Boys basketball: Land O' Lakes knocks off No. 2 Mitchell
NEW PORT RICHEY - For at least one night, Land O' Lakes proved a team concept could defeat a star scorer. Getting offensive production from eight players and using a suffocating defense for the final three quarters, Land O' Lakes earned a 70-59 victory at Mitchell on Friday, the Mustangs' first loss of the season. "We don't have a scorer like Jake Driscoll," Land O' Lakes coach David Puhalski said, "but not many teams do. We knew he'd get his looks, so coming in we talked about limiting everybody else's touches and doing a great job on the boards. "After that first quarter, I think we were outstanding in both areas."Ernest McClendon scored a team-high 18 for Land O' Lakes (5-4, 3-1 Class 6A-District 10), which had lost two of its past three games entering Friday. Mike Morrow added 11, while Jackson Cannon and Victor Obi each finished with nine for the Gators. Driscoll led all scorers with 30 for Mitchell (7-1, 2-1), but following a 26-point first quarter, the Mustangs had difficulty scoring. Mitchell's early seven-point lead vanished by the end of the third quarter thanks to a 15-3 Gators' run. Then, Obi's basket inside gave Land O' Lakes its first lead, 53-51 with six minutes remaining. Mitchell was held to just 10 fourth-quarter points and 33 over the final three quarters, while Land O' Lakes used a spread attack to hit open back-door cuts for inside baskets or get to the free throw line. For the game, the Gators held a whopping 35-12 free throw advantage, many coming during the pivotal fourth quarter. "It came down to hustle plays," Mitchell coach Jared St. Charles said. "They made all of the hard-working plays and we didn't. I told the kids, 'We've lost our first game, so we're back to 0-0 and starting again from square one.' "Now we'll see how they respond." LAND O' LAKES 70, MITCHELL 59 LAND O' LAKES (70)—Salmon 2 0-0 4, M. Obi 2 2-3 7, Dorsey 2 0-0 5, McClendon 6 4-5 18, Cannon 4 0-0 9, Ackett 0 0-0 0, Morrow 1 9-11 11, V. Obi 2 4-6 9, Thompalos 1 5-10 7. Totals—20 24-35 70. MITCHELL (59)—Jones 1 0-0 2, Watt 2 0-0 4, Conley 4 0-0 10, Dong 2 0-0 6, Powers 1 0-0 2, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Doherty 1 0-0 2, Pack 0 1-2 1, Driscoll 10 9-10 30. Totals—22 10-12 59. Land O' Lakes 191218 21—70 Mitchell261211 10—59 3-point goals—M. Obi, McClendon 2, Cannon (L); Conley 2, Dong 2, Driscoll (M). Record—L 5-4; M 7-1.
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