Mitchell girls lose 3-straight in season’s toughest stretch
LEDGER – The shooting woes continued for Mitchell girls’ basketball this past Thursday in a home loss to Owen. The team played better the following night at Avery, but lost by a basket.
One week after making just eight field goals in a loss to Mountain Heritage, the Lady Mountaineers shot 38 percent, including 0-11 from 3, in a 57-44 home loss to Owen. The next night, Mitchell lost to Avery 65-63. The three-game stretch is likely the toughest set of games Mitchell has this season.
Owen (11-4, 2-3) jumped on Mitchell early and was up 8-0 as Mitchell couldn’t buy a basket. The Lady Mountaineers finally got on the board from the free-throw line and scored the final five points of the quarter to make it 11-5 heading into the second.
But things went downhill as Owen started the second quarter with an 8-0 run before Mitchell called timeout. The missed shots piled up for Mitchell before Emma Duncan stopped the bleeding with a layup. Sloppy play had Mitchell down 28-12 late in the half. Owen got an easy basket off an inbound play at the buzzer as Mitchell’s defense wasn’t set – it was 32-14 at the break.
Mitchell started the second half with more focus and intensity, but the shots just weren’t falling for the Mountaineers. Owen’s lead hovered around 15 points throughout the quarter and into the fourth. Mitchell was playing well, but missed shots and free throws – Mitchell went 11-25 from the foul line – allowed Owen’s lead to stay above 10 points until time ran out – Mitchell outscored the Warhorses 30-25 in the half.
Eden Phillips led Mitchell with 16 points while Morgan Buchanan scored 12. Emma Duncan added 9 points and saw a couple of 3-pointers go halfway down before coming out.
Chesney Gardner had 23 points for Owen and Kendal Marlowe dropped in 14.
Against Avery (12-3, 5-1), Mitchell came out strong and was up 19-16 after one quarter. The scoring flipped in the second quarter and the game was tied 35-35 at halftime. Avery outscored Mitchell 15-12 in the third but the game was tight right down to the wire in the final quarter. Avery hit a shot with 10 seconds left to capture the wind.
Mitchell coach Zack McCartha said his team shot the ball better and played well against Avery.
Mitchell (10-6, 2-3) got back on track with a 55-52 overtime win at McDowell Tuesday. The team travels to Owen Friday for a rematch. This coming week the team has home games against Polk, Madison and Hendersonville.