BRADFORD – Mississinawa Valley’s offense seemed to struggle in the beginning of its Cross County Conference road game at Bradford on Friday night. The Blackhawks missed numerous shots and still held an 11-point lead by the end of the first 8 minutes.
But then a mere 17 seconds into the second quarter, Blake Scholl hit a long 3-pointer – his second of the game – from the corner and the onslaught was on. Mississinawa scored 19 points in the second period – its most in any of the four quarters – and defeated the host Railroaders going away, 62-21.
Scholl, who is averaging 11.0 points per game, had four triples in the game with all four of them in the bank by the 3:20 mark of the second quarter. When he sank the last of the four triples, the Blackhawks led 24-6. Scholl led all players with 21 points.
“It felt good hitting that three to start the second quarter,” Scholl said. “I knew after that something was going to click for us. That’s why I kept taking shots and we were able to come out with a win.
“I knew I had to get something going,” he continued. “We weren’t shooting as well as we should have been shooting, and we knew we had to get our inside game going a little bit more. Then the outside game will come on and that’s what we kind of did.”
Mississinawa Valley coach Tim Barga liked what he saw from Scholl.
“He got started in the second quarter and that got us going,” Barga said. “Blake is a streaky shooter. When he’s got time to set himself he is a good shooter. He is long and lanky and has a nice shot. He puts backspin on the ball and has good form. Hopefully this gets him going for the rest of the year for us.”
Scholl said he hasn’t started out the best this season, but feels he is starting to be more consistent offensively.
“I haven’t been doing too well since the beginning of the season,” Scholl said. “But these past couple of games have been better. Coach is telling me what to do different and what to look for. I am starting to do that and now I am getting open more and that is starting to get the inside game open more and we are starting to win ball games now. I feel like we are clicking more now. Tonight was a much needed win for us and now we are just looking onto Arcanum next Friday.”
Scholl wasn’t the only ‘Hawk to reach double figure. D.J. Howell, who is averaging 16.3 points per game, totaled 18 against Bradford. He had six buckets and hit six free throws for his scoring total. Senior Justin Miller also made his return to the floor for Mississinawa with a pair of 3-pointers and 8 total points all in the fourth quarter.
“Justin Miller is a senior, but he broke his wrist and this is his first game back,” Barga said. “He hit two 3s there at the end so that was exciting for him. We had Josh (Fett) and Max (Dirmeyer) on the bench with ankle problems. They both could have played tonight, but we knew we weren’t playing tomorrow already so we wanted to give them that much more rest. We need them for the rest of the year.
“Bradford is quick and that is something that will help them out in the future with the sophomores and juniors they have right now,” he continued. “We thought we would be a lot farther ahead than where we are right now, but we should get everybody back healthy next week and hopefully that will help.”
The Railroaders were led by Connor Jones with 9 points.
Both teams return to action on Jan. 25. Mississinawa Valley will host Arcanum, while Bradford travels to Franklin-Monroe.
Score by quarters
Mississinawa Valley – Trent Collins 1 1 3, Alex Scholl 1 3 5, Kyler Guillozet 1 1 3, Mason Hiestand 1 0 2, Xavier Manning 1 0 2, Blake Scholl 7 3 21, D.J. Howell 6 6 18. Totals: 21 14 62.
Bradford – Gaven Trevino 1 0 2, Gage Wills 1 0 3, Wyatt Spangler 1 2 4, Connor Jones 3 3 9, Austin Crickmore 0 3 3. Totals: 6 8 21.
3-pointers – Mississinawa Valley 6 (B. Scholl 4, Miller 2), Bradford 1 (Wills 1).
Records: Mississinawa Valley (5-7, 4-3 CCC), Bradford (0-13, 0-8 CCC).
JV score: Mississinawa Valley 54, Bradford 21.