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Late defensive stand pushes Golden Eagles over Vikings

Mitchell Christian's Christian Cooper, left, drives to the basket as James Valley Christian's Darrian Hood, right, defends him during a boys basketball game on Tuesday at MCS. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

A late defensive stand by the Mitchell Christian boys basketball team pushed the Golden Eagles past James Valley Christian 55-54 on Tuesday in Mitchell.

Trailing by a point, Riley O'Neill scored the go-ahead field goal with roughly 40 seconds left. JVC's ensuing possession resulted is a missed field goal and jump ball with the Vikings keeping the ball. After a inbound pass, the ball was stolen by Colton Wolbrink, who was able to dribble out the remaining time for the win.

"Colton did a really nice job reading (the pass)," MCS head coach Jesse Tolsma said. "It was a great defensive stop to win the game for the boys. They did a nice job focusing and taking away James Valley's strengths."

The Golden Eagles picked up their second straight win after beating Sunshine Bible Academy on Monday and Tolsma credditted his team for working hard.

"They were excited and it's great to see all that hard work paying off," Tolsma said. "Defense has the ability to win games and it's cool for them to see that."

Offensively, MCS had a balanced attack with three players finishing in double figures. O'Neill led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Christian Cooper and Ty Vander Pol each added 10 points.

"We want to be unselfish with the ball and we want to find the open shot," Tolsma said. "That's what we've been working on and preaching. We shared the ball and knocked down open shots."

For JVC, Darrian Hood finished with a game-high 15 points. Ryan Wager scored 14 points and Michael Waldner added 13 points.

MCS (6-10) plays Hanson on Thursday in Alexandria, while JVC (7-11) plays Estelline on Saturday in Huron.

Mitchell Christian 55, James Valley Christian 54

JVC (7-11): Ryan Wager 0 2-2 14, Josh Wieting 3 0-0 6, Michael Waldner 5 3-4 13, Darrian Hood 6 3-5 15, Braden Held 3 0-0 6, Totals 17 8-11 54.

MCS (6-10): Riley O'Neill 7-10 0-0 14, Colton Wolbrink 3-3 3-3 9, Alec Nelson 2-8 2-2 6, Christian Cooper 4-9 2-2 10, Joey Feiner 0-1 0-0 0, Ty Vander Pol 3-8 4-7 10, Andy Scherrer 2-3 2-3 6, Totals 21-42 13-17 55.

JVC 12 25 41 54

MCS 15 28 45 55

3-point goals: JVC 4 (Wager 4), MCS 0-9, ; Rebounds: MCS 30 (Cooper 7); Assists: MCS 16 (Wolbrink 5); Steals: MCS 12 (Nelson 4); Blocks: MCS 2 (Nelson 2); Fouls: MCS 16; Turnovers: MCS 22.