Ducks dunk Tigers
The 6-foot-4 senior dominated the inside for 38 points and 18 rebounds to lead Taylor past Rockdale 78-69 at Tiger Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Tigers to 15-6 overall and more importantly 1-3 in District 18-3A play.
The surprising Ducks posted their 20th win of the season and improved to 3-1 in league play.
Rockdale was plagued by foul trouble and free throw deficiency all evening as Mitchell sat on the bench for almost half of the game in foul trouble.
The Tigers’ point guard was limited to 24 points, nine below his 33-point average.
The Tigers also missed 12-of- 15 three point shots.
Already holding a 20-18 first quarter lead in a fast paced contest, Kerley catapulted the Ducks into a 40-27 halftime lead by working predominantly in the paint.
Rockdale fought back in the second half and even outscored the Ducks in the fourth quarter 21-16, but could get no closer than nine.
Darius Ford complemented Mitchell with 14 points and eight boards, while Ed Dansby and Bailey Helton took up some of the scoring slack with 11 points apiece.
While it is still early in the loop schedule, the Tigers find themselves currently in fifth place which would leave them out of the playoff picture.
Things don’t get any easier for the Tigers as they go on the road Friday and face district leader Navasota (18-2, 4-0).
The Tigers ran into the District 18-3A co-leaders Friday night on the road and fell 71-63.
The Tigers kept the game close, but 35 percent accuracy and 19 turnovers kept them from turning the corner.
Rockdale wasted a stellar 28-of-30 showing at the free throw line.
The Tigers shoot an impressive 72 percent from the line on the season.
Ford was a perfect 9-for-9 from the stripe on his way to a career-high 30 points.
Mitchell struggled from the floor (2-of-14), but made up for it at the line, sinking 17-of-18 for a total of 23 points.
Mitchell also contributed seven assists, six rebounds, six steals and three blocks.
Madisonville (15-5, 2-1) led 36-32 at intermission and kept the Tigers at arm’s length in the second half, outscoring them 35-32.