You could almost hear the sigh of relief from the Scottsburg faithful after the Warriors defeated the Mitchell Bluejackets 70-64 in historic Meyer Gym on Friday (Feb. 28).
After all it was “Senior Night” and the Warriors home crowd in the famed “Pressure Cooker” wanted to send off its five senior players with one last home win and a life long memory.
Only trouble was someone forgot to send the script to the visiting 2A Bluejackets of the Patoka Lake Conference as this series continues to have its share of nerve racking finishes.
Despite another big game of 25 points from Nick Sebastiao and 22 from Treyton Owens, the Warriors needed contributions from its entire lineup at key moments to post this win and build some badly needed momentum heading into Sectional 30 play next week at Corydon Central.
The victory ending the regular season campaign moved Scottsburg to 14-10 while the loss dropped Mitchell to 11-10.
In a pregame ceremony the senior class of Ethan McGinnis, Kaalob Schmidt, Brantley Deaton, Nicholas Sebastiao and Andrew Slaton were honored. All have been instrumental in the rebuilding of the Warrior hoop fortunes and will be missed.
“Tonight was a great way to honor our seniors with a hard fought win,” said fourth year Warrior head mentor Brent Jameson. “Mitchell is a team that can heat up in a hurry as they play a fearless style. They made 11 3-pointers and we were able to negate that with our rebounding advantage. Proud of our kids when Mitchell came with pressure as we attacked their press and were strong with the ball.”
Scottsburg recorded nine trifectas in the game and dominated the boards by a 41-19 advantage scoring 37 points in the paint. The Warriors scored 18 points in transition and 12 points off 10 Mitchell turnovers. Mitchell had 11 3’s, 15 fast break points and 13 points off 13 Warrior miscues. The Bluejackets were deadly from the charity stripe hitting 15-16.
Sebastiao became the 15th Warrior to join the 1,000 point club with 16 in a big first half as he added nine in the second half to push his career total to 1,011. He added 16 rebounds for a “double-double” with five assists a steal and a blocked shot.
Owens, a junior, had a huge second half scoring 20 points, including four 3’s while making three straight in the fourth quarter.
The Warrior scoring line was rounded out by 12 points from Deaton, who had nine boards and five assists and six points from sophomore Hayden Cutter with six rebounds. Slaton had five points and three assists. Schmidt recorded three rebounds and an assist.
Luke LaFevor had 16 for the Bluejackets as Nick Munda added 15 and Edric Cash scored 10 points.
Mitchell only led in the game once at 2-0 and trailed by as many as 13, thanks to Owens drilling three straight from behind the arc, with under 6:00 to play in the final quarter. But Mitchell would work its way back tying the contest at 59-59 near the 3:00 mark.
The Warriors then scored seven straight on a jumper by Owens followed by a top of the key 3-ball delivered by Deaton, and a layup by Cutter in transition to give Scottsburg what seemed to be a comfortable 66-59 edge with just over 60 seconds to play.
But Mitchell would come back again as Michael Bell would make two free throws and after a Warrior turnover, LaFevor hit a trifecta to pull Mitchell back to 66-64 with 46 seconds remaining.
With Mitchell forced to foul after being unable to turn the Warriors over, Slaton hit the front end of a one-and-one and also made the bonus for a 68-64 edge. After a time out with 16 seconds to play the Bluejackets had an empty offensive possession and fouled Deaton who calmly drained both of his one-and-one opportunities to end the scoring at 70-64.
“We made key free throws down the stretch,” Jameson added. “Andrew knocked down two big free throws late to put us up four points. Those were huge. Treyton hit some big shots in the second half. A dream night for Nick as he plays his final game in Meyer Gym and joins the 1,000-point club. Brantley has stepped up in so many games for us this season and was again there tonight. Ethan and Kaalob gave us solid minutes early to set the stage.”
Scottsburg led 16-11 after the first quarter and 30-24 at halftime. The lead remained on six after three quarters. 48-42. The squads battled to a 40-40 second half.
“I’m really proud of this group of seniors and they will always hold a very special place in my heart,” Jameson said. “They were 8th grade boys when I met them and now they are men. Our coaching staff is fortunate to have played a small role in that development as these young men come from incredible families.”
The Scottsburg junior varsity defeated Mitchell 68-48.
Next up for Scottsburg is an IHSAA Sectional 30 semifinal game at Corydon Central on Friday, March 6 at 6:00 p.m. against the winner of the Madison/Salem quarterfinal affair.