They were calling it the biggest high school game in the city up to that date and they might have been right.
Any time the defending State Champions take the floor it’s a big game for the city, especially home games.
Mitchell has a program with a very storied history itself with State Championships, a legendary coach, in Andre Turner, and NBA alumni like Thad Young.
And then there’s East. State Championship after State Championship, NBA Icon Penny Hardaway behind the wheel, Two-Time Mr. Basketball Alex Lomax riding shotgun, nationally ranked players for days; including Chandler Lawson, Jonathan Lawson, and Jalen Brown.
With James Wiseman and Ryan Boyce being declared ineligible some thought Mitchell may have had a chance to compete with the Mustangs.
That was not the case.
A few things stood out; Johnathan Lawson and Jalen Brown, two freshmen, started! THEY STARTED FOR THE #1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY. That speaks volumes for the two nationally ranked Wildcats. And they stepped up to the challenge. Brown, the "Young Phenom" was out there like he was a Golden State Warrior: trey, after trey, after trey, (after trey, after trey!) It was crazy! And Johnathan was so poised and smooth it was ridiculous. He knocked down a long ball of his own and threw down a dunk!
East's defensive pressure was relentless. East's length isn't fair! They are just too long. Jalen, Johnathan, Malcolm? And Chandler Lawson at the top of a press, with that mile long wing span is just plain cheating.
The percentage that East connected on outside shots was major too. They are basically the total package. Back-to-back Mr. Basketball, Alex Lomax at point, tenacious defense, several high percentage outside shooters like Brown and Dee Merriwhether, and a super intimidating front line with 6'7 Chandler Lawson and 6'8 Malcolm Dandridge. There isn't a weak link in sight.
Mitchell however did have some bright spots and they came in twos. The duo of twins Michael and Mikell Rice accepted the challenge of playing the #1 team in the country and didn't back down. Ankle breaking, jelly layups, step backs, pull-up threes, and ones, and whatever else you wanted, they had it.
They didn't have enough to upset the top ranked Mustangs, but they definitely had enough to turn some heads and raise some eye brows.
You can catch both teams in action this Saturday at the Larry Finch Classic.
Make sure you click the links below to check out Ultimate Preps' ultimate coverage of the game, and all of Sportslife's Lit Highlights, & Our Photo Gallery