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Defense leads MCS boys over Spartans

WESSINGTON SPRINGS — The Mitchell Christian boys basketball team didn't allow Wessington Springs to score more than eight points in a quarter and cruised to a 63-29 victory on Saturday in Wessington Springs.

MCS jumped all over the Spartans, taking a 18-6 lead after one quarter and leading 37-13 at halftime. The Spartans were held to 23 percent shooting (12-of-52) and committed 22 turnovers.

"We set a defensive goal to hold them under 35 points for the game and the boys did a good job coming out and focusing on taking away the inside," MCS head coach Jesse Tolsma said. "We got in the passing lanes and got out running. It was good to see them bounce back strong (from Thursday's loss to Kimball/White Lake)."

Leading the Golden Eagle offense was Alec Nelson, who finished with a game-high 22 points, including five 3-pointers. Ty Vander Pol added 13 points, Joey Feiner recorded nine points and Christian Cooper chipped in eight points.

"We got Ty going early and he really opened up the outside for our shooters," Tolsma said. "They sat in a zone for a majority of the game. We were able to get Ty established and when they collapsed down on him our shooters did a nice job of stepping up and knocking them down."

Gunnar Brandenburg scored 11 points for Wessington Springs, while Jacob Messmer added eight points. The Spartans (0-2) play Corsica-Stickney today in Corsica.

MCS (2-1) has a two-week break before taking on Prairie Seeds (Minnesota) at 11 a.m. in the Mike Miller Classic on Dec. 29 at the Corn Palace.

Tolsma said the team will use the break to rest and work on handling defensive pressure.

"It will be a really good break," Tolsma said. "We can work on our execution on the offensive end and defensive end to avoid mental breakdowns in crucial moments."

Mitchell Christian 63, Wessington Springs 29

MCS (2-1): Alec Nelson 8-15 1-1 22, Ty Vander Pol 5-11 3-9 13, Joey Feiner 4-4 1-1 9, Christian Cooper 3-5 0-0 8, Max Reynen 2-6 0-1 4, Luke Knutson 1-4 0-0 3, Riley O'Neil 1-2 1-2 3, Nathanael Anserberg 0-0 1-2 1, Zander Woodruff 0-1 0-0 0, Jens Enga 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Tegethoff 0-1 0-0 0, Colton Wolbrink 0-1 0-0 0 Totals 24-50, 7-16 63

Wessington Springs (0-2): Gunnar Brandenburg 4-11 3-4 11, Jacob Messmer 4-9 0-0 8, Isaac Kolousek 2-7 0-0 4, Tyler Kole 1-6 0-4 3, Cooper Hainy 1-2, 0-0 2, Noah Hainy 0-1 1-2 1, Houston Mees 0-2 0-0 0, Trevor Schmidt 0-3 0-0 0, Clayton Dornbusch 0-3 0-0 0, Trance Schooler 0-3 0-0 0, Lance Olinger 0-2 0-0 0, Chandler Flowers 0-3 0-0 0, Totals 12-52 4-10 29

MCS 18 37 51 63

WS 6 13 21 29

3-point goals: MCS 8-18 (Nelson 5, Cooper 2, Knutson 1), WS 1-5 (Kole 1); Rebounds: MCS 32 (Nelson 6), WS 37 (Brandenburg 7); Assists: MCS 15 (O'Neil 2), WS 4 (Messmer 1) Steals: MCS 11 (O'Neil 4), WS 6 (Brandenburg 2); Turnovers: MCS 12, WS 22.

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