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By MIKE SPRAGUE
LEOPOLD—Perry Central scored the first six points and blew out Mitchell 70-34 in PLAC boys basketball Saturday.
From the start the Commodores exploited Mit-chell’s 1-3-1 zone.
Andrew Huber made 1 of 2 free throws. Then after a defensive stop, Perry Central again exploited the Bluejacket defense as Austin LeClere found a seam in the zone, making a 6-foot jump shot and free throw for a three-point play.
LeClere added a layup with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Mitchell got within one, 8-7 2:12 later as Jared Vance made a layup on a backdoor cut.
The Commodores rebuilt their lead to 12-9 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Mitchell stayed within three until the 3:20 mark, when Perry Central went on a 10-4 run to end the half. Dillon Hubert started the run with a short jumper.
Mitchell answered with the only basket scored by Alex Speer, their leading scorer for the season.
Perry Central Coach Matt Carter said, “Andrew has guarded the leading scorer the last two games and held both of them under double figures. He did an outstanding job.
“If you can take the leading scorer away and make other people try and beat you, it plays into your hands.
On Perry Central’s next possession LeClere made a 4-foot shot in the lane.
After Vance made two free throws for Mitchell, Hubert made a baseline jump shot near the three-point line.
Michael Schwartz made a three-pointer from the top of the key, Nathan Schwartz made a two-point shot, and Huber capped the run by making 1 of 2 free throws to give the Commodores a 32-21 halftime lead.
They built their lead to 20 points by the end of the third quarter, 52-32. And in the fourth quarter they held the Bluejackets to two points.
Perry Central hit 58.3 percent from the field and held Mitchell to 41.6 percent.
Hubert led Perry Central with 16 points on 8 of 9 field-goal shooting.
Huber added 14 points and LeClere chipped in 11 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Dacota Schaad, Trent Schraner, and Huber each had four assists.
Vance led Mitchell with 12 points—all in the first half—and five rebounds.
“Midway through the first quarter we really picked up our defense,” said Carter. “We made it really difficult for them to get good looks.
“We spent all last week working on our zone offense and spacing and moving the basketball and sharing it. Tonight we had 17 assists and five turnovers. It was one of our best passing games of the year.
“We scored inside first against the zone, which is key. Then we were able to kick it out. We didn’t shoot great from three, but we made some jump shots inside the arc because we got the ball in the post.”
Perry Central improved to 10-2 overall, 3-0 in the PLAC. Mitchell dropped to 3-9 overall, 1-5 in the conference.
Perry Central will travel to Crawford County Friday at 7 p.m.
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Mitchell won the JV game 53-47.
Aaron Pierrard had 14 points, Lane Lynch 13 points, and Trey Mullis six rebounds for Perry Central.