NEW PORT RICHEY — Bring on Largo.
That was the sentiment from Mitchell after its 58-39 dispatching of River Ridge in a nondistrict game Thursday. The Mustangs, second in Class 6A, District 10, host first-place Largo tonight, a week after they lost to it.
“Redemption time,” said Sean Thompson, who scored a team-high 19 on 6-for-8 shooting.
The Mustangs (18-3) were never threatened by River Ridge (13-10), which also could be excused for looking ahead to tonight. Second in 5A-8, it faces first-place Tarpon Springs.
“I think we both had pretty much one eye toward (tonight), but that’s the way it is at this time of year,” Mitchell coach Jared St. Charles said.
The only sign on Mitchell’s part was pulling its starters early. With them on the court, Mitchell made 17 of its first 28 shots. With the bench emptied, it made three of its last 19.
The Mustangs, who led by as many as 24 points, double-teamed 6-foot-9 John Childs, holding him 15 points and eight rebounds. He did make some noise with a baseline move and dunk that made it 39-24 midway through the third. But Thompson answered with a banked-in 3-pointer.
“I didn’t call bank,” Thompson said. “I should have. The shots were just falling for me.”
Lawrence Watt had 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals for Mitchell. One assist came on an alley-oop to Bernie Conley that made it 46-24. On the next possession, Conley made a one-handed leaning dunk.
“I don’t want to sleep tonight. Bring on Largo,” he said.
St. Charles wasn’t quite as exuberant but did say he believes Mitchell stands a better chance on its homecourt and with a more tightly called game. Largo was aggressive on defense last week in winning 64-46.
“Their pressure is our big concern,” he said. “They press hard. They press all the time. And they come at you in waves.”