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By ERIC CLUTTER | CORRESPONDENT
Corey Mitchell scored a game-high 25 points Friday night, leading the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders to a 68-60 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division victory over Field.
Mitchell, the lone offensive bright spot for the Rough Riders in last week's 69-31 loss at Barberton when he scored 16 points, erupted for 11 tallies in the final 3:29 of the first half, keying a 13-2 momentum-changing run that put Roosevelt (1-1, 1-0 PTC Metro) ahead for good and gave the visitors a 36-30 advantage at the intermission.
The Rough Riders expanded the margin to as many as 13 points with 5:07 to play in the contest and held off the Falcons (1-1, 0-1).
Six-foot-7 junior Myles Wright scored 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter and sophomore guard Phillip Grant finished the evening with 11 as the Rough Riders presented first-year coach Ben Dunlap with his first victory.
"We have been working really hard this week in really all facets," said Dunlap. "And we really focused on our halfcourt offense and tried to get our playmakers in a position where they could be successful."
Wright's big first quarter, sidetracked by a pair of fouls which forced him to the bench and turned the offensive spotlight on Mitchell, kept the Rough Riders within three points after eight minutes (19-16), as Field's Macklin Coleman nearly matched Wright with nine points of his own.
Wright's impact on the defensive end was also evident all game as well.
"I really challenged Myles after last week's game to give us the effort on the glass," said Dunlap. "He is so long, he can really affect and challenge a lot of shots. It seemed like he had 10 blocks tonight. He gave us an excellent week of practice and I think it really showed here."
Two Coleman free tosses with 3:29 to go in the half upped the Falcons' lead to 28-23, before Mitchell went on his own personal scoring burst.
Two drives and a jumper by the 6-1 senior, along with a Kardell Jackson bucket in the paint, fueled eight straight Roosevelt points to give the Rough Riders a 31-28 edge.
Following a pair of Field free throws, Mitchell then capped the half with a 3-pointer and two free throws.
The Falcons, paced by Coleman's team-high 15 points, Michael Poole's 10 and Austin Sparks' nine, stayed within range for most of the second half, despite shooting only 14-of-27 from the charity stripe for the game.
Two Poole free-throw makes with 1:36 showing in the fourth quarter narrowed the gap to six points, but Mitchell added a free toss and a layup to secure the win for Roosevelt.
Way to go Riders!