WINTER HAVEN — Midway through Mitchell’s nine-minute field-goal drought in Thursday night’s 71-29 loss to Winter Haven in the Class 6A region quarterfinals, the Mustangs air-balled a shot and missed the putback.
Winter Haven responded with an alley-oop layup.
That’s how the night went for Mitchell (20-8), which saw its most lopsided loss and worst scoring output of the season.
“They were able to do exactly what they wanted to do,” Mustangs coach Jared St. Charles said of the Blue Devils (19-7).
And that was jump and rebound behind their lanky athletes like 6-foot-6 star DeVon Walker. Rivals’ No. 149 senior prospect, who has an offer from UCF, finished with 21 points. Midway through the third quarter, Walker had more points (19) than the Mustangs team (18).
Mitchell hung in the game early behind junior guard Jordan Dong, who scored 12 of his team-high 13 points in the first half. But the Mustangs couldn’t match the Blue Devils’ size.
Winter Haven used a 9-0 run in the first quarter and an 8-0 run early in the second to seize control. The Blue Devils’ 29-1 run during Mitchell’s field-goal drought put it out of reach and started a running clock midway through the third quarter.
“We had a good season,” St. Charles said. “I’m very proud of our season.”
In the last game of his high school career, Mustangs standout guard Jake Driscoll finished with three points.