By Noah Dalton
Mitchell High School’s victory Friday over Edgewood, 70-59, was significant for a number of reasons.
It marked the first time this season that the Bluejackets have won back-to-back games, coming off their dominant victory over Brown County last weekend.
It also was their first victory over the Mustangs since before anyone on the current team had even been born in the 2003-04 season, snapping a 16-game losing streak against the school.
The was also the first time this season that Mitchell were able to put together four solid quarters in a competitive game.
In four of their games prior to this one, the Bluejackets had taken leads into halftime, often times double-digit advantages, before losing in the end.
In one matchup where they went up with a lead before allowing the other team to get back into the game they were able to hold the other team off in the end and pull out a victory, this was against Crawford County in their first game this year at The Hive.
In that game, Mitchell merely survived. They were just able to fend off their opponents who took it down to the final possession after the Bluejackets had gone up 10 at halftime.
This time around, Mitchell was tested in a similar way, up 10 at the half before Edgewood began the third quarter on a 7-0 run. This time though, the Bluejackets fought back with a 7-0 run of their own, before continuing to pile it back on to end the third up 11.
No blown leads, no second-half slumps, just winning basketball this time around.
“Winning is fun, it’s contagious. Honestly, speechless. I couldn’t be more proud,” said Mitchell head coach Jackson Ryan. “All the kids tonight, whether they played the whole game or they played 30 seconds or didn’t play at all, our bench energy was great. So, I could go up and down the line about every kid but winning is fun and you know when you play with joy and you play with pride and you play together, good things happen. And, we finally pulled a contested one out tonight.”
Ryan feels his team has taken great strides since some of those losses earlier in the year and Friday’s game was an indication of that.
“We’ve grown up. I mean, I think if we play this game Christmas Break, we don’t survive that run that they make. But guys stepped up, Austin Moser got us to settle down and everybody stepped up and we made the right basketball play. It wasn’t a set that I called, it wasn’t somebody just head and shoulders above anybody else. Just guys making the right basketball play. And it’s so great, especially this time of the year, to see us growing and doing that,” Ryan said.
Another point of significance Friday was that it was senior night for Brendan Tolliver and Owen Modglin and the night was a memorable one for both players.
Modglin made his first appearance in the starting lineup this season. He was checked out of the game a few minutes later but made his return to the court near the end of the fourth quarter after the crowd loudly chanted for Ryan to sub him back in.
Tolliver led all scorers on the night with 20 points, continuing a strong run he has been on over the last five games, where he has averaged 14 points per game, all while guarding the other team’s top offensive threat on the other end as he’s done all year.
“Brendan Tolliver over the last five or six games has just been on an absolute tear. And not that he’s taken a ton of shots or anything like that, he’s playing very efficiently on offense. And that’s with him guarding the other team’s best perimeter player too on defense. So I mean, it’s exactly what you want from a senior, stepping up late in the season and making the right plays and just so proud of him for how he’s playing right now,” Ryan said of Tolliver’s recent performances.
“Owen Modglin is a coach’s dream. He comes in, he works hard. He has a great attitude. Whether he plays two or three minutes, whether he doesn’t play at all, he is going to be the same and have the great attitude day in and day out. If I could have 10 Owen Modglins on this team, I would. He’s just a great kid all around, both of them are. I’m excited to see how they finish the year and looking forward to see them grow up and be husbands and fathers and go out and take the world by the tail,” Ryan continued regarding Modglin.
These past few games are as well as the Bluejackets have played all season and they’re hitting their peak at the best time possible, with just two games left, next at Shoals (10-10) on Tuesday then Scottsburg (16-3) back at home on Friday, until they move on to postseason play.
In 2A Sectional 47, Mitchell will have some stout competition from teams like gave them trouble in matchups earlier this season such as 2A number one ranked Linton-Stockton (20-1), Patoka Lake Athletic Conference opponent Paoli (15-5), who both beat the Bluejackets in dominant fashion earlier this year.
Their sectional matchup will be revealed during the IHSAA Sectional Pairings Show on Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.
- Dawson Irwin – 15 points, 5/8 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Austin Mosier – 6 points, 2/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 5 rebounds
- Ben Seitzinger – 8 points, 2/4 shooting, 4/5 FT, 1 rebound
- Kale England – 10 points, 4/5 shooting, 2/3 FT, 5 rebounds
- Brendan Tolliver – 20 points, 8/12 shooting, 2/2 FT, 5 rebounds
- Gavin Robinson – 6 points, 3/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Aiden Pridemore – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Bryson Shoults – 5 points, 2/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Owen Modglin – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Carson Huttenlocker – 13 points, 5/11 shooting, 0/1 FT, 2 rebounds
- Xzander Hammonds – 13 points, 6/11 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Carl Norris – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Nick McCullough – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Jacob Boggs – 3 points, 1/6 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
- Mialin White – 18 points, 8/13 shooting, 2/4 FT, 8 rebounds
- Kam Ranard – 7 points, 2/4 shooting, 3/6 FT, 0 rebounds
- Hayden Cross – 1 point, 0/1 shooting, 1/2 FT, 0 rebounds
- Owen McGovern – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Luke Waugh – 2 points, 0/0 shooting, 2/2 FT, 0 rebounds
- Ziggy Teran – 2 points, 1/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds