Bluejackets find redemption with 68-51 win against Springs Valley in season opener

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – The stage was set for this year’s season opener for Mitchell High School to play out much like last year’s, the result of which was a loss for the Bluejackets.

In that game, Mitchell controlled the lead for the majority of the time before giving up a nearly 20-point lead in the fourth quarter on their way to defeat.

This time around, the Bluejackets similarly led by as much as 18 as they entered the fourth quarter. After a few turnovers, which led to buckets for the Blackhawks, Mitchell’s lead was down to nearly single digits midway through the final quarter. This year’s matchup played out differently though, as the Bluejackets remained poised, protected the basketball, and held on to their lead, even further extending it by the end of the play to leave The Hive victorious 68-51.

Mitchell guard Austin Mosier pulls up for a jumper over Maverick Land

Mitchell head coach Jackson Ryan said that, despite some nail-biting losses such as the one to Springs Valley last year, he always felt his team was capable of winning more than their record suggested, particularly after they won three of their last four to close the season on their way to the program’s first postseason since the 2010-11 season. Tuesday’s matchup was proof of that, he said.

“Definitely there’s some redemption there. I think with how we closed last season and the offseason we had, I knew we were capable of this. This is just kind of vindication for those kids in the locker room. It wasn’t just one guy trying to be vocal for a little bit. We had multiple guys stepping up, being vocal and making plays. It’s easy to say something but it’s harder to do something sometimes,” he said.

One of the keys to victory for the Bluejackets was their teamwork and unselfishness on the offensive end, which led to the team netting 20 assists on just 28 total field goals in the game and each player who saw the floor for them scoring.

Mitchell’s Dawson Irwin fires a three over Deion Edwards

“We always preach team defense, team rebounding, offense making the extra pass. I think on our stats we had 20 assists on 28 field goals. That might be a record for us here and only 12 turnovers. So, what you saw tonight is exactly how we want to play. They’ve got some really good athletes with some good length and I think that’s what kind of happened in the fourth quarter but again, we continued to make the right play and and did what we needed to do to get the job done,” said Ryan.

Mitchell’s Austin Mosier and Springs Valley’s Deion Edwards both got off to hot starts in the first half, scoring 13 and 14 respectively as the two teams were separated by just five points at the break, with the Bluejackets leading 31-26.

In the second half, Mitchell were able to limit Edwards, who led the Blackhawks last year in scoring averaging 18 points per game, to just four points across the last two quarters. Ryan credited Gavin Robinson and Bryson Shoults, who were the two tasked with guarding Edwards for much of the game.

Mitchell’s Bryson Shoults defends Springs Valley forward Deion Edwards as he dribbles up the floor

“That’s nothing that I could do. That is Gavin Robinson, Bryson Shoults. And again, I know we do things by committee, so help side was really good, hats off to them as well. In the second half, we tried to take Deion’s right hand away from him and tried to deny him a little bit more,” Ryan said. “He’s a great player. He’s a great athlete, great player, very smooth. He’s gonna get his points, we’re just trying to make him work extremely hard and make a tough shot. And if he does that, he had a couple, I think he hit one fading out of bounds and about ended up in my lap on the baseline. So all you can do is tip your cap to him and throw it down and play some offense.”

Up and down the lineup, Ryan was pleased with the performances of his team.

Mitchell center Nate Robertson goes up for a shot after grabbing an offensive rebound

“Nate Robertson, seeing him back out there, making unselfish plays and just affecting the game on both ends. Bryson Shoults, his stat line was like 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds. That’s unheard of. I mean, almost a triple-double coming off the bench as a high school basketball player. I thought Aiden [Pridemore] and [Austin] Mosier playing together, I think that’s a big thing for us going forward, especially late in games. And then I thought the leadership of Ben [Seitzinger] and Kale [England] was something we really leaned on when things got tough,” said Ryan.

“I know Gavin Robinson offensively didn’t have his best night tonight, but he’s still knocking off a little bit of rust from football and he did a heck of a job on Deion Edwards, which was his main job tonight. So again, by committee. So proud of them, and just excited to see you know what we do next.”



  • Austin Mosier – 18 points, 6/10 shooting, 2/2 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Dawson Irwin – 8 points, 4/10 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Kale England – 10 points, 5/8 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Ben Seitzinger – 13 points, 5/9 shooting, 3/4 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Gavin Robinson – 2 points, 1/4 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Bryson Shoults – 10 points, 5/7 shooting, 0/0 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Nate Robertson – 6 points, 2/3 shooting, 2/2 FT, 7 rebounds
  • Aiden Pridemore – 1 point, 0/1 shooting, 1/4 FT, 2 rebounds

Springs Valley

  • Maverick Land – 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds
  • Deion Edwards – 18 points, 8/14 shooting, 2/2 FT, 7 rebounds
  • Jaheim Hamilton – 4 points, 2/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Keyton Jones – 2 points, 1/3 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Jay Walls – 6 points, 3/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Konnor Chase – 7 points, 1/6 shooting, 4/6 FT, 1 rebound
  • Evan Brown – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Christian Hamilton – 2 points, 1/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 1 rebound
  • Larron Childers – 12 points, 3/7 shooting, 3/4 FT, 3 rebounds
  • Kayce Jones – 0 points, 0/1 shooting, 0/0 FT, 0 rebounds