Bluejackets make it three in a row with win over Shoals

Mitchell guard Austin Mosier is defended by Maliki Bridges of Shoals. Mosier finished the game with eight points while shooting 60%.

By Noah Dalton

In the last 10 days, Mitchell High School has doubled their season win total, emerging victorious in now three straight matchups after their defeat of Shoals on Tuesday, 47-44.

Heading into the team’s Feb. 11 matchup against Brown County, the Bluejackets had lost seven straight, though that doesn’t tell the full story as they lost back-to-back games during that stretch by just one point.

In that matchup against Brown County, Mitchell scored nearly 100 points on their way to a 98-52 decimation of the Eagles, snapping their losing streak.

In their next game they faced Edgewood in a game they eventually won 70-59, but they arrived there differently, winning through a somewhat contested game throughout, at one point thwarting a third quarter comeback attempt to remain on top.

Tuesday’s contest against the Jug Rox was once again a different kind of win for the Bluejackets, this time a low scoring game with constant lead changes throughout.

Mitchell senior Brendan Tolliver defends Shoals guard Rylan Perry. Tolliver finished the night with four points, including hitting 2/2 free throws in the fourth

This is the exact kind of game Mitchell had struggled with all season, losing nearly every such encounter up to this point. After pulling out this win over Shoals, Bluejackets’ head coach Jackson Ryan said the different outcome this time was a show of the team’s growth throughout the reason, the result of consistent hard work from the players.

“I feel like the last couple games. I mean even before the wins, our offensive was better, our defense was better and we put up some numbers, but can we win a contested game in the 40s when it’s a low scoring, possession-by-possession game? Early in the year, we lost all that were like that and again, I say this every day we’re growing and coming together getting better. And again, tonight’s result is a testament to that,” said Ryan. “So, when you do that every day, when kids continue to buy in, you can do stuff like this. I mean, this is a tough, tough place to win ballgames. And Coach Abel does a phenomenal job here and we had to get this one out and I couldn’t be more proud of the kids.”

This game was a difficult test for Mitchell and one they ultimately passed.

In their last few wins, they’d received notable scoring nights from Dawson Irwin, who scored 25 across the two games and Brendan Tolliver, who scored 39 over both. In this game, the two had just four points, which all came from Tolliver as Irwin finished the night 0/4 from the field, which meant they needed to find their scoring elsewhere.

Mitchell junior Ben Seitzinger drives past Shoals defender Rylan Perry on his way to the basket. Seitzinger finished with 13 points to lead the Bluejackets in scoring on the night

Additionally, this game was a test of the team’s late game composure, after they’d blown similarly close games down the stretch, even quite a few where they’d taken double-digit leads into the fourth quarter.

“What I love about us is you never know whose night it’s going to be offensively. The last handful of games it’s been Brendan Tolliver and Dawson Irwin, unfortunately tonight Tolliver was in foul trouble and Dawson was having a hard time making shots, but other guys stepped up,” Ryan said. “Kale (England) did a great job, Ben (Seitzinger) really stepped up offensively. (Austin) Mosier played with great poise and composure down the stretch. (Bryson) Shoults came in and gave us a great looks, Aiden (Pridemore) same thing, stepping up, hitting free throws. So, it’s a total team effort and when you have multiple guys stepping up like that, good things happen,” he continued.

Their greatest test came in the game’s final minute, up just three at 42-39 with around a minute left. The Jug Rox fouled junior Kale England on back-to-back possessions and he was able to hit all four attempts to make it a four-point game.

Mitchell’s Kale England rises for a layup against Shoals. England finished with 8 points, including four clutch free throws

On the other end, Shoals’ senior Joe Smithson scored on the other end with 28 seconds remaining, making it a five-point game again. After the inbound pass, sophomore guard Aidan Pridemore was fouled, sending him to the line for two free throws, where he was able to convert 1/2 attempts.

Shoals junior Maliki Bridges was able to knock down a three, but it was too little too late, as the Bluejackets were able to dribble out the remaining clock to end the game.

Free throw shooting was big on the night for Mitchell. Though they only converted on 15/26 attempts, they knocked down 8/10 in the fourth quarter to help close out the win.

“We have good shooters and sometimes things are just mental,” Ryan said of the team’s struggles at the line. “I’m not gonna say anything to a kid. It’s between them and the basketball and the rim and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s just basketball,” he later added.

Next for the Bluejackets is their final regular season matchup of the year, this one against Scottsburg (16-5). Heading into this game, the two teams are in polar opposite positions, as Mitchell has largely struggled throughout the season and has since won three straight and the Warriors have had great success much of this season but are currently on a three-game losing streak.

Mitchell sophomore Aiden Pridemore is met near the rim by Shoals defender Brydon McKibben. Pridemore finished the night with four points, all of which came from the free throw line

Despite them having lost three straight, Scottsburg will still be a difficult matchup for the Bluejackets.

“They’re good. I mean, that’s the bottom line. They’re good. They’re one of the top teams in 3A in the state of Indiana. They’ve got their starting five, maybe one of the best starting fives that we’ll see this season. They can really score the ball and all five guys, they can put it on the floor, can really score the ball. So, we’re gonna have a work cut out for us,” said Ryan.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to end the regular season on our home floor in front of our crowd. It’s going to be Youth Night, so we’ll have all the travel teams and school teams there, so we’ve just got to continue to get better. Tomorrow at practice and Thursday at practice. If we continue to do that, follow the scouting report and keep working toward playing our best basketball heading into sectional, it will give us a chance and an opportunity to pull the upset at The Hive,” he continued.



  • Dawson Irwin – 0 points, 0/4 shooting, 0/6 FT, 1 rebound
  • Austin Mosier – 8 points, 3/5 shooting, 2/2 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Ben Seitzinger – 13 points, 5/9 shooting, 2/5 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Kale England – 8 points, 2/3 shooting, 4/4 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Brendan Tolliver – 4 points, 1/2 shooting, 2/2 FT, 1 rebound
  • Bryson Shoults – 4 points, 2/2 shooting ,0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Gavin Robinson – 6 points, 2/3 shooting, 1/2 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Aiden Pridemore – 4 points, 0/2 shooting, 4/7 FT, 2 rebounds


  • Rylan Perry – 13 points, 4/12 shooting, 5/7 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Joe Smithson – 14 points, 6/9 shooting, 2/2 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Maliki Bridges – 12 points, 3/11 shooting, 3/6 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Carson Shaw – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Andrew Banks – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Brydon McKibben – 0 points, 0/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Ralph Holman – 5 points, 2/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebonds