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MOUNT VERNON -- Jared Long said he's not a shooter. Still, that did not stop the Mount Vernon/Plankinton guard from filling up the box score in a boys' basketball game last week against Ethan. Long finished the game with a career-high 40 points and the Titans won the game 87-75. "I am not much of a shooter," Long said.
When Mitchell Christian's Jackson Feiner knocked down a game-tying 3-pointer with a minute left in a District 10 battle against Kimball/White Lake Thursday night, KWL coach Kamden Miller had all his timeouts and knew he could make a very long game. But Miller did not need to prolong the contest, because on the very next possession, KWL point guard Jesse Taylor picked the pocket of MCHS point guard Keegan Larson-Shields, raced down the court and finished with a layup to put the WiLdKats on top 57-55.
The Mitchell Christian girls' basketball team's defense rose to the occasion. The Eagles forced 34 turnovers en route to a 44-34 victory over Kimball/White Lake Thursday at Mitchell Christian School. "We are just so proud of these girls. They played the defensive game of their lives," Mitchell Christian head coach Jackie Van Laecken said. The WiLdKats and Eagles were locked in a defensive struggle in the first half, which saw neither team crack the 15-point barrier. By half's end, the score was 14-13 with Mitchell Christian leading.
On the basketball court, Alexa Van Laecken and Becca Glanzer form a bond like hydrogen and oxygen. The duo has a connection that is fueled by their friendship on and off the court. "Basketball would not be the same without Alexa," Glanzer said. "I love her as a friend and love playing basketball with her." The juniors, who have both played varsity basketball at Mitchell Christian since they were in the seventh grade and share the same birthday, spend almost as much time off the court as they do on the court.
Defense will take center stage for the Mitchell Christian boys' basketball team this season. The Eagles, who finished 5-17 last season, look to make a run at the state tournament this season with strong team defense. "Defense is an extra point of emphasis for our team this year," second-year MCHS head coach Dennis Martin said. Martin has been with the program for five seasons.
The Mitchell Christian girls' basketball team is young, but experienced. The Eagles only return one senior and have a slew of eighth-, ninth- and tenth-graders. Still, they have four returning starters from last year's squad that finished 8-13. "We are really excited about this season," MCHS head coach Jackie Van Laecken said before Monday's practice. "We have all but one of our starters back. We have had some great practices and the team is really meshing well.
WINNER -- Scott Assman dominated his 195 weight class en route to a first-place finish Saturday at the Kimball wrestling tournament. "I just came out wrestled my hardest and tried to get as many points as I could for my team," Assman said. The junior pinned all three of his opponents, including two first-period pins, and helped his team finish third in the tournament, behind Phillip and Wagner High School.
This fall, Salem native Shayne Gottlob has had an impact on the football field for South Dakota State, although weekly box scores don't reflect it. In fact, Gottlob is not on the official roster for the Jackrabbits and has not played a single down this season. That's because he's redshirting in his first season with SDSU, like many incoming freshmen do. And although he cannot get any field time due to his redshirt status, Gottlob's mark has been made on the practice field in Brookings, where he has been named scout team offensive player of the week three times.
When the Mitchell Marlin varsity girls' hockey team takes the ice tonight in Rapid City, it will be the first time the team does so as a complete unit. "(Tonight) is the night we find out what we are made of," Marlins head coach Randy Rezac said. "We've had a few preseason games, but in those games we never had a full lineup." The Marlins scrimmaged a variety of opponents this preseason, including teams from Luverne, Minn., Worthington, Minn., and South Dakota opponents Brookings and Sioux Falls.
The Mitchell High School football team may have finished 1-8 on the field this season, but linebacker Kirby Fuerst's 11AA all-state honorable mention selection can be seen as somewhat of a bright spot for the Kernels. "I think it's a great honor that I got selected," Fuerst said. "It feels good to end my career with an honorable mention honor." The senior finished the season with 93 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and two interceptions. "I am excited for him and his teammates," Mitchell head coach Kent VanOverschelde said, referring to Fuerst's honor.