Golden Eagles stay unbeaten, drop Langford

For a 16-minute stretch that included eight minutes of both halves, Mitchell Christian didn't score a single two-point basket in its game Saturday against Langford.

(Matt Bunke/Republic) Mitchell Christian's Jesse Tolsma looks for a path to the basket against Langford's Michael Alberts during Saturday's game at the Corn Palace.

For a 16-minute stretch that included eight minutes of both halves, Mitchell Christian didn't score a single two-point basket in its game Saturday against Langford.

Then again, why would you want to settle for two points when you could just as easily have three.

No. 6 Mitchell Christian got 12 three-pointers from four different players Saturday as the Golden Eagles beat Langford, 64-59 in the Hanson Classic at the Corn Palace.

"Perimeter shooting is one of our strengths," Mitchell Christian coach Tom Young said. "The kids hit big shots, and I'm proud of them."

Mitchell Christian's lead stretched to as big as 33-20 in the first half when Cody Thomsen sank a three as part of a long-distance barrage from the Eagles. Mitchell Christian made seven threes in the first half alone, including five within a three minute stretch late in the half.


Mitchell Christian needed every one of its threes, given the way Langford took away the Eagles' inside game in the second half. In the first half, Tolsma dominated inside and outside for Mitchell Christian, scoring 19 points on three 3-pointers and countless layups.

But in the second half, Langford's zone defenses held Tolsma two points and made the Eagles rely on its perimeter shooting. Tolsma scored on a layup with 8:18 remaining in the first half, and didn't score again inside until Thomsen scored on a layup with 8:16 remaining in the second half.

"When they boxed Jesse in the second half, the other guys just had to step up," Young said. "We've been working a lot. We kind of knew this was coming at some point, so we were prepared for that.

"They were playing box-and-one and a triangle-and-two. They were just trying to take away our inside game and force us to shoot from the outside, and fortunately our kids hit shots."

As the Eagles three-point shooting cooled slightly, Langford clawed back into the game. The Lions were within 45-42 when Thomsen finally ended the two-point drought, and later closed to within 61-59 with 35.6 seconds left. The Lions even got the ball back with 30 seconds left when Matt Nielsen was called for an over-and-back violation bringing the ball up the floor, but Nielsen stole the ball back with 15 seconds left to help seal the win.

With Tolsma unable to heat up in the second half as he did in the first, the Eagles made just enough threes to hold off the Lions. During the 16-minute two-point drought, Mitchell Christian hit nine 3-pointers, including three from Thomsen, who hit five threes in the game and finished with 20 points.

"Cody's a good player and a good shooter, and he's been working really hard on his shot," Young said. "Coming back from a knee injury last year, I'm just happy for him with how hard he's worked. It's paying off."

Tolsma finished with a game-high 21 points for Mitchell Christian, which improved to 11-0, while Matt Beukelman had 11 points and Matt Nielson had 11 points and 10 assists.


Matt Erickson had 28 points for Langford, which fell to 5-4.

Mitchell Christian will be back in action Tuesday when the Eagles host Stickney.

What To Read Next
Get Local