Bluejackets bounce back with blowout win over North Knox

Austin Mosier (2) drives to the basket against Lane Adams (11)

By Noah Dalton

After the past few weeks, Mitchell High School needed a game like the one they played tonight against North Knox.

Since Dec. 2, the Bluejackets picked up their first win of the season against Crawford County in a game where they nearly gave up a double digit halftime lead, lost the next night by two to Eastern Greene after giving up a large lead at the half, suffered a nearly 40-point loss at the hands of No. 18 ranked Linton-Stockton the next week and lost to Salem in another game where they led big at the half the night after.

Mitchell found their record at 1-5 heading to Bicknell to take on a winless Warriors team, despite leading by significant margins in three of their five losses.

In this matchup, the Bluejackets had an opportunity to begin steering the ship in the right direction, capitalizing on the potential they had shown in their previous games, which allowed them to garner such strong leads even if they weren’t able to hang on to them.

That is exactly what they did against North Knox, defeating them by over 30-points, with a final score of 69-37.

Given the previous losses and some great and not-as-great practices from the team in preparation for this week’s games, Mitchell head coach Jackson Ryan said he did not know what to expect against the Warriors.

After winning big against North Knox, Ryan did not need many words to summarize how he was feeling.

“Winning is fun. I mean, that’s the cure all for everything,” he said.

With the team in a slump, Ryan made some lineup changes in Friday’s game, opting to start Aiden Pridemore and Bryson Shoults for the first time each this season, bringing usual starters Brendan Tolliver and Austin Mosier off the bench.

Bryson Shoults (11) attempts a turnaround jumper over Mason Lyons (1)

Ryan said he felt he need to make a lineup change given the team’s recent results. He felt the change would both serve as a reward for Pridemore and Shoults, while potentially providing additional motivation for Mosier and Tolliver.

With the team winning and each player turning in a good performance, Ryan felt the move was a success.

“When things aren’t working, number one, you’ve got to change something. Number two, I’m really trying to motivate our guys,” he said.

“I tried to motivate Austin Mosier, Brendan Tolliver and I thought they responded very well tonight, both of them. And on the flip side, I also thought Aiden and Bryson are very deserving of that opportunity. They come in, they work hard and they do the right things, so we wanted to reward them and it all worked out. I don’t know what we’re gonna do tomorrow night but it all worked out tonight. So, that was it, it was really good to see. Everybody respond well to it,” he continued.

The Bluejackets began the game with an early lead after forcing back-to-back turnovers and capitalizing with buckets on the other end.

Brendan Tolliver (11) defends Mason Lyons (1) as he brings the ball up the floor

After one, Mitchell led 15-7, with Mosier and Dawson Irwin each scoring five.

The second quarter was when the Bluejackets really took over the game, scoring 28 total points as a team to take a commanding 29-point lead by halftime.

Mosier led Mitchell in scoring over the first two quarters, netting 15 points on 75% shooting from the floor and a perfect 7/7 from the free-throw line.

Though not quite as much as almost 30, the Bluejackets had found themselves in control of games at halftime this season that they weren’t able to close out. With this in mind, Ryan was not ready for his team to take their feet off the gas pedal in the second half.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant. But yeah, at halftime when I went to the locker room, you would have thought that we were down 30 instead of up 30. Really, I just wanted to lock back in and focus. We’ve had the great first half, now we’ve got to put a whole game together. We’ve got to play 32 minutes,” he said.

His team got the message loud and clear, as the Warriors were never able to back the lead back under 25 for the remainder of the game.

Dawson Irwin (3) attempts a three over Cole Kerns (22)

A 16-point period from the Bluejackets in the third saw their slightly lead extend to 30, with Irwin scoring 10 himself. Irwin finished the night as the leading scorer for Mitchell, with 18 points while shooting a flawless 5/5 from the field, including two three-pointers and 5/5 from the line.

The fourth saw many of those typically on the floor for the Bluejackets resting, allowing some of the team’s younger and less experienced players to finish out the game on their way to a 32-point victory by game’s end.

For the first time this season, Mitchell was able to put together two equally strong halves of basketball en route to a commanding victory.

“It was just great to see us close out a second half with authority,” said Ryan.

The Bluejackets will not have much time to celebrate as they’ll be taking on Brownstown-Central (5-1) the next night at The Hive. With the Braves comes along Jack Benter, one of the top junior players in the state, who has already committed to playing college basketball at Purdue University.

Kale England (21) rises for a layup against North Knox

In their loss to Linton-Stockton, Mitchell faced a similarly talented player in Joey Hart, one of the state’s top shooting guard prospects who will be going on to play for the University of Central Florida next year.

On Saturday, Ryan hopes to see that previous experience against a top individual player and strong team lead to growth from the Bluejackets and the way they approach difficult matchups.

“I don’t know how many high school teams can say you’ve got a Big 12 recruit last weekend and you’ve got a Big 10 recruit this weekend coming into The Hive. But when we went against Linton, we came out scared and we were intimidated and hopefully tonight we were able to build some momentum and just come out with a chip on our shoulder. Not only not afraid, but rising to the occasion and doing that the entire day. As long as we do that, I’m gonna be happy,” Ryan said.

“There’s no doubt they’re one of the top 2A basketball teams in the in the state of Indiana. And, Jack Benter is just a phenomenal, phenomenal offensive player. He’s gifted athletically, his IQ is just through the charts and his ability to shoot the basketball is something very, very special. I probably haven’t seen his range on someone like that,” he continued.

“So, a special team and a great opportunity to come back home and see since the Linton game if we have really grown like I feel like we have.”



  • Brendan Tolliver – 7 points, 3/7 shooting, 1/2 FT, 1 rebound
  • Kale England – 6 points, 3/4 shooting, 0/1 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Ben Seitzinger – 10 points, 4/7 shooting, 1/3 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Dawson Irwin – 18 points, 5/5 shooting, 7/7 FT, 1 rebound
  • Austin Mosier – 15 points, 3/5 shooting, 7/9 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Bryson Shoults – 2 points, 1/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Aiden Pridemore – 4 points, 1/3 shooting, 2/4 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Gavin Robinson – 5 points, 1/3 shooting, 3/4 FT, 9 rebounds
  • Owen Mogdlin – 1 point, 0/1 shooting, 1/2 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Connor Teague – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound

North Knox

  • Mason Lyons – 2 points, 1/12 shooting, 0/0 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Lane Adams , 6 points, 3/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Cohen Williams – 10 points, 4/4 shooting, 2/5 FT, 9 rebound
  • Devin Kent – 2 points, 0/2 shooting, 2/2 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Landyn Worstell – 2 points, 0/2 shooting, 2/4 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Kade Grotgeuth – 3 points, 0/1 shooting, 3/4 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Jean Pierre – 2 points, 1/5 shooting, 0/4 FT, 6 rebounds
  • Kyson Parker – 6 points, 2/8 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Cole Kerns – 4 points, 0/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds