The Pierre T.F. Riggs Governors girls basketball team hosted the Mitchell Kernels in an ESD Conference game at Riggs Gymnasium in Pierre on Tuesday. The Kernels came away with a 50-45 victory.
The Govs jumped out to a nine-point lead, but the Kernels answered back to take a 13-12 lead after the first quarter. They extended that lead to 26-23 at halftime. Like they did in the first half, the Govs started the second half by jumping out to a lead. Again, the Kernels responded to take a 38-34 lead after three quarters. Clutch baskets by the Kernels and turnovers by the Govs led to the Kernels outscoring the Govs 12-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Govs made nine of 16 free throws, while the Kernels made 14 of 28. The Kernels held a slight 25-22 rebounding advantage, with a good amount of the Kernels rebounds coming on the offensive end, particularly during free throws. The Govs had 28 turnovers, while the Kernels had 21 turnovers.
Govs coach Kirk Beebout told the Capital Journal that the game was pretty much what they expected it to be. The Govs and Kernels met earlier this season in Mitchell, with the Kernels winning 46-36.
“We knew it was going to be physical, and that they were going to bring a lot of ball pressure,” Beebout said. “I figured it was going to be a close game. They made some plays down the stretch, but we didn’t give up. We kept giving ourselves chance after chance after chance. We just didn’t break through and convert on those chances. That was ultimately our demise.”
Beebout said that hitting the glass, and taking away offensive rebounds was a focus coming into the game.
“It’s always a concern,” Beebout said. “I wished we could’ve done better. The girls are trying, but sometimes the other team just has a good offensive rebounder.”
The Govs were led by sophomore guard Remington Price, who had 21 points. Sophomore forward Ayvrie Kaiser had 10 points, while senior forward Caytee Williams had eight points.
The Kernels were led by senior forward Macy Kempf, who had 13 points. Senior guard Camryn Krogman had 11 points. Freshman guard Sawyer Stoebner and junior guard Sarah Sebert each had seven points.
The No. 2 ranked Kernels (11-2) will play two more games this week, with both being at home in the Corn Palace. They will host the No. 15 ranked Sturgis Brown Scoopers (5-9) on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. The Kernels will end the week against the No. 14 ranked Spearfish Spartans (5-8) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
It doesn’t get any easier for the No. 9 ranked Pierre T.F. Riggs Governors (6-7), as they will travel to Sioux Falls to take on the No. 5 ranked Sioux Falls Washington Warriors (8-2) on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. Beebout said the team has to take one game at a time.
“I know Washington is super good,” Beebout said. “They’ve got two Division I basketball players. Our thing is that we’re going to have to go in and compete, not back down and do the things that we do first and foremost.”
Beebout said his team has to work on staying positive.
“We’ve got to work on staying positive and sticking together,” Beebout said. “Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes shots fall, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you get a call, and sometimes you don’t. As long as we stay positive and keep working together, we’ll be fine.”
Before the game, four seniors on the Pierre Swim Team were honored. Those seniors were Morgan Nelson, Morkeia Mutchelknaus, Seneca Hertel and William Hodges. Halftime saw a performance by the drumline.