Momentum doesn’t carry for Bluejackets as they fall to PLAC opponent Paoli

Dawson Irwin (3) fights through the Rams’ defense for a shot attempt

By Noah Dalton

After a four game losing streak, Mitchell High School seemed to have steered their ship in the right direction after their last game, winning in blowout fashion against North Vermillion.

A win like that could potentially have set things in motion, giving them the momentum shift needed to carry that success into future games, however that was not the case in the most recent game Friday night against Patoka Lake Athletic Conference opponent Paoli, where they lost by over 30 points, with a final score of 68-37.

“I thought in our holiday tournament we were building and had some good momentum and, disappointing to see that,” Mitchell head coach Jackson Ryan said after the game.

Both teams were able to get a few points on the board early, with the game left at a 2-2 standstill briefly as both teams struggled to knock down shots. Midway through the quarter, the Rams began what would turn into a 9-0 run, placing them in the driver’s seat.

The Bluejackets ended their scoreless drought with just around a minute left in the quarter, thanks to a basket from Ben Seitzinger that was the result of multiple offensive rebounds from the team on the possession.

That basket was the only shot attempt to fall for Mitchell in the first, as they finished shooting just 10% from the field in the period as a team, trailing in score 14-5.

The first points in the second quarter went to the Bluejackets, courtesy of two free throws made by Seitzinger, though once again Paoli countered with a 9-0 offensive run which encompassed much of the quarter.

Midway through the second, it became the Fletcher Cole show, as the Rams guard began to take over the game, scoring 13 points himself in the period to bring his halftime total to 17.

Though the second was a better showing for Mitchell, improving their field goal percentage and scoring nine, they continued to struggle with getting defensive stops, allowing the Rams to score 21 points in the quarter to enter the half at an 18-point deficit.

Turnovers also plagued the Bluejackets early in the game, as the team finished the half having given the ball away 13 times, many of which generated offense for Paoli.

Ryan felt the defense pressure and different schemes used by the Rams made it difficult for his team to find their rhythm offensively.

“When they’re throwing different defenses at you, it puts you on your heels and you start second guessing. You start thinking and not playing. When you do that, you’re not finishing strong at the rim. So, you start settling for shots that maybe you wouldn’t normally. It’s just a deadly cycle there,” said Ryan.

Mitchell did find a bit of an offensive rhythm in the third though, particularly Seitzinger, who added eight to his point total in the period. He went on to finish as the team’s leading scorer, netting 20 points by the end of the game.

Ben Seitzinger (10) goes up for a layup attempt under the basket against Paoli

The Bluejackets scored 16 in the quarter on 50% shooting to make the third their most productive period of the game on offense, they also turned the ball over just four times, the lowest amount of giveaways they’d had in a quarter up to that point.

Unfortunately for them, Paoli continued to dominate the game on offense, scoring 22 in the quarter, thanks in-large part to senior forward Isaac Cornett-McBride, who scored 9 in the period while shooting a perfect 4/4 from the field.

Ryan noted the physicality of the Rams as a key difference maker in this matchup that potentially helped the team find consistent offense, as well as force takeaways on the other end against Mitchell.

“So, we’ve gotta get stronger. This is a very physical Paoli team and I think that will show because one thing to point to I’d say that was the biggest difference is their physicality and their strength. Just got to go back to work and get better and get stronger and play stronger and play off two feet like we always preach at practice,” he said.

Paoli entered the fourth up by 24 and managed to continue extending their lead during the final period, before ending the game with a 31-point victory.

It will be a quick turnaround for the Bluejackets, as they’ll return to The Hive the next night to take on South Central (6-4). Mitchell’s record on the season stands at 3-10 following this loss. Their record in PLAC play this season is 1-3.

Austin Mosier (2) rises for a layup attempt against Paoli

Coming off a difficult conference loss, Ryan hopes to see his team improve their ball security and limit turnovers, as well as increase their physicality on offense to get to the foul line when their shots aren’t going down.

“Definitely taking care of the basketball. I mean tomorrow night, we’ll see different defenses, just like we saw tonight and just being physical offensively. I thought we competed on the defensive end, but being physical offensively when we get those opportunities to drive,” said Ryan.

“We had them in the bonus with five minutes to go in the second quarter and only got to the bonus one time, so that’s disappointing. And, same thing in the second half, I thought we got them in foul trouble early in the second half and we didn’t capitalize on it at all. So, good ball teams are gonna capitalize on that and get to the rim, especially when they’re not shooting the ball well, like we were tonight. We’ve just got to recognize that and that’s part of growing and maturing,” the coach explained.



  • Dawson Irwin – 2 points, 1/9 shooting, 0/0 FT, 6 rebounds
  • Austin Mosier – 5 points, 1/4 shooting, 3/4 FT, 1 rebound
  • Ben Seitzinger – 20 points, 5/11 shooting, 10/12 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Kale England – 5 points, 2/4 shooting, 1/1 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Brendan Tolliver – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Bryson Shoults – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/1 FT, 1 rebound
  • Aiden Pridemore – 0 points, 0/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Gavin Robinson – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/1 FT, 1 rebound
  • Owen Modglin – 2 points, 0/0 shooting, 2/2 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Dawson Snow – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Carl Chenault – 1 point, 0/0 shooting, 1/2 FT, 1 rebound


  • Brandon Cook – 0 points, 0/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Isaac Cornett-McBride – 11 points, 5/8 shooting, 0/0 FT, 9 rebounds
  • William Windhorst – 6 points, 2/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Trey Rominger – 14 points, 6/15 shooting, 2/3 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Andrew Kumpf – 3 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Fletcher Cole – 25 points, 10/15 shooting, 5/5 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Jaxson Reynolds – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Cooper Spires – 3 points, 1/2 shooting, 1/1 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Chad Sullivan – 6 points, 3/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Coen Brace – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds