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Mickelson breaks all-time record for threes in blowout win over Jackson County

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

On Tuesday night inside the Jackson County High School gym, senior guard Chloe Mickelson cemented her status as one of the best shooters St. James girls basketball has seen, knocking down her program-record 127th career three-pointer in a 65-48 win over Jackson County Central.

Mickelson tied the record in the season opener on Saturday in New Ulm, and early on, got her shot at the record.

"About the second play of the game I had an open three-pointer," recalled Mickelson. "I got the ball, set my feet, and shot the record-breaking shot. Once the ball released off my fingertips I knew it was on the one.

"I've been working for this moment for years I've been a part of many different teams over the course of five years, and I'm grateful for all the memories and the time I've gotten to have with each and every teammate of mine. It means the world to me that I was able to do this before leaving this growing program."

Following the bucket, Mickelson's teammates and the fans who traveled to Jackson erupted in a cheer for the senior captain.

"That was the moment I knew I had something to be proud about and I've been working for his moment my whole career."

"In her years on varsity, Chloe has a passion for basketball and the desire to be better," said head coach Steve Witcraft. "Chloe has been dedicated to the basketball program and is a great role model for our younger kids to emulate."

Taylor Sodeman scored 20 points to lead the Saints, while Mickelson finished with 19 and connected on three three-pointers. 

In the season opener on Saturday night, Sodeman's big second half led the St. James girls basketball team to its first win over New Ulm since 2013 in a thrilling 76-71 fashion.

St. James led by as much as nine in the first half, but the Eagles closed the gap to 37-32 at halftime. Addie Bowers had eight going into the break and connected on a pair of threes in the half.

In the second half, Sodeman took over, scoring 20 of her game-high 26 points in the final 18:00. Sodeman also reeled in nine rebounds.

"It was a great team victory with nine different girls in the scoring column," said Witcraft. "We subbed a lot to keep everyone fresh and I thought our depth played a huge factor in the win."

Despite Sodeman's onslaught, neither team could stretch a lead past five points.

Ellie Becker drilled a clutch three late to help salt the game away.

St. James lived at the free-throw line all night, attempting 45 shots from the charity stripe. Jaelyn Haler shot 8/9 and Sodeman was 8/10 from the line.

Haler scored 13 on the night and hauled in 12 rebounds. Bowers finished with ten, Becker and Mickelson each finished with six. Kelsey Grunewald finished with five points and 11 rebounds. Lunden Swanson and Torri Mohwinkel each had four. Mohwinkel led the Saints with three assists. Maddie Brey finished with two.

With the victory, the Saints are 1-0 in conference play for the first time since the '06-'07 season. 

The Saints (2-0) face off against Fairmont on Thursday in St. James. The matchup will be the first of the year for the Cardinals, who finished the '19-'20 season at 15-11.