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TARPON SPRINGS — Mitchell has a free-wheeling offense that can have as many as six players lead in scoring on any given night.
Tuesday, it was Ryan Doherty’s turn.
The junior guard scored 18, including three 3-pointers to lead the Mustangs to a 71-50 win over Tarpon Springs in a Class 6A, District 10 game.
“We have such parity on offense,” Mitchell coach Jared St. Charles said. “We have about four or five guys who fill it up.”
What the Mustangs (7-1) did best was shoot from the perimeter. If it wasn’t Doherty hitting shots from long range, it was Bernie Conley or Jordan Dong connecting on 3-pointers or mid-range jumpers. Mitchell had four players combine on six 3-pointers.
The Mustangs’ accuracy helped them break open a close game. After clinging to a 21-19 lead in the second quarter, Mitchell outscored the Spongers 18-2 the rest of the first half to go ahead 39-21.
In the third quarter, the Mustangs were up as much as 22 and emptied their bench in the third quarter.
“I thought offensively we were really able to push the ball, and we came alive in the second and third quarters,” St. Charles said. “We had great ball movement and got everyone involved.”
Mitchell’s guards have helped make up for the loss of Zach Rapaport, who is out with an ankle injury. St. Charles said Rapaport will have an MRI exam this week and could be return for next week’s Bright House Tournament in Clearwater.
Tarpon Springs (3-3), meanwhile, did not get much contribution from its guards. The Spongers had seven guards combine for eight points.
“Mitchell just had their way with us tonight,” Tarpon Springs coach Jerry Woodka said. “They were killing us outside and inside. There was no energy from us. And we didn’t get a lot from our guards, and that’s where about 70 percent of our offense comes from.”
Spongers guard JT Aguilar, who entered the game averaging 13 points, hit a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter, his only points of the game.
“JT has been battling the flu and has been a ligament injury to his ankle,” Woodka said. “He just wasn’t himself.”