Mountaineers begin WHC tournament play
LEDGER – The Mitchell High boys’ basketball team closed the regular season with three-straight wins after downing visiting Owen 70-56 this past Thursday on Senior Night.
After being edged in overtime 60-58 at Madison Jan. 25, the Mountaineers won four of their next five, including two by double digits.
Mitchell closes the regular season with a 7-16 overall record and a 5-5 mark in the Western Highlands Conference. The team was 4-6 at home compared to 2-9 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites.
Mitchell Head Coach Chad Dellinger looks poised to send the Mountaineers to the state playoffs for a second-straight season.
“We started clicking,” Dellinger said about the end of the regular season. “We had a lot more chemistry and we’ve been able to score a little more than in the past.
“Our defense has improved a lot. A lot of the little things we’ve been trying to do all season have come together and have been making the difference.”
Dellinger added one of the bigger difference makers is senior forward Trystan Jenkins, who poured in a team-high 18 points to help the Mountaineers down Owen in the regular season finale.
“I told him that was the best game he has played because he played within the game,” Dellinger said. “Nothing has been forced and nothing has been out of the ordinary for him this season. He’s letting everything come to him.”
The Mountaineers hosted Polk in the first round of the conference tournament this past Monday. Results were not available at press time.
Dellinger said his team’s postseason experience will help in the conference tournament and beyond.
The Mountaineers, who have eight seniors, lost 88-37 this past season at Winston-Salem Prep in the first round of the playoffs.
Winston-Salem Prep went on to win three playoff games, all by double digits, before losing to eventual state champion Lincoln Charter in the state quarterfinals.
“It’s a big thing for us,” Dellinger said about the experience. “It’s always an advantage. We ended up seeing one of the best teams in the state in the playoffs last year. Our guys know what to expect from some of these teams. Anytime you have experience, it’ll be an advantage”
Mitchell girls fall to Owen
The Mitchell girls’ basketball team closed the season with back-to-back losses this past week after dropping two games against Owen.
The Mountaineers were edged 42-39 by the Warhorses on the road before falling 50-45 at home in the regular season finale.
The Mitchell attack was balanced in the regular season finale with two players – Eden Phillips and Emma Duncan – scoring nine points each and three players – Hannah McMahan, Paige Johnson and Morgan Buchanan – adding seven each.
Head coach Zack McCartha said his team is aiming to set up the third game against Owen, which finished the season 19-5 overall and 7-3 in conference action.
The Lady Mountaineers defeated Polk 74-39 this past Monday in the first round of the Western Highlands Conference Tournament.
“I emphasized that if we take care of business in the first round, we’d get another shot at Owen,” McCartha said. “Owen plays very helter-skelter. A lot of what they do is random and it makes it hard for our girls who are used to seeing things a certain way.”
Mitchell closed the regular season 17-6 overall and 5-5 in conference play and
McCartha now owns a 31-18 record with the team. He said his team still has more to accomplish.
“I thought we had a good year,” he said. “The goal we have had from the beginning is to get a high seed in the state playoffs.”