By Noah Dalton
Coming off back-to-back strong performances in the North Daviess Girls Basketball Invitational tournament on Saturday, Mitchell High School were not able to keep that momentum going into their next game, as they were defeated on the road on Thursday by Patoka Lake Athletic Conference opponent Crawford County, 67-47.
One of the primary factors in the Bluejackets’ success in last weekend’s tournament was their defense, which forced 24 turnovers against Clay City and held them to just 26 points in the first game. In the second matchup, they were able to take the ball away from Rock Creek Academy 11 times in the first half on their way to an early lead.
Against the Wolfpack, Mitchell found themselves on the other end of crushing defensive pressure, as they gave the ball away 20 times in the game on Thursday, opposed to just six from Crawford County.
“This comes down to not turning the ball over, especially against competition like we played tonight,” Bluejackets coach Tim Haworth said. “Turnovers were probably the main issue for us. Take away those and you never know what’s going to happen.”
The 67 points allowed to the Wolfpack is one of the highest totals that Mitchell has given up this season so far, with only Lanesville and Bedford North Lawrence topping the total.
Haworth credited the dynamic Crawford County offense, who seemed to have an answer for everything the Bluejackets threw their way.
“They’ve got a good ballclub. I mean, we knew that coming down. And they have three kids, three weapons out on the perimeter, so when you take one thing away from them, then the other kids responded,” he said.
“Number 30 (Emily Kerce), she got them started off and when we tried to make that adjustment then the other ones picked up the slack, so that’s what a good balanced team does and they had an answer for things that we were trying to throw their way,” he continued.
Kerce started the game off strong for the Wolfpack, scoring eight in the first quarter, including shooting a perfect 2/2 from behind the three-point line. She, as well as guard Maddyson Sturgeon, who scored six, accounted for all of Crawford County’s first quarter points.
Despite those two getting off to a hot start, Mitchell was able to hang around in the game in the first, scoring 10 points of their own.
It was the second quarter where the game began to get away from the Bluejackets, as the Wolfpack were able to score 21 points, compared to 11 from Mitchell in the period, propelling their lead to 14 at the half.
Coming out of halftime, the Wolfpack picked up right where they left off, extending their lead to as much as 25 points midway through the quarter. Despite the massive deficit, the Bluejackets did not throw in the towel and went on to make their biggest run of the game, trimming the lead down to 10 by the end of the third, after a 10-0 run. It would prove to be too little too late, with Mitchell unable to complete the compete, ultimately losing in the end.
Despite the loss, Haworth saw positives in his team’s performance.
Forward Brooklyn Peterson, who has been one of the Bluejackets’ top performers throughout the season led the team in scoring on the night with 14. Haworth felt her play against Crawford County was some of her best this year.
“I thought Brooklyn played a really good game. She she had an all around good day and I’m really proud of her play. That was as one of her better efforts,” Haworth said. “So very happy to see her being aggressive offensively. She had several rebounds, as well. She played really well tonight.”
Haworth feels that if Peterson and Mitchell’s other top scorers so far this season, guard Mylea Slone and forward Jillian Bond, can all play their best games alongside one another, his team can be competitive against some of the tougher teams on their schedule.
“So, when we get [Peterson] and Jillian and Mylea playing on that same level, you know as we’ve seen Against Rock Creek Academy, we can play with people,” said Haworth. “I think Malaya [Tanglao] is starting to make more for her offense now in our scheme, so that makes things better too,” he added.
This loss brings Mitchell’s record on the year to 3-8, with a 1-2 record in PLAC conference play. Their next scheduled matchup is next Tuesday, Dec. 13, when they will welcome Shoals (1-9) to The Hive for a 7:30 tip-off.
- Mylea Slone – 10 points, 3/7 shooting, 4/5 FT, 2 rebounds
- Brooklyn Peterson – 14 points, 3/6 shooting, 8/10FT, 8 rebounds
- Jillian Bond – 8 points, 3/7 shooting, 3/5 FT, 6 rebounds
- Malaya Tanglao – 9 points, 4/7 shooting, 1/1 FT, 1 rebound
- Taylor Lee – 6 points, 2/3 shooting, 2/3 FT, 4 rebounds
- Briley Dicks – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
- Riley House – 2 points, 1/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Emery Stroud – 12 points, 4/14 shooting, 3/4 FT, 7 rebounds
- Maddyson Sturgeon – 18 points, 6/12 shooting, 2/3 FT, 4 rebounds
- Emily Kerce – 15 points, 5/13 shooting, 2/2 FT, 3 rebounds
- Natalie Stroud – 11 points, 5/9 shooting, 0/0 FT, 5 rebounds
- Zoie Eason – 2 points, 1/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Brianna Ash – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound