Mitchell scores 29 as Duluth girls top North
DULUTH — With no seniors on the roster and two freshmen as starters, you’d think the future would hardly be now for the Duluth girls.
The Wildcats, though, are ahead of schedule and atop the Region 7-AAAAAA standings at least for the moment.
Deja Mitchell scored a career-high 29 points and fellow junior Endia Banks had a stellar all-around game as Duluth improved to 4-0 in the region and 7-2 overall with a 67-45 victory Thursday night over visiting North Gwinnett.
North led by seven points in the third quarter, but Duluth closed on a 37-8 run over the final 11 minutes.
“I’m really happy with the way we finished,” coach Charlie Parker said. “We’re young, but we play hard and learn from our mistakes. We keep getting better each game.”
It helps, of course, to have a duo to build around like Mitchell and Banks.
Both had double-doubles, with Mitchell adding 10 rebounds to her point total and Banks contributed 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots.
“They are really good players and I’m proud of the way they played defensively as well as what they did offensively,” Parker said.
North, 0-3 in the region and 2-6 overall, matched Duluth for all except the final quarter.
Kathleen Wilson had a trio of 3-pointers and led North with 15 points. Jessica Belcher had 10 points and Sydnee Jackson scored nine.
Destinee Auzenne hit Duluth’s only two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.
Duluth led 15-5 early in the second quarter, but Belcher tied it at 23 with the Bulldogs’ fifth 3-pointer of the period just before the halftime buzzer.
Jackson scored the first five points of the second half and North built a 37-30 lead a little past the midway point of the third quarter. After that, though, it was all Duluth as the Wildcats dominated the boards and shut down North’s outside shooting.
Duluth has one more game before semester exams, facing Stephenson on Saturday in the Berkmar showcase. North plays in a showcase event at East Hall on Saturday.