TRINITY — The second half of the season began Friday night for Mitchell and it started against a foe that has terrorized teams within Pasco County with Brooksville Nature Coast rolling in.
Last time the Sharks played a top team from the county was Dec. 13 when they were able to top Wesley Chapel 47-43. This time around, however, a county team was able to edge Nature Coast. The Mustangs had three players in double digits en route to a 52-47 victory in a non-district contest.
“We haven’t played in two weeks so we came out with a lot of energy in the first quarter,” Mitchell coach Jared St. Charles said. “We got off to a good start. Second quarter, we started settling for outside shots and (Nature Coast) defense stepped up. You have to give them credit.”
Mitchell (13-1) started off hot from the field, with the team leading 10-2 and ended the opening quarter on an 11-3 run. Nature Coast (12-3) shot only 2-for-8 (25 percent) for the first quarter, but settled down in the second and went 5-for-13 (38 percent). The Mustangs were only able to muster two points in the second period and shot 1-for-16.
The Mustangs’ seemingly insurmountable lead was slimmed to 3 when Sharks guard Carlos Clemente (11 points) hit a floater in the lane to cut the deficit to 27-24 midway through the third quarter.
Mitchell ended the period on a 12-3 run and Nature Coast never came any closer than 3, which came with 16.4 seconds to go after a Clemente 3-pointer.
Lawrence Watt (15 points, 5 rebounds), Brian Powers (14 points) and Bernie Conley (12 points) scored in double-digits for Mitchell, with Zach Rapaport pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds. Cody Bergantino paced the Sharks with 15 points and 10 rebounds.