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Wildcats wake up

Mitchell's first-year coach, Larry Holden, doesn't take solace in moral victories. He doesn't care if he has the county's attention. He wants his players rewarded.

If effort is an indicator of his teaching, his boys seem to be listening. Kicking bullies in the mouth is one way these Mustangs have defined themselves. This time, they left foot prints on the jaws of Wesley Chapel.

Inevitably, the Wildcats woke up from the tranquilizer dart and began to pounce in a dominant third quarter en route to a 67-54 victory.

"When we were behind we had to gamble," Holden said. "That's not our forte."

Wesley Chapel (2-1) outscored the Mustangs (0-3) 18-8 in the third and led by as many as 15 in the second half.

The Wildcats got scoring from eight players, including a team-high 20 points from Keon Critchlow and 16 from Greg Jenkins. The Mustangs countered with 20 from Geoff Balkin and 10 each from Brent Stafanski and Spencer Boyd. Mitchell led at the half by one and by as many as nine (22-13) with three minutes left in the second. The Wildcats went on a 12-4 run to end the quarter.

Izzy Gould, Times staff writer

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