Shakopee used a strong second half, buoyed by the reemergence of star forward Steffon Mitchell, to pull away from Roseville for a 64-53 victory in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

In the first half, Mitchell, a 6-foot-7 Star Tribune All-Metro forward, fought to find his game. Knowing what Mitchell had meant to them all season, his teammates made sure the game was still in reach until his won his battle.

“That was probably the worst first half I’ve ever played,” said Mitchell, who averaged 24.6 points per game during the season.

He scored just two points before halftime, both on free throws, as Roseville, making its first state tournament berth since 1997, took a 25-22 halftime lead.

That deficit could have been worse if not for Shakopee’s depth. The Sabers’ role players -- including Tevin Killeen, Drew Hanbury, Tyler Gaebel and Taylor Triplett – helped keep the game close until Mitchell could get on track.

“That was the story of the game, I think,” coach Bruce Kugath said. “The quality of our bench allowed us to remain strong.”

Mitchell asserted himself by scoring 17 of his 19 points after halftime. He punctuated his efforts with a stretch in which he scored 11 of Shakopee’s 13 points, helping turn a close game into a comfortable victory.

Mitchell gave credit to his teammates for his improved second half.

“They told me at halftime that I’m the best player on this team and to just go out and play like it,” he said. “That helped a lot.”

First report

Steffon Mitchell made up for a quiet first half in a very loud way, scoring 17 of his 19 points in the second half to help Shakopee pull away from Roseville 64-53 in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

Roseville led 25-22 at halftime but Shakopee, using its size advantage, used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to take the lead for good, 43-34.

Mitchell, a 6-7 junior forward and Star Tribune first team All-Metro selection, stymied any chance of a Roseville comeback by scoring 11 of Shakopee’s 13 points during on e second-half stretch.

Shakopee (23-7) will face Champlin Park in Thursday’s semfinals.

Check back later for more on the game.