Darian Mitchell sparks Douglas to 71-52 victory over North Valley
WINSTON — There were no mysteries to how Douglas was going to deal with North Valley in Saturday’s OSAA Class 4A girls basketball play-in game.
Darian Mitchell has been the Trojans’ leader in all ways for a while, and the senior post put on a complete display of her skills as DHS picked up a 71-52 victory and advanced to the Sweet-16 of the 4A playoffs.
Douglas will play at Sky-Em League champion Sutherlin (19-5) — which has won three straight 4A state championships — next Saturday with a berth in the state tournament on the line.
“We’re really motivated and we’re really excited,” junior point guard Lainey Rincon said.
Sutherlin and Douglas met on Dec. 6 at the Dog Pound, with the Bulldogs taking a 59-53 victory.
“We just have this one game to focus on next and we just need to get through this next game,” Mitchell said. “Anyway we go, we’re excited and we’re ready to play.”
Getting the Trojans (15-7) to this point featured Mitchell having another big game in a season of big games, plus big contributions from others such as Rincon and Rachel Hickam.
“We knew they were a good club and we knew the Mitchell girl was something we hadn’t seen all year,” said N.V. coach Kevin Shafer, himself a Douglas High alum. “I thought we did a good job at times of handling her, and then there were times where we got too spaced. She’s good, a very good player. Great feet, big and strong.
“We knew she was going to have a big night, we had to try to keep other people from doing the same.”
Mitchell had her night — 29 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, seven steals, two blocked shots against three turnovers — and the Trojans got similarly important contributions from Hickam and Rincon.
Hickam had 10 points, including two second-half 3-pointers, along with six assists, seven rebounds and two blocks. Rincon added 15 points, three assists, three steals and committed three turnovers against the N.V. press.
As a team, Douglas committed 13 turnovers and came up with 14 steals.
“I don’t think their pressure was very useful against us,” Mitchell said. “Marshfield and North Bend did that against us with three girls up top and (the Knights) did it with two, so our point guard just handled the ball against it.”
The Trojans built a big early lead and managed to turn back every North Valley rally from the second quarter on.
DHS led 32-8 in the second quarter before the Knights (11-12) rallied late in the half to get within 14. The Trojans led 34-18 at the intermission, and were back on the court with almost six minutes remaining in the break.
“I’ve been known for some short (halftime talks) this year,” said DHS coach Jason Dickover, another Douglas alumnus. “I keep them focused on one or two very primary goals.”
The Trojans stretched the margin again in the third quarter, but not without North Valley making a couple runs at them along the way.
The Knights got the margin to 10 at one point and down to a dozen at another, only to see Mitchell and the Trojans reassert themselves each time.
North Valley’s Baylee Touey hit three 3-pointers to lead the Knights with 15 points, but went scoreless in the fourth quarter. Fouls were an issue throughout the game for the Knights, who committed 24 personals, had two players foul out, and had a technical called in the final minute.
Douglas converted 23 of 38 free throws, though Mitchell uncharacteristically struggled at the stripe, going 5-for-13.
NORTH VALLEY (52) — Baylee Touey 6 0-0 15, Kirkland 4 1-3 11, Ha. Kersten 1 0-0 3, Robles 0 0-0 0, Stewart 0 0-0 0, Ottosen 1 2-4 4, Kelly 0 0-0 0, Campbell 1 0-0 2, Ha. Kersten 4 1-2 12, Wagoner 2 0-0 4, Kalevicoglu 0 1-2 1, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 5-11 52.
DOUGLAS (71) — Darian Mitchell 12 5-13 29, Williams 0 0-0 0, Rincon 6 3-6 15, Jackson 0 6-6 6, Anderson 1 1-3 3, Lavin-Williams 1 6-8 8, Hickam 3 2-2 10, Hall 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Parson 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 23-38 71.
3-Point Goals — N.V. 9 (Kirkland 2, Ha. Kersten 1, Touey 3, Ha. Kersten 3), Dou. 2 (Hickam 2). Total Fouls — N.V. 25, Dou. 12. Fouled Out — Robles, Ottosen. Technicals — N.V. coach Shafer.