By Noah Dalton
Mitchell High School’s regular-season ended on a low note Friday night, as the team’s three-game winning streak was snapped in decisive fashion by 3A number 10 ranked Scottsburg 83-47.
After a decently contested first quarter, which ended with the Warriors up by six, the game got away from the Bluejackets in the second quarter when they were outscored 24-9 by Scottsburg.
In that period, the Warriors defense tightened up their pressure on Mitchell in a big way, forcing 10 turnovers in the eight minute quarter and often capitalizing with baskets on the other end.
“They’re a great team and they put pressure on you on both ends of the floor. And once you make one mistake and you let that snowball into two mistakes, three mistakes, four mistakes and so on. A great team like that especially is going to make you pay,” said Bluejackets head coach Jackson Ryan. “Whether that’s our live ball turnovers, them in the half-court attacking us and finding the open shot for them. They’re just a great team and when you don’t ride the ship and grind it out. They’re gonna make you pay and kudos to them for putting us in those spots and in those situations and they definitely capitalized on it.”
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the Warriors’ defensive pressure was junior guard Kody Clancy, who finished the half with 17 points after scoring 13 in the second quarter while shooting a perfect 6/6 from the floor. He carried this momentum into the third, where he hit his next five shots in a row before finally missing a fast break dunk attempt near the end of the quarter, his first miss in 11 attempts.
Though tonight it was Clancy’s night to shine, Ryan noted the depth of Scottsburg, saying it was tough to prepare for this matchup because they had multiple players who could’ve led the charge.
“Yeah, Clancy, He’s a special player. He did the same thing to us last year. He kind of got them going and started their game for us. So we knew coming into it he’s a special player, but, you know, anytime on the floor they’ve got five guys that are capable of that. So on other teams other scouting reports, we can really try to focus on one guy, unfortunately with their talent and their skill and depth across the board, it’s just tough to do and he’s good player and he’s only gonna get better too and that’s why they’re top 10 3A in the state the favorite to win their sectional this week,” Ryan said. “Just a good player on a good team and tonight was his night but I thought Brendan (Tolliver) and Gavin (Robinson) and Bryson (Shoults) and (Austin) Mosier held their own but you know when he shoots the ball like that it’s tough. Not a whole lot you can do.”
Mitchell was led in scoring on the night by Brendan Tolliver and Gavin Robinson, who both finished with 10 points. Behind them were Ben Seitzinger and Kale England both with eight and Aiden Pridemore who scored six.
With this matchup and their entire regular season now behind them, Mitchell will need to focus their attention to sectional play.
Their first round matchup in sectionals is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, when the team will travel to North Knox to take on the hosting Warriors.
They will head into this game having not won a first round sectional game since the 2010-11 season and it looks as if that cold streak could be coming to an end this year.
In the Bluejackets’ last matchup against North Knox on Dec. 16, they defeated them handily 69-37, marking one of their largest win margins of the year.
Despite their earlier success against this team, Ryan said it’s Mitchell’s recent play that gives him confidence heading into this matchup, with his squad winning three of their last four to close out the year after losing back to back one-point games in January.
“We definitely feel confident, not because it’s North Knox, I think it’s because of how we’ve played in the last month. You take tonight out of it, the momentum we’ve had, I know we’ve won three in a row but even before that we’ve played well and we’ve played better and if we can just get back to that everything’s gonna take care of itself,” said Ryan.
“That score is 0-0 And it’s at North Knox. We’ve got to make the long bus ride over there right after school and we’ve gotta be ready to play. I mean they’re very physical and very capable. We’re trying to win a sectional game, that’s not been done here for 12 years. So, if we just get that first game, get that monkey off our back and get back to playing like we have for the last month, everything’s gonna take care of itself right away,” he continued.
- Brendan Tolliver – 10 points, 5/6 shooting, 0/2 FT, 6 rebounds
- Ben Seitzinger – 8 points, 2/3 shooting, 4/8 FT, 4 rebounds
- Austin Mosier – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
- Dawson Irwin – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Kale England – 8 points, 4/8 shooting, 0/0 FT, 5 rebounds
- Bryson Shoults – 2 points, 1/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Gavin Robinson – 10 points, 2/3 shooting, 6/6 FT, 1 rebound
- Aiden Pridemore – 6 points, 2/4 shooting, 1/2 FT, 1 rebound
- Owen Modglin – 1 point, 0/1 shooting, 1/2 FT, 0 rebounds
- Garrett Floerke – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Kyle McGinnis – 7 points, 2/5 shooting, 2/2 FT, 4 rebounds
- Rylan Lytle – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Jacob Martin – 12 points, 4/10 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Caden Richardson – 0 points, 0/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Jack Miller – 16 points, 6/11 shooting, 2/2 FT, 4 rebounds
- Wyatt Zellers – 13 points, 5/8 shooting, 2/3 FT, 7 rebounds
- Kody Clancy – 29 points, 13/16 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Dare Bowles – 5 points, 2/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Ethan Robison – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Garrett Boling – – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound