Bluejackets unable to hold on to early lead in 43-34 loss to Salem

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – Despite the weekend’s snow and single-digit temperatures, Mitchell High School welcomed Salem to The Hive for the Bluejackets’ second-to-last game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon.

Despite a hot start from Mitchell, who led for much of the first half, they were defeated by the Lions 43-34 following a difficult third-quarter stretch.

After a strong start to the first quarter for Mitchell, jumping out to an early lead on consecutive makes from Paisley Modglin and Jillian Bond, Lions’ forward Sidney Burton connected on a three, as well as a two-point field goal attempt on back-to-back possessions, giving her team a momentary lead before a three from Briley Dicks grabbed it back to put the Bluejackets in front by one to end the quarter.

Mitchell’s Paisley Modglin surveys the floor for an open teammate against Salem

Mitchell’s shining moment of the night was the second quarter, where they managed to hold Salem to just two points in the period to extend their lead to eight by the end of the half.

Burton’s first-quarter buckets were the team’s last made field goals into early into the third quarter, with their only two points in the period coming from Burton at the free-throw stripe.

The Bluejackets were led by Dicks, who scored five in the second, making both of her attempts. She finished the half with eight points, shooting 75% from the field (3/4).

Things shifted significantly in the third quarter, however, as the two sides virtually reversed roles, with the Lions holding Mitchell to just five points in the period, as their offense caught fire to score 24 points in the quarter, doubling their entire first-half output of 12.

Mitchell senior Briley Dicks shoots a corner three against Salem

Turnovers were the story of the period on the Bluejackets’ side. After a clean second quarter with none, they gave it away 12 times in the third, many of which resulted in easy baskets for Salem on the other end. Burton was the biggest benefactor, scoring 13 in the period to help her team head into the fourth with an 11-point lead.

A stronger showing from Mitchell in the fourth, where they outscored the Lions 9-7, was not enough to overcome the deficit created in the third, with that stretch ultimately pushing Salem to the win.

Burton was the game’s highest scorer with 24 points. She was also the team’s top rebounder with seven. She was aided by Sarah Heightchew, who added nine points.

Dicks and Bond each scored eight to lead the Bluejackets. Just behind was Anna Sowders, who scored seven and Modglin, who scored six. Bond led the team in rebounding with eight.

Mitchell, now 1-21 on the year, have just one regular season game remaining on their schedule, a Jan. 25 clash with neighboring Orleans (18-3). Before the game, the Bluejackets’ two seniors, Bond and Dicks, will be honored for Senior Night.