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Mitchell puts on a show — Lake City point guard scores career-high 34 as Timberwolves edge Lakeland

| December 6, 2020 1:30 AM

By MARK NELKE

Sports writer

RATHDRUM — Kolton Mitchell's position with the Lake City High boys basketball team is listed as point guard.

On Saturday afternoon, he became the points guard.

Mitchell, a 6-foot sophomore, drained eight 3-pointers and tallied a career-high 34 points as the Timberwolves held off the host Lakeland Hawks 65-63 in nonleague play at Hawk Court.

Mitchell was 8 of 13 from behind the arc for Lake City — two makes short of the school record — in its season opener.

"Without Seth (Hanson, a senior last season), and with not everyone shooting it great today, I thought I might have to score a little bit more," Mitchell said. "But maybe in some other games I’ll have to pass more and other guys will score more than me.

"I was shooting it in warmups real well, my teammates got me open a lot and I was able to shoot it well."

Mitchell converted two four-point plays in the third quarter for the Timberwolves, who opened up a 12-point lead with 6 minutes to play, only to see Lakeland fight back, and have the ball with a chance to win it at the end.

"That’s one of the better performances I’ve seen in a while, and we’ve had some really good ones," Lake City coach Jim Winger said. "He’s a special talent, and we’re very fortunate to have him. He put on a pretty good show tonight. He was (offensive minded) last year, but this year his game has kicked up even another notch.

"He’s an excellent shooter; he’s not just a point guard that runs the offense and leads the team — he’s a tremendous shooter. If you’re going to overplay him, he’s quicker than a cat, he’s going to take it to the glass. And if you’re not out on him he can shoot it from quite a ways out. It’s quite a defensive problem."

"Give props to Kolton Mitchell — he shot lights out," Lakeland coach Dave Stockwell said. "They ran a little flare screen on us, and we didn’t handle that very well. They played well; they had a kid that really stepped up."

Jack Kiesbuy added 14 points for 5A Lake City.

Jalen Skalskiy led Lakeland (2-1) with 16 points off the bench. Ammon Munyer added 15 points, Noah Haaland and Carson Seay 13 each.

"They, defensively, give different types of problems with their switching," Stockwell said. "We had to adjust and learn. The thing I didn’t like about us in the second half was some of our kids thought we had to go one-on-one to win this thing. Once we timed out, we ran a couple of things and got right back in the game."

Kiesbuy's layup after a long feed ahead from Mitchell boosted Lake City's lead to 60-48 with 6 minutes left.

Lakeland answered with a 9-0 run, capped by Seay's three-point play. The Hawks then pulled within one point twice, the second time at 64-63 on Skalskiy's two free throws with 1:12 left.

Lake City then missed the front end of three straight one-and-ones in the final minute. After the third one, Lakeland had the ball out of bounds in its frontcourt with 5.5 seconds left. The Hawks inbounded to Skalskiy near the right corner, and Skalskiy drove to the basket. But sophomore Blake Buchanan, the transfer from Moscow High who had come up with a key steal on the possession before, stepped in and drew a charge with 3 seconds left.

After a foul, Mitchell sank one of two free throws, and a half-court heave by the Hawks came up short.

Since this was the first of three meetings between the two teams, it didn't count in the combined 5A/4A Inland Empire League standings. They're scheduled to meet again Jan. 22 at Lake City and Feb. 2 at Lakeland.

Last season, Lake City won at Lakeland on a last-second shot, then outlasted the Hawks at home in three overtimes.

"I was also super impressed with Lakeland, and how physical they were," Winger said. "Truthfully, you can talk 4A and 5A, they were one of the better teams we played last year. They’re going to be one of the better teams we play this year."

Lakeland plays host to Coeur d'Alene on Thursday in IEL play. Lake City plays host to Kellogg on Friday.

Lake City 13 16 24 12 — 65

Lakeland 14 13 19 17 — 63

LAKE CITY — Buchanan 3, Jones 0, Irvin 4, J. Kiesbuy 14, Spellman 0, Johnson 4, Mitchell 34, Meredith 6, Bowman 0.

LAKELAND — Seay 13, Henry 2, Ab. Munyer 0, Am. Munyer 15, Haaland 13, Roth 4, Waddington 0, Skalskiy 16.

photo

JASON DUCHOW PHOTOGRAPHY Jalen Skalskiy of Lakeland shoots over a Lake City defender in the second half.