SIDE VIEW: Basketball wonderland coming to Mitchell
After an extended sabbatical, “Side View” is back at the encouragement of your friend and mine, News-Journal publisher and editor Brandon Roberts. How often remains to be seen, but for now, we are back to talk about several things.
Staring basketball enthusiasts in the face is the Western Highlands Conference basketball tournament. The tournament begins later this week with the first-round games being played Friday. Those first-round games will be played at the higher-seeded teams based on their finish in the regular season. Consequently, the varsity boys’ and girls’ team play at home Friday. Following the first-round games, the semifinals will be played at Mitchell High School Tuesday, Feb. 19, and the championship games will be played Friday, Feb. 22, at Mitchell, too. These dates are subject to change due to weather. Look for Mitchell, Avery and Mountain Heritage to have teams playing lots of basketball.
The 2018-19 basketball season has been successful for both Mitchell varsity teams. Both enjoyed success in their nonconference schedules and finished their conference schedules with an even 5-5 record. With big shoes to fill going into this season, both the girls and boys have put together solid seasons. Certainly, they would have liked to have won more games in the conference, but 5-5 is an excellent start to build on going into the conference tournament and pointing to the state playoffs, which begin in a couple of weeks.
The varsity boys will enter the state playoffs as the highest seeded 1-A team coming out of the Western Highlands Conference. The girls will be going into the state playoffs as the No. 2 seed team out of the WHC. The going may be tougher for the girls, but they are a tough team with a lot of spunk. It’ll be interesting to see how well they play at the end of this season and what they will build on for next year and beyond.
In March, Mitchell High School will again host alumni basketball games to assist in raising money for Relay for Life. This game is now in its third year. It is a fun time for Mitchell alumni, both men and women, to get together and play games again. Over the past three years, there has been good participation, and hopefully, that trend will continue. The games this year will be played Saturday, March 2. In addition to the games, there will be other activities and fundraising offerings to help raise money for Relay for Life. Mark your calendars and plan to be a part of this worthy cause. It is a fun atmosphere and a fun time.
Continuing with the basketball theme, Mitchell High School will host the West-Midwest 1-A All-Star games. Now in its fifth year, these games showcase the top 1-A talent in both boys’ and girls’ basketball. Each year scholarships are awarded to the top academic scholar athletes that participate in these games. Mitchell High School has had several recipients of the scholarships since the inception of the All-Star games. This year, Mitchell High School is honored to be hosting these games. Make plans to attend these games at Mitchell Saturday, March 23. These games will showcase the best 1-A boys’ and girls’ talent in Western North Carolina
Wow! If you are a basketball enthusiast, you are going to have plenty of opportunities to see a lot of basketball right here in our backyard. It all begins with the Western Highlands Conference basketball tournament. Close behind will be the state playoffs with home games hopefully for the boys and girls. In early March, there will be the Relay for Life Alumni basketball games and at the end of March will be the West-Midwest All-Star games. Make plans to attend these games and enjoy them, too.
Chris Pitman gains his views from 40 years of involvement with Mitchell High School athletics.