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Mitchell's Grand

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Warriors defeat Evangel 68-59; Fall to Gallatin 58-42

By Greg Woods

It happened quietly over the holiday break. Eminence Senior Brandon Mitchell surpassed the 1,000-career points mark in Metcalfe County.

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Acknowledgement of the accomplishment was planned for Friday night’s game against Evangel Christian once Mitchell got his first basket of the game; though it took a little time to get there — Mitchell had a tough offensive night.

The crowd and Mitchell had to wait until late in the third quarter before he finally scored.

“It was a good moment to share with the crowd. It was a big moment for Brandon,” coach Chris Nethery said.

The moment turned out to be the highlight of an otherwise lackluster second half performance by the Warriors.

After getting off to a 19-6 lead in the first period and leading by as much as 19-points in the game, the Warriors had trouble keeping their energy and focus as the Eagles hustled and fought their way back into the game.

The game started very well for the Warriors, who started off with an 11-1 run that forced the Eagles into a timeout at the 2:55 mark. The timeout did not slow EHS down much as they outscored the Eagles 8-5 the rest of the way.

In the second quarter the Eagles patient offense paid off as they held the Warriors to a 12-12 period to go into the locker room 31-18.

Cornelius Sanford and Daishon Moore led the Warriors in the half with 8 and 7 points respectively. Sanford had two 3-pointers and Moore had one as they made up for a cold shooting night for Jalen Dixie and Trent Overall who struggled to find the mark in the first half.

In the second half it looked like the Warriors might run away as they extended their lead to 19 points at 51-32 on Mitchell’s big basket late in the period. Mitchell’s younger brother Justin provided a nice pass to set up the moment.

Evangel got the last basket of the period and the first two of the fourth period for a modest 6-0 run to bring the margin back to 13.

After Brandon Mitchell scored off an out of bounds set it appeared that the run was over and the rout was back on. But the Eagles were tenacious, working inside for easy baskets and the Warriors fouled them to make matters worse. The margin was too big to overcome, though, and the Warriors found enough offense to hold on for the 9-point victory.

“Coming off the break, we were not as focused as we needed to be,” Nethery said. “For us, and the defensive system we run, we need to all be on the same page for it to work. If one part of the defense fails the whole thing breaks down. That happened to us in the second half a lot.

“Daishon really showed up tonight. He rebounded the ball well and that is one of his strengths, but it hasn’t been there this year. Hopefully that will continue.”

Moore had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sanford had a perfect night from the floor going two-for-two on 3-pointers and 2-pointers and one-for-one from the line.

Dixie ended up with 15 points despite an off-shooting night, but had 9 assists and three steals for a well-rounded floor game.

Gallatin 58, EHS 42

The Eminence Warriors traveled to Warsaw to take on district rival Gallatin County on Monday night and fell to the Wildcats by 16 points.

The Warriors led for most of the game and took a two-point lead into the final period of play. But the home team got hot and hit their free throws down the stretch to pull away.

The two teams tied 12-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors then went in front by three points at the halftime mark despite hitting only one of their trademark 3-point bombs.

The game remained close throughout the third period with Eminence going up by as much as 6 or 7 points.

 “We went up by six or seven points several times and had chances to extend the lead but we missed several easy shots inside the paint which hurt us,” Nethery said.

Leaving the door open for a Wildcat comeback was not a good idea even if Gallatin played without top player Kristian Morgan, who missed the game because of illness. The Wildcats got to the line often in the final period and scored 13 of their 22 points from the charity stripe.

For the game Gallatin, was 18-of-28 from the line while Eminence was 11-of-16. Gallatin shot 18 free throws in the fourth quarter alone, compared to just two for the Warriors.

The Warriors were 13-of-53 from the field for 24.5 percent shooting, while Gallatin County was 18-of-40 for 45 percent. The Warriors were 5-of-23 from the 3-point line for 21.7 percent shooting, while the Wildcats hit 4-of-11 for 36.3 percent.

Nethery felt that the key to the game was missed opportunities. “We missed a lot of easy inside shots in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter,” he said.

“We missed several in a row. We tried to call timeouts and refocus the kids when they got frustrated but we just couldn’t get our focus back. We scored just 6 points in the fourth quarter. You can’t do that against a good team.”