The Mitchell boys basketball team put five players into double-figures and earned its eighth win of the season after turning back Southeast, Wyoming on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at Mitchell High School.
The win improved the Tigers to 8-3 on the season while the Cyclones fell to 7-4.
Mitchell head coach Jayson Gregory was pleased with his team’s play against a stingy Cyclone defense.
“We knew they were going to come in an play really hard,” he said. “They’re a good group of boys and they play really hard on the defensive end and really clog up the paint. It was really hard for us to get things going to the basket, but luckily we hit some shots early in the game that kind of brought them out of the paint and we were able to get to the rack like we wanted to. We knew that if we didn’t close out, they were a confident group coming in and were going to knock shots down.”
Mitchell controlled the game from the early going, jumping out to a 24-16 lead after the first quarter on a pair of 3-pointers from Keaton Reichert and Austin Thyne.
The Tigers rambled out to a 36-18 lead to start the second period on strong play from Francisco Barrios, who anchored a 12-2 run with six points, and Mitchell held the Cyclone offense to just six points total in the frame to take a 41-22 lead into halftime.
However, Southeast’s Bodie Herring heated up early in the third with back-to-back 3-pointers followed by a bucket from Hayden Anderson to cut the Mitchell lead to 43-30. Mitchell extended its lead back to 17 on a pair of baskets from Jonathan Pieper to go up 49-32. Southeast added another surge later in the quarter on a 9-4 run to outscore the Tigers 25-17 in the frame and cut the deficit to 11, 58-47, entering the final eight minutes of play.
Gregory said his Tigers transitioned well from the third to the fourth period and grabbed the momentum back early on in the final frame.
“The boys responded well. I think they were a little frustrated how the game was going,” he said. “We tried to get some subs in, tried a few different combos to get some energy back in some legs and in the fourth quarter we looked like we had a little pep in our step and responded to the challenge.”
The adjustment paid off.
Blake Thyne drilled a 3-pointer to start things off and then it was off to the races. The Tigers raced back out to a 12-2 run and a 73-49 lead and never looked back outscoring the Cyclones 25-13 to finish off the win. Mitchell went 7-for-9 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter and hit 19-27 from the stripe in the game. Gregory said his squad has been working on its free-throw shooting and it showed up on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been kind of harping on them from the free throw line these past couple weeks because we’ve been about 50-50 from the line,” he said. “So we definitely need to zero in on knocking some free throws down. We got them into some foul trouble and knocked them down, so that was nice to see.”
Southeast was paced in the contest by Patrick Swank, finishing with 15 points in the game. Hayden Anderson added 13 points, while Brant Fullmer and Bodie Herring each chipped in nine.
Barrios led all scorers with 18 points, while Reichert, Austin Thyne and Blake Thyne finished with 14 and Pieper tallied 10.
Mitchell will next be in action on Friday night when it hosts Scottsbluff.
Southeast (7-4) 16 6 25 13 — 60
Mitchell (8-3) 24 17 17 25 — 83
Brant Fullmer 9, Hayden Anderson 13, Durward Randall 3, Bodie Herring 9, Patrick Swank 15, Cord Herring 4, Sawyer Anderson 4, Harrison Hall 3.
Keaton Reichert 14, Francisco Barrios 18, Austin Thyne 14, Ashtyn Martin 2, Jaron Anderson 7, Rylan Aguallo 2, Blake Thyne 14, Corbin Batt 2, Jonathan Pieper 10.