Lady Jackets lose steam in second half during loss to Bloomington North

Mitchell’s Mylea Slone euro-steps her way to the rim for a layup attempt against Bloomington North

By Noah Dalton

Mitchell High School entered Tuesday night’s game on a wave of momentum, coming off a blowout victory over Shoals the night before, in the first half of back-to-back games for the squad.

That momentum carried through the first half of the second of their consecutive games against Bloomington North, where the Bluejackets got out ahead early on, leading by as many as seven points during the second quarter.

They finished the half with a two-point lead, but it did not last long afterward, as midway through the third, Mitchell would find themselves down four and wouldn’t again take the lead in the game, eventually falling to the Cougars 55-40, though the game was much closer than the final score would indicate.

Bluejackets head coach Tim Haworth commended his team’s effort on the night against a formidable Bloomington North team, who entered the game with a 12-5 record.

“What I’ll say is that I think we got a little tired, going back-to-back. We had a tough game last night and they’re coming back, but I don’t want that to be the theme here. Because, I thought our girls, against a 12-5, 4A team, I think we’ve started seeing the improvement,” Haworth said.

Both teams seemed to be in lock-step in the first quarter, as there were five lead changes in the period. Jillian Bond scored the game’s first points on an inside shot. Avery Patterson scored next, converting an and-one to give the Cougars the lead. Two points each from Bond and Brooklyn Peterson gave Mitchell the lead once again before another field goal from Patterson snatched it back for Bloomington North.

Jillian Bond dribbles in front of Kenli Sullivan

It was not until there were a little over two minutes left in the first when Mitchell jumped back ahead by two after a converted and-one from Bond and would hang on to that lead for the remainder of the quarter, finished up by two.

The second quarter was similarly close between the two teams, though the Bluejackets were able to hold their lead for the entire duration. A quick four Mitchell points from baskets by Peterson and Mylea Slone put them up by six, before the Cougars rallied back once again, reducing the lead to just two.

Peterson and Slone netted another five points to extend their team’s lead to seven, but Bloomington North remained persistent, again reducing the Bluejackets’ lead to two by halftime.

Perhaps the biggest disparity between the two teams in the first half was the field goal percentage, where Mitchell shot the ball 32% on 31 attempts and the Cougars fired at 25% on 28 attempts from the floor.

The third quarter was when things began to shift in favor of Bloomington North.

They jumped out to an early lead thanks to an and-one from Kenli Sullivan. Peterson would score for Mitchell to retake the lead, but a Mia Robbennolt field goal gave it right back to the Cougars. Once again, it was Peterson scoring to give the Bluejackets another one-point leaf, but Bloomington North took control of the game again thanks to a bucket from Ava Reitmeyer.

Brooklyn Peterson drives to the basket as Mia Robbennold defends her

At this point, the Cougars began to pile it on, scoring another 12 points in the final five minutes or so of the third to end the quarter with a nine-point lead. As the floodgates opened Bloomington North and they scored their highest quarter point-total of the game to that point with 19, Mitchell’s scoring halted, with the team scoring just 8 points in the period, all of which came from Peterson.

I think tonight, a little fatigue set in halfway through that third quarter and (Bloomington North) were well rested. This was (Bloomington North’s) only game. So, yeah, it makes a little bit of difference and we’re going back-to-back. We don’t want to use that as an excuse. You asked me what happened in that third period, and I’m telling you. Fatigue set in,” Haworth said when asked about the team’s slip in the third.

“Our girls are fighters. They’ve proven that. So, I wish we could have that five minutes back and maybe get some better looks. But again, I thought our girls did a great job,” he continued.

Bloomington North continued to roll in the fourth, once again outscoring the Bluejackets, this time by a margin of 14-8, before going on to win the game by 15.

After a dismal shooting performance in the first half, the Cougars turned it to close the game out, shooting 60% from the floor on 23 second-half attempts. Mitchell stayed around the same percentage from the first two quarters, shooting 31% on just 16 attempts in the second half.

Malaya Tanglao is guarded by Ava Robbennolt

After the game, Haworth noted his team’s improvement in securing the ball. In many of their worst losses over their six-game losing streak last month, the Bluejackets would commonly turn the ball over twenty or more times over the course of a game, while typically forcing around half as many from their opponents. In their previous game against Shoals, they managed to force 16 turnovers, while giving up just eight times themselves.

Against Bloomington North, Mitchell turned it over just 13 times, compared to 11 from the Cougars.

Haworth credited the efforts of the players to improve, as well as the strength of his team’s schedule and the quality of their opponents throughout this season for their recent strides.

“Because of our strength of schedule, It’s gotten us to where we’re getting better at things. I mean, again, in the first half of our season, we were at 20, 25, 30 turnovers (per game). Now, we cut that down. It probably went up just a tad tonight, but in the last three or four games, I mean, we’re seeing that average go down to 15 and below. We’re still getting the same kind of pressure, but now we’re improving on breaking that pressure,” the coach said.

Only three Bluejackets scored on the night; Bond, Peterson and Slone, who have consistently been the team’s leading scorers throughout the season. As the team looks ahead towards another difficult matchup on Thursday, this time traveling to face Eastern Greene (12-5), Haworth hopes to see other members of the team help share some of the offensive burden in future games.

“Our big three continue to do what they do. We just are looking for some help somewhere else with the scoring part. And I was happy to see Zoey (Smith) being able to step up and at least attempt because she can hit those shots. (Malaya) Tanglao is going to have to start again, start looking for her shots because she definitely can knock those 10, 15 footers down. So, we’ll see what’s going to happen, but I’m really pleased with our kids,” he said.

Mitchell’s Zoey Smith dribbles into Bloomington North’s Ava Reitmeyer

In their next matchup against the Thunderbirds, Haworth said his team will need to put together the strong flashes from their last three games, fully capitalizing on the potential that they’ve shown in spurts.

“I think it gets back to what I said earlier, putting 32 minutes, solid minutes in together. There’s going to be some mistakes made. But again, especially against teams like Eastern Green, teams with winning records, not having that two or three-minute lull. So, that would be my answer. We’ve shown flashes of that tonight, the first two quarters against a solid team. We’ve shown flashes and when teams make adjustments, we’ve got to be ready to adjust with it,” he explained.



  • Mylea Slone – 10 points, 4/12 shooting, 1/2 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Brooklyn Peterson – 16 points, 6/12 shooting, 4/5 FT, 8 rebounds
  • Zoey Smith – 0 points, 0/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Malaya Tanglao – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Jillian Bond – 14 points, 5/16 shooting, 4/8 FT, 10 rebounds
  • Briley Dicks – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/2 FT, 2 rebounds

Bloomington North

  • Avery Patterson – 10 points, 4/7 shooting, 2/4 FT, 1 rebound
  • Kenli Sullivan – 9 points, 4/9 shooting, 1/4 FT, 9 rebounds
  • Ava Reitmeyer – 9 points, 3/10 shooting, 2/2 FT, 1 rebound
  • Mia Robbennolt – 17 points, 6/13 shooting, 2/2 FT, 9 rebounds
  • Ava Robbennolt – 2 points, 1/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Jamie Lian – 3 points, 1/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Mallory Barrow – 3 points, 1/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Libby Rice – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds