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Mitchell Christian girls earn 12th win with victory over Canistota

Mitchell Christian sophomore Emily Reynen, left, drives to the basket as Canistota senior Jenny Hofer, right, defends her during a high school girls’ basketball game Monday at Mitchell Christian School. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

Mitchell Christian girls’ basketball coach Jackie Van Laecken was pleased with her team’s defensive effort in the second half.

After leading by three at halftime, the Golden Eagles outscored the Hawks 33-13 in the second half. Mitchell Christian went on to defeat Canistota 55-32 Thursday to earn its 12th victory of the season.

“We started off rough and we weren’t in sync that first half,” said Van Laecken, whose team forced 15 steals. “But we got our legs underneath us and we really tightened up the defense and got some turnovers in the second half.”

The Golden Eagles spread out their offense and had four players score in double figures. Ashley Schmit led all players with 18 points and six rebounds. Alexa Van Laecken had 13 points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals, Cassidy Graham added 12 points and Emily Reynen had 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.

“We always encourage the girls to shoot and it’s tough to guard a team when you’ve got a couple girls who can score,” Van Laecken said.

The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Hawks 27-26 and committed 15 turnovers. Canistota recorded 24 turnovers and forced 16 steals in the loss.

Canistota (8-6) had two players score in double figures. Chloe Nielsen scored a team-high 14 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds for a double-double, while Jenny Hofer added 11 rebounds for Canistota, which hosts Irene-Wakonda Monday.

Monday’s game kicked off a four-game homestand for the Golden Eagles (12-1). Mitchell Christian continues Thursday as they host Ethan at 6:30 p.m. as a part of a doubleheader.

Mitchell Christian 55

Canistota 32

MCS (1-12)

Alexa Van Laecken 4 4-7 13; Abbie Reynen 0 2-2 2; Cassidy Graham 3 6-8 12; Ashley Schmit 7 4-4 18; Emily Reynen 5 0-2 10; Lindsay Thompson 0 0-0 0; Totals: 19 16-21 55.

Canistota (8-6)

Chloe Nielsen 5 4-6 14; Jenny Hofer 5 0-0 11; Morgan Larson 0 0-2 0; Kalli Ortman 2 0-0 4; Kassidy Buse 0 1-2 1; Sydney Randall 1 0-0 2; Mary Robertson 0 0-2 0; Totals: 13 5-12 32.

MCS 10 22 36 55

C 8 19 25 32

3-point goals: MCS 1 (Van Laecken), C 1 (Hofer); Rebounds: MCS 27 (E. Reynen 8, Schmit 6), C 26 (Nielsen 10); Assists: MCS 17 (Van Laecken 6, A. Reynen 4), C 10 (Nielsen 5); Steals: MCS 15 (Van Laecken 5), C 16 (Nielsen); Turnovers: MCS 15, C 24.