Crisp Academy’s Madi Mitchell ran off the court at halftime of the GISA Class A championship game with a big smile on her face after banking in a 3-pointer right before the buzzer.
About an hour later, Mitchell’s smile was even brighter after she led the Wildcats to their third straight state championship with a 59-34 win over Citizens Christian.
“It just feels great,” said Mitchell, who is a junior. “We worked so hard to get here, and everyone was gunning for us. To go through all that and win again is just so special.”
Mitchell finished with 34 points and nine rebounds, scoring 17 points in the first half and 17 more in the third quarter.
She was the only Wildcats player in double figures, while Parker Krause had six and Kendall Wilson and Jay Jay Yawn both had five.
“We know what it takes to win, and that’s playing as a team,” Crisp Academy head coach Gina Mitchell said. “That means getting the ball down to Madi a lot of times, but that opens things up for the other girls. And there’s no telling how many assists they have getting the ball into her.
“We knew if they played us man-to-man, that they wouldn’t be able to handle her down low, and that would open things up for us.”
That proved to be the case as Crisp Academy jumped out to a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised from there. Jeris Johnson led Citizens Christian with 10 points, but the Wildcats’ lead grew to as many as 30 points early in the fourth quarter as they methodically put the game away.
After the win, Madi Mitchell already was looking ahead to next year. Crisp Academy has just two seniors on the roster in Yawn and Wilson.
“It’s so special to win for those seniors,” Madi Mitchell said. “Every year, you have seniors, and you want to send them out with a championship because it’s their last chance. This was their last chance, and next year will be our last chance. Maybe we can go out with four straight.”