Once in a great while, as in every few decades (or days), someone does something that makes you go, “WOHHHH!”
Micah Mitchell did that something on Tuesday night. The Hawaii Baptist guard made 13 3-pointers — THIRTEEN! — and finished with 47 points in an 87-80 home loss to Le Jardin.
All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind when the Mad Librarian, Jerry Campany, shared the news with me over the phone while I sat there in ‘Iolani Gymnasium. I’d just covered an impressive ‘Iolani win over Punahou.
1. Did we pull the trigger? Earlier, Jerry had mentioned that he was interested in sending one of our guys to shoot video of Mitchell. Why? In my notes on this week’s games, I mentioned to Jerry that HBA would be fun to cover because of Coach George Weeks‘ run-and-gun style, and the locked-and-loaded mentality of Mitchell. I’d seen the Eagles play recently at the St. Francis Holiday Classic, and though I could stay for only one half of the title game, Mitchell’s shooting stroke and great mechanics were impressive.
The answer was no. We didn’t shoot video. Hopefully, someone at Dan Liu Gymnasium recorded all 13 treys.
2. Is it a state record? I don’t know of many shooters who have single-handedly made a double-digit total of treys, let alone 13. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Thing is, Mitchell could surpass this total later in the year, even if he’s scouted to the max.
3. I wish the rest of the state played this fast. HBA has really gone past the speed limit this year. Weeks has a memorable history of letting his teams go bonkers up and down the court. One of his teams at Kalani actually did NOT have a playbook, and his Lady Falcons were instructed to space out, run their own improvised stuff, and launch all the 3-balls they could. That team had some really dangerous, streaky shooters. I remember them shocking some title contenders with scores in the 70s and 80s, then getting dusted by 40 on a horribly cold shooting night, many a time.
But that team was FUN to watch for fans. I imagine HBA fans feel the same way about this season’s boys team.
4. No, fast and furious doesn’t guarantee wins, but it guarantees opportunity. Some coaches would rather slow the tempo and minimize possessions for both teams to have a shot to win. Weeks has done his version of this with HBA boys teams in recent years just because he didn’t have enough shooting.
He has it now, not just with Mitchell, with a least a handful more Eagles. They’ve begun ILH Division II play with two losses in three games. They’ve scored 71, 77 and 80 points. That’s just crazy fun for players, right? Yes and no. They’ve also surrendered 62, 91 and 87 points. They’ve scored less than 53 points just once, a 36-30 win over Waimea.
All in all, it’s hard to argue with success no matter what the style is. HBA Is 12-5 overall and will clearly contended for a state-tourney berth despite a tough field in ILH D-II. Damien? No surprise there. But Le Jardin? The Bulldogs are certainly ascending. But that’s another story.
My hunch on Mitchell is that no opponent will allow him to shoot 13 times, let alone make another 13 treys. They’re going to pinpoint on him defensively and force him to give the ball up, which means he could have teammates launching all those threes from this point on. That would be just fine with Weeks. If his five starters and five subs (platoon system) pick up the opportunities, this could be the best thing ever for these mad-bombing Eagles. I just hope I’m there with my camera if and when Mad Bomber Mitchell goes off again.
Coming soon: Part 2.