BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Mitchell routs Polk in first round of WHC Tournament
LEDGER – The Mitchell High School Mountaineers boys’ basketball team jumped out to an 11-0 lead and didn’t let up Friday, Feb. 15, in a 75-50 blowout win over the Polk Wolverines in the first round of the Western Highlands Conference Tournament.
“Our guys wanted a little revenge after the loss to Polk the last game of the regular season,” said Chad Dellinger, Mitchell head boys’ basketball coach. “No team wants to lose in the first round of a tournament it’s hosting.”
Mitchell’s Zeus Ponder exploded for 25 points to lead the Mountaineers in scoring. The junior, who is averaging 5.7 points per game this season, was 7-of-9 from the floor, including a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range and was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
“He’s got a good stroke, and when it’s on it’s on,” Dellinger said. “He also played really good defense in the game, which helped set him up to score like he did.”
Junior Mitchell McMahan (12 points), junior Tyler McKinney (10 points) and sophomore Caius Peterson (10 points) rounded out four Mountaineers who scored in double figures in the win.
Mitchell (10-13, 5-5) outscored Polk 31-10 in the third quarter to take a 54-27 lead into the final frame.
The win sets up a second-round match at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, against Madison in Ledger. Results of that game were not available at press time.
The Mountaineers have lost a pair of close games to the No. 2-seed Patriots this season, falling 65-61 Jan. 8 in Ledger and 64-56 Jan. 25 in Marshall.
“We were leading in the fourth quarter of the first game and came back from a huge deficit to make it close in the second game,” Dellinger said about the Madison games. “If we can put together four consistent quarters of basketball then we can beat any team in this tournament.”
MHS 16 7 31 21 – 75: Ledford 3, McMahan 12, Peterson 10, Johnson 4, Ward 2, McKinney 10, Pitman 2, Pritchard 5, Blevins 2, Ponder 25
PCHS 8 9 10 23 – 50: Gary 8, Roster 5, Wingo 4, Phipps 6, Staley 9, Henderson 5, Carson 12, Herman 1