By Noah Dalton
LANESVILLE – Mitchell High School began their 2023-24 season on Saturday, traveling to Lanesville to take on the Eagles, who were crowned 1A state champions last year, putting a bow on a 29-2 season.
The new-look Bluejackets, who entered the game with a new head coach, Dakota Brasher, following last year’s retirement of former coach Tim Haworth, and a vastly different lineup, struggled in the matchup, falling 68-12.
Lanesville’s defense smothered Mitchell early, forcing 29 first-half turnovers and holding the Bluejackets to just five points through two quarters. The Eagles began the game on a 22-0 run, not allowing Mitchell on the scoreboard until midway through the second quarter when senior Briley Dicks drained a three for the first points of the game for her side.
Though the Bluejackets sured things up in the second half, turning the ball over just seven times, they still struggled to score, with the team only netting seven points in the final two quarters, all of which were scored by senior Jillian Bond.
Despite the result, Brasher was pleased with his team’s effort on the night. He emphasized ball security to his team, saying they’ll need to continue improving in that area.
“I know the score didn’t say it, and it might not be something that a normal coach will be positive about but we played our butts off. We played hard and if I can get that effort out of them every night, we’re going to get better. We’re going to get better quickly. We just have to come in and keep getting better every day,” said the coach.
“The turnovers were a problem. We turned the ball over 29 times in the first half, seven times in the second half. So, we got better quickly, but we have to work on getting shots and getting good team shots, quality looks to help our defense because we’re just giving the ball to the other team. I preached to our girls, that the ball is the most important thing on the floor. The worst thing you can do is give it to the other team. Any game you give the ball to the other team 36 times, it’s probably not going to go your way at the end of the night.”
Bond and Dicks, the only two starters from last year’s team to return for this season, were the only Mitchell players to score. Bond finished the night with a team-leading nine points, with Dicks adding three.
Lanesville had five double-digit scorers. Those were Jane Davis, who scored 13, Hadley Crosier, who scored a game-high 14 points, Ava Kerr, who scored 12, Hylton Brumley, who scored 13 and Ellie Schneider, who scored 10.
Compared to last year’s starting group, which included three seniors, the Bluejackets lineup is considerably younger this time around, with multiple freshmen on this year’s varsity roster. According to Brasher, that inexperience played a role in Saturday’s result, though it’s not fully to blame.
“We’re going to take our lumps. Teams are going to look at our starting lineup and look at our roster and see three or four freshmen on it. They’re going to watch tape, everybody watches tape, and they’re going to realize they can pressure us and turn us over right now,” he said. “The only thing we can do is work and get better. So, we’re coming in on Monday and that’s what we’re working on. The youth is a factor, but it’s not an excuse for 36 turnovers. We’ve got to grow up and grow up real quick because it’s a physical game.”
Next, Mitchell will take on Perry Central in their first Patoka Lake Athetic Conference game of the season. That game will be played on Nov. 10, with a tip-off time of 8 p.m. EST.
- Jillian Bond – 9 points, 3/8 shooting, 3/4 FT, 6 rebounds
- Briley Dicks – 3 points, 1/7 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
- Gracyn Thompson – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 3 rebounds
- Paisley Modglin – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
- Leighanne Thompson – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Ella Gerkin – 0 points, 0/0 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
- Jorja Lamm – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
- Jane Davis – 13 points, 6/10 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
- Hadley Crosier – 14 points, 6/11 shooting, 2/5 FT, 5 rebounds
- Ava Kerr – 12 points, 5/10 shooting, 1/2 FT, 2 rebounds
- Emma Davis – 6 points, 2/7 shooting, 2/2 FT, 1 rebound
- Hylton Brumley – 13 points, 5/15 shooting, 1/3 FT, 3 rebounds
- Ellie Schneider – 10 points, 4/6 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds