Jeffers, Waggner combine for 43 as Loogootee beats Mitchell 58-49

By Noah Dalton

LOOGOOTEE – Mitchell High School hit the road on Friday for the third of five consecutive away games as they near the close of their regular season, this time to take on Loogootee.

The Bluejackets began their streak of games away from The Hive with a win over Perry Central, beating them 54-52 in the historic Hoosiers Gym in Knightstown. Their momentum was halted in their following game, a trip to Bloomington South, where the Panthers handled them 72-38.

On Friday against the Lions, Mitchell were beaten again, this time by a closer margin of 58-49.

Loogootee were led by a pair of seniors, Issac Waggner and Leighton Jeffers, who handled the bulk of the team’s scoring on the night and did so efficiently. Waggner finished with 22 to lead all scorers in the game, doing so while shooting nearly 77% from the field. Jeffers was right behind him, scoring 21, on 75% shooting.

Carl Chenault attacks the basket against Loogootee

Jeffers dominated the first quarter, making all three of his shot attempts in the period, along with a perfect 4/4 from the line to score 11. His scoring, along with his setups for Waggner, who had six in the first, propelled the Lions to an early lead, 19-15 at the end of the quarter.

The Bluejackets stormed back in the second.

A mid-range jumper from Dawson Irwin, two free throws from Carl Chenault, and a layup with a make on an accompanying free throw from Austin Mosier helped chip away at the lead, despite Loogootee’s offense still being able to find baskets.

Midway through the second, Irwin drained a three, his third of the night by this point after making two in the first, to give the Bluejackets their first lead of the night, though Loogootee took it back after a few minutes of trailing, ending the half up three.

Keeping the Lions out of the paint had been an issue for Mitchell in the first half, primarily against Waggner who had 12 points with just one miss, all from around the basket. They were able to limit him to just two points in the third, though the attention inside gave way for Jeffers to reignite.

Dawson Irwin pulls up for a jumper over Isaac Waggner

After a scoreless second quarter, Jeffers tallied nine third-quarter points, making both of his attempts from beyond the three-point line.

Offensively, things slowed for the Bluejackets, with Gavin Robinson, who scored seven, and Aiden Pridemore, who scored four, as their only players to find the bottom of the net in the third, as they ended the quarter trailing by nine.

The Lions held on to that lead throughout the fourth, despite a constant fight from Mitchell, who managed to match them point-for-point in the period, though once again struggled to find an answer for Waggner inside, who scored eight more to close things out for Loogootee.

Though Mitchell offensively played a solid game, limiting their turnovers to just six and being able to avoid long stretches without points, which had cost them in other matchups, they weren’t able to consistently get stops against the Lions, which Bluejackets head coach Jackson Ryan felt was the difference on the night.

Austin Mosier looks for a layup against Loogootee’s Brandon Bledsoe

“You’ve got to give all the credit to them. I mean, number one, their discipline and their style of play. And number two, they’re so fundamentally strong to go out and execute that game plan. I felt like in the first quarter, they would come down and move the basketball and essentially just wait for us to make a mistake, and once we did, they would capitalize on those,” he said.

“I think in the first quarter, we got one stop for eight minutes. We tightened up a little bit in the second quarter, which was good but down the stretch, it’s just it’s tough to beat a quality ballclub like that not getting enough stops.”

Mitchell were a bit shorthanded on the evening, missing starters Bryson Shoults and Ben Seitzinger, who Ryan hopes to have back into the lineup before sectionals. Both seniors, Ryan said the two have been able to still help out the team in practice and from the sidelines, though their on-court contributions are missed.

“Those are seniors and those are guys that started. I think Ben has started every single basketball game for the last three years. Bryson’s obviously been a huge piece of the puzzle for us this year and we miss their leadership. Vocally, they’re still doing a great job, in practice and at games, on the bench being vocal, but that’s tough. They’re not in there,” he said.

Tate Woods drives inside against Loogootee

“I’ll be honest, physically, we got manhandled inside, across screens, throwing it inside, and I think that Seitzinger would help a lot with that. And then Bryson just makes stuff happen. You’re gonna put him and Gavin (Robinson) on the other team’s best players, and Gavin’s got a little bit more of a workload right now because of that. So, you’re really missing those two guys.”

It will be a short turnaround for Mitchell, who have a long road trip ahead of them the next night, as they travel to Brown County to take on the Eagles. (7-6)

Last year’s matchup against Brown County was likely the Bluejackets’ best showing of the season, with the team scoring 98 points, a mark they hadn’t hit since the 1997-98 season. Ryan is confident once again heading into this matchup and will look for his team to take care of business and get back on track after consecutive losses.

“We’re going to find out a lot about how mentally tough we are. This is probably a team that we’re better than. Can we go on the road and take care of business and show a sense of urgency for 32 minutes to take care of business? This time last year after tonight, I think we rattled off four of our last five to end the season, so hopefully we will do that now, get a little momentum as we build and get Ben and Bryson back, and be a tough team to beat in March.”



  • Austin Mosier: 6 points, 2/11 shooting, 1/1 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Dawson Irwin: 11 points, 4/5 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Kale England: 8 points, 4/8 shooting, 0/1 FT, 4 rebounds
  • Gavin Robinson: 13 points, 5/11 shooting, 3/3 FT, 6 rebounds
  • Aiden Pridemore: 9 points, 4/6 shooting, 1/2 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Nate Robertson: 0 points, 0/2 shooting, 0/0 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Carl Chenault: 2 points, 0/1 shooting, 2/2 FT, 1 rebound


  • Wade Walton: 4 points, 0/2 shooting, 4/6 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Leighton Jeffers: 21 points, 6/8 shooting, 6/7 FT, 2 rebounds
  • Isaac Waggner: 22 points, 10/13 shooting, 2/2 FT, 5 rebounds
  • Drew Walker: 11 points, 4/9 shooting, 3/4 FT, 6 rebounds