Mitchell goes for 30 as HC tops Creek

WINTERSVILLE — When a team has a player like Harrison Central’s Kobe Mitchell, it can be hard for any opponent to stop him, or even slow him down.

Indian Creek found that out first-hand Friday night, as the Huskies’ sophomore shook off a slow start and early defensive pressure to score half of his team’s points in a 60-42 win.

“He’s going to be a very special player,” Harrison Central coach Justin Clifford said.

After scoring just four points in the first quarter — all on free throw makes — Mitchell took over.

“They were being a little physical with him early,” Clifford said. “Then, I think he started to get the feel for the game. People ask me why he is pretty good, and it’s because it doesn’t matter if we’re up 30 or down 30. He’s made 10 shots or missed 10 shots, he’s even keel. He’s mature beyond his years and that showed tonight.”

Harrison Central (12-5) was coming off a close, two-point loss to East Liverpool on Tuesday that kept it out of the OVAC tournament field. Clifford was happy with the response from his team.

“We lost one the other night that was just a heck-of-a basketball game,” Clifford said. “Instead of pouting and getting down, we came out and played a team at their place where it’s a son-of-a-gun to win and played pretty well. I told them I was proud of them tonight.”

The Redskins (8-11) got off to a slow start but battled back to take a 16-15 lead early in the fourth quarter before Mitchell started to get rolling.

Once the second half rolled around, Indian Creek went cold and the Huskies pulled away, outscoring the Redskins 39-17 in the final two quarters.

“It was a really competitive first half but, in the second half, they hit a bunch of shots and we didn’t,” Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy said. “In the first half, we attacked them. In the beginning of the game, we turned the ball over and got down, but we battled back and got back in the game at halftime.

“In the second half, they got hot and, once they are ahead of you, they have really good guards that can spread the floor and make you like a dog chasing your tail.”

Dunlevy has no doubt why Mitchell is so hard to stop.

“He’s a special player, and the reason for that is because he works hard,” he said. “There are a lot of kids as tall as him, as fast as him, but probably not a whole lot of kids in the valley that work as hard as him.

“There is no magic wand. When a kid is making shots like he’s making shots, there’s a reason, and that reason is because he lives in the gym. I don?t even have to have anyone tell me that. You can see it from how he plays.”

Senior Evan Stine scored 13 points and had a team-high four rebounds to back up Mitchell’s performance.

Indian Creek was led by 24 points from Michael Allan, while Austin Judson added eight points, five boards and four assists.