Trinity Christian Academy’s boys’ basketball team hung with Mitchell for nearly two quarters on Thursday night.
But the Tigers pulled away just before halftime and maintained the lead throughout the second half to win 52-38.
The loss doesn’t end TCA’s season, but the Lions will have to travel to Union City in the Class A sectionals Tuesday night. Mitchell will host Humboldt.
“It was a great atmosphere here, and I was proud of the way we came out tonight and defended them early on,” said TCA head coach Ken Northcut. “Mitchell was an outstanding team, and our guys have nothing to hang their heads about.”
TCA led 20-18 with 3:18 remaining in the second quarter, but that was the final points the Lions scored before halftime.
Mitchell scored 11 straight in the meantime to pull away.
After a short bank shot by Sergio Pagoaga for TCA to open the third quarter, Mitchell continued to pull away by outscoring the Lions 10-2 in a low-scoring third quarter.
“We hadn’t seen much of the pressure they put on us, and what they do isn’t really comparable to anybody we’d played up to this point,” Northcut said.
Mitchell kept its lead between 11 and 15 points the rest of the way as TCA couldn’t get any closer. Mitchell’s height, speed and depth were a lot to overcome in addition to Mitchell had an easier time hitting field goals throughout the second half.
Jeremiah Martin led Mitchell with 19 points, while Kylan Phillips had 12.
Ryan Smith was the only TCA player to reach double figures with 11 points.
The Lions have four days to prepare for Union City, who won the Class A championship last year.
“Our season’s not ending after tonight,” Northcut said. “We’ll get to work on preparing for Union City and hope we have a bunch of people up there with us supporting these boys.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751