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Mitchell’s Neil Schlimgen (25) hesitates before a shot attempt as Aberdeen Central’s Cannon Hannigan (22) defends during Tuesday night’s game at the Golden Eagles Arena. Looking on are Central’s Logan Stubbe (12) and Mitchell’s Kanin Nelson (35). (John Davis/American News)

Mitchell boys fall to Aberdeen Central 58-55

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By DAVE VILHAUER

Aberdeen American News

ABERDEEN — Aberdeen Central used a little teamwork to hold off the Mitchell Kernels Tuesday night.

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The Golden Eagles scored on three-straight possessions down the stretch to turn back Mitchell 58-55 in an Eastern South Dakota Conference boys’ basketball victory at Golden Eagles Arena.

“I think that’s something that we’ve struggled on this year, is being able to find that easy shot when we need it and we were able to do it,” said Central coach Brent Norberg.

The Eagles, who led by as many as six points on several occasions in the third quarter and by four in the final period, trailed 53-52 with 90 seconds left before coming up big.

Tyler Block scored inside, Anthony Bachmeier hit a short jumper and Logan LeGrand made two free throws to key the surge.

Mitchell had two chances in the final 20 seconds, but turned the ball over on one possession and had a shot blocked on another.

“This was a ball game where two good teams were just battling it out,” said Mitchell coach Erik Skoglund. “Real hungry players on the floor, both teams just searching for a win, something to really turn the season around. They just made a couple more buckets at the end.”

Central needed to make a few buckets at the end, because Derek Miller was making three-pointers from the corners. The senior nailed five three-pointers in all the last of which tied the score at 52-52 with 2:12 remaining. He then gave Mitchell a lead on a free throw before Central’s final spurt.

“When you get the wide open shots, it’s easy to hit down,” Miller said. “You’re in rotation, everything is on balance. It really makes it easy for me. I give credit to Beau (Brown) for every single one of those. He’s the guy throwing me the ball.”

In the end, however, Central was tough under fire to produce the triumph.

“We needed a big win,” said LeGrand. “We pulled through. It was a team effort.”

Block score nine points and gave the Eagles a strong low-post presence with the game on the line.

“I thought Tyler Block was huge down the stretch,” Norberg said, “some good post moves.”

Bachmeier contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds.

“Anthony Bachmeier made some big plays,” Norberg noted.

Of course, then there was the steady LeGrand, who led all scorers with 19 points.

“Logan is Logan. I expect that of him,” Norberg said. “He’s a great player. He’s our leader. He’s our guy that we want the ball in his hands.”

Miller finished with 16 points for Mitchell, while Brown followed with 10.

“We came here and competed for 32 minutes on the floor,” Skoglund said, “and Aberdeen just made the plays down the stretch that they needed to win the ball game.”

The contest marked the second time this season that Central edged Mitchell by three points. The two district foes could meet again in the postseason.

“It was very similar to the game down there,” Norberg said of the victory, “If we play a third time it will probably be the same way.”

Central, 3-12 overall and 2-8 in the ESD, heads to Pierre on Friday for another conference contest.

“They’re good,” Norberg said. “Out there it’s really tough to play them, but we’re excited for the opportunity.”

Mitchell is off for a week before traveling to Huron to play the rival Tigers Tuesday.

MItchell 55

Aberdeen Central 58

MIT (1-15, 1-10 ESD)

Jaron Weich 1 0-0 3, Derek Miller 5 1-2 16, Beau Brown 3 4-4 10, Neil Schlimgen 3 2-5 8, Kanin Nelson 1 4-6 6, Connor Morgan 1 0-0 3, Carter Brewster 0 0-2 0, Ethan Jones 1 5-5 7, Jon Jamison 1 0-0 2. Totals 16-55 16-24 55.

AC (3-12, 2-8 ESD)

Anthony Bachmeier 5 0-0 11, Jacob Goehring 1 2-3 4, Logan LeGrand 4 10-12 19, Tevin Johnson 1 0-0 3, Tyler Block 4 1-2 9, Jesse Babcock 3 0-0 6, Logan Stubbe 0 0-1 0, Cannon Hannigan 2 0-0 6. Totals 20-49 13-18 58.

Mitchell 12 31 40 55

Aberdeen Central 13 25 44 58

3-point field goals — Weich, Miller 5, Morgan, Bachmeier, LeGrand, Johnson, Hannigan 2. Total fouls — Mitchell 18; Aberdeen Central 22. Rebounds — Mitchell 36 (Brown 7); Aberdeen Central 41 (Bachmeier 13). Turnovers — Mitchell 8; Aberdeen Central 13. Assists — Mitchell 5 (Brown 4); Aberdeen Central 10 (Goehring 3, LeGrand 3). Blocked Shots — Mitchell 2; Aberdeen Central 4 (Johnson 2). Steals — Mitchell 3; Aberdeen Central 4 (Johnson 2). Officials — Levi Pearson, Eric Donat and Ryan Neal.

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