By Noah Dalton
On Saturday Mitchell High School welcomed 2A No. 4 Brownstown-Central and Purdue University commit Jack Benter to The Hive.
The Bluejackets struggled to stop Benter, who is currently ranked as the sixth best prospect in the state of Indiana for the Class of 2024, according to 247Sports. He scored 30 on the night, leading the Braves to a dominant victory with a final score of 70-33.
After the game, Mitchell head coach Jackson Ryan had high praise for the future Boilermaker.
“He’s just so smooth. He’s just a high IQ Player. I mean, you see on the baseline out of bounds, as soon as the official hands the player the ball, if whoever’s guarding him is not ready to go. He just knows to throw it up to him. And it’s it’s two points. Just little stuff like that. Just so good at reading defenses and just high IQ stuff,” he said.
“And then you add in the ability to shoot the ball, you add in the athleticism, you add in the size, you’ve got to a special player that’s headed to Purdue. So you know, he’s one of the best around. If I was a betting man, I would say, a strong Mr. Basketball candidate next year. So I can’t wait to see him again next year,” he continued.
This is the second time this month that the Bluejackets have faced one of the top teams in 2A, the other being Linton-Stockton, who beat them in similar fashion 71-34.
After that game, Ryan said he felt Mitchell looked intimidated when facing a top team like the Miners, however against Brownstown, he said he felt his team was more composed during what proved to be another difficult matchup.
I feel like at the start, we weren’t as intimidated as what we were in the Linton game. I thought we were a little more prepared mentally in that aspect. But, I mean, they’re both just such such good teams,” said Ryan. “We were ready to go a little bit more, which is good to see. But obviously we still have a lot to work on.”
The first quarter began as a back-and-forth matchup between the teams, with Benter scoring an early six points and the Bluejackets matching them to keep the game tied in the early minutes, thanks partially to two early field goals from Kale England.
As the quarter progressed, the Braves began to expand their lead, though Mitchell was able to keep the game somewhat close, with the quarter ending with them trailing by nine, 21-12.
Benter, who scored 10 in the first quarter, continued to control the game in the second, adding another 14 to bring his halftime scoring total to 24, while shooting 75% from the floor in the period.
Things slowed down for the Mitchell offense in the second quarter, with the team only able to score six points. Austin Mosier netted four in the period, leading the Bluejackets in scoring at the half with six.
Mitchell entered the locker room at the half down 47-18 and things only escalated from there.
Though the Bluejackets were able to slow Benter in the third, holding him to just four points, Brownstown continued to pile it on, scoring 18 in the quarter and extending their lead to 35, initiating a running clock for the remainder of the game.
Though Ryan felt the team showed improvement in some respects in the game, he identified a few areas that he hopes to see the team better before their next game on Tues. Dec. 20, where they will take on Patoka Lake Atheltic Conference opponent Orleans (4-1).
“I thought, defensively in the second half, and maybe for parts of the first half, we just didn’t compete to the level that we would like to see. And then offensively, I thought we were very selfish tonight,” said Ryan
In Mitchell’s victory on Friday over North Knox, the team had 12 assists. Against the Braves, that number was reduced down to just four.
“That’s a huge, huge difference from one night to the next. So, when we’re moving the basketball, I think we have a lot of options. Last night, we had three guys in double digits and tonight, we had one in double digits. So, when we’re moving the basketball, we’re playing together on offense, I think that carries over defensively when you’ve got more people touching the basketball, moving in and attacking.” Ryan said.
“So, those two things go hand in hand and if we can do those two things, I think we’re gonna have a chance to be one of the best teams in the area, but we’ll just see if we’re up to it as far as competing defensively and if we can move the ball offensively,” the coach continued.
This loss drops the Bluejackets’ record on the season to 2-6, with a 1-1 record in PLAC play.
- Dawson Irwin – 2 points, 1/9 shooting, 0/2 FT, 2 rebounds
- Austin Mosier – 10 points, 3/5 shooting, 4/4 FT, 0 rebounds
- Ben Seitzinger – 6 points, 2/5 shooting, 1/2 FT, 3 rebounds
- Kale England – 4 points, 2/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
- Gavin Robinson – 4 points, 1/2 shooting, 2/4 FT, 3 rebounds
- Brendan Tolliver – 0 points, 0/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Bryson Shoults – 3 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Aiden Pridemore – 4 points, 2/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Jack Benter – 30 points, 13/20 shooting, 3/3 FT, 7 rebounds
- Jakob Arthur – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/2 FT, 3 rebounds
- Carson Darlage – 2 points, 1/2 shooting, 0/1 FT, 1 rebound
- Adam Stahl – 5 points, 2/5 shooting, 1/1 FT, 3 rebounds
- Pierson Wheeler – 3 points, 1/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Chance Coomer – 9 points, 3/7 shooting, 0/0 FT, 7 rebounds
- Colby Hall – 16 points, 7/9 shooting, 2/2 FT, 5 rebounds
- Micah Sheffer – 3 points, 1/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound