumpers. Meylor scored a game-high 17 points on 7 of 16 shooting, while also snatching 11 rebounds.

"We beat a team that's had a phenomenal year and a team that's good enough to win a state tournament," O'Gorman head coach Derek Robey said. "I don't know if we played picture-perfect, but we certainly played good enough to keep them guessing all night long. We hit shots we needed to and caught them on a night they didn't shoot particularly well."

While the Knights buried open shots, Mitchell could not. With O'Gorman (10-6) repeatedly switching between man-to-man and a 1-2-2 zone, the Kernels were able to find open looks from beyond the arc, they simply would not fall.

After averaging 25.7 points per game in the previous three, Caden Hinker was held to seven points on 1 of 8 shooting. Faced with double-teams in the paint Zane Alm was forced to pass out more frequently.

As the game progressed, Mitchell passed on the first open 3-pointer on kick-out passes, worked the ball around the perimeter and found Alm for open lay-ups or one-on-one opportunities. He ultimately finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

"Our guys were prepared for what was coming," Neuendorf said. "We'd do everything the same. Hopefully we could make some more shots. ... I'm not going to say it was all about makes and misses, but a big part of it was. They made some and we missed some."

Mitchell travels to Class AA No. 2 Yankton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Sioux Falls O'Gorman 60, Mitchell 42

Sioux Falls O'Gorman (10-6): Ben Renshaw 6-10 0-0 15, Reece Arbogast 1-3 0-0 3, Kade Moffitt 4-10 2-2 11, David Alpers 2-4 0-0 4, Eddie Meylor 7-16 2-2 17, Matt Eng 3-8 0-0 8, Hadley Mauney 0-0 0-0 0, Harry Hueners 0-0 0-0 0, Rush Landry 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Shea 0-0 0-0 0, Joe Lynch 1-1 0-0 2, Emanuel Struck 0-2 0-0 0, Chad Ambroz 0-0 0-0 0, John Costello 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-54 4-4 60.

Mitchell (13-4): Caden Hinker 1-8 4-8 7, Zane Alm 5-10 5-7 15, Lucas Moller 1-4 0-0 3, Ben Helleloid 0-2 2-2 2, Dylan Soulek 3-7 1-2 7, Aiden Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Landon Waddell 0-0 0-0 0, Jonah Schmidt 1-1 0-1 2, Gavyn Degen 1-3 0-0 2, Charlie McCardle 0-1 0-0 0, Steele Morgan 2-2 0-0 4.

SFO 17 40 49 60

MHS 7 21 28 42

3-pointers: SFO 8-19 (Renshaw 3-5, Eng 2-6, Meylor 1-1, Moffitt 1-2, Arbogast 1-3, Alpers 0-1, Struck 0-1); MHS 2-17 (Moller 1-4, Hinker 1-5, Alm 0-1, Helleloid 0-1, McCardle 0-1, Degen 0-2, Soulek 0-3). Rebounds: SFO 36 (Meylor 11); MHS 22 (Alm 8). Assists: SFO 13 (Moffitt 5); MHS 9 (Helleloid 3). Steals: SFO 4 (Four players with 1); MHS 2 (Two players with 1). Blocks: SFO 1 (Lynch 1); MHS 5 (Alm 5). Fouls: SFO 16; MHS 7. Turnovers: SFO 6; MHS 7.

Sub-varsity: Freshmen: Mitchell 'A' 55, O'Gorman 50; Mitchell 'B' 42, O'Gorman 31.