While Aaron Gordon may be making highlights in Tucson, Mitty showed no intention of giving up the reigns in the West Catholic Athletic League. The Monarchs were in control throughout in a 69-42 win over St. Francis-Mountain View.
Seven players scored at least five points for Mitty, which features multiple weapons. Matt McAndrews (5 points) and Connor Peterson (11 points) add a dynamic factor with their ball handling to go with the inside presence of sophomore Ben Kone (11 points), who transferred in from Salesian. JP Rindfleisch had a team high 12 points with three outside jumpers.
I think we have a lot more weapons where guys are more confident," Mitty head coach Tim Kennedy said. "They can't just sit on one guy because we can exploit you from different angles."
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Mitty has ruled the WCAL for the last three years with a 47-3 mark in league regular season and tournament play. Along the way, the Monarchs have added three NorCal titles and two state crowns, but it is a new era at Mitty.
The Monarchs have risen from No. 12 to No. 8 in the NCP Top 20 winning eight of its first 10 games, including a runner-up finish at the loaded Modesto Christian tournament. The Monarchs will face Riordan, which lost its league opener to Serra, on Friday in a Top 20 matchup.
"Every game is huge in this league. The next game is huge. That's our mindset," Kennedy said.
St. Francis suffered its first defeat after winning the first 10 games. With a wide open offense dictated by guard play, the Lancers displayed freedom to shoot it with range. They were led by senior Brian Garrett, who finished with 10 points. Last year, the Lancers made a surprising run to the NorCal Division II semi-finals. St. Francis hosts Serra on Friday trying to avoid a 0-2 league start.
Matt McAndrews 6-foot-0 PG Mitty (2014): The shifty point guard has very good vision and creativity to direct the Monarchs attack. He plays a little too fast at times in getting caught in between options. When he looked to score, he went with a floater and made a three pointer off a screen. The senior is a pass first point guard who should land somewhere this spring.
Connor Peterson 6-foot-3 G Mitty (2014): Peterson played off the ball much of the night and had a couple of nice drives to spark the early offense. He took it with his left hand going baseline and also worked around the defense to score in the paint. He added a right handed take and a three pointer. He is a tough defender, but committed four turnovers. Peterson is headed to Azuza Pacific.
Peter Hewitt 6-foot-9 Post St. Francis-Mountain View (2016): His playing time was limited, but Hewitt had a memorable play in the first half. Off a pump fake on the left side of the floor, he put the ball on the deck and got to the rim for an and one dunk. Though he is just a sophomore, Hewitt needs to add bulk and toughness inside. He was beat a couple times by Kone on physical plays. Hewitt is a sophomore to watch.
Ben Kone 6-foot-8 Post Mitty (2016): As the 2016 class continues to emerge on the high school scene, Kone should be on the list of top prospects. He had a double-double on Tuesday as an active rebounder and two put backs off offensive rebounds. He needs to become more consistent with his rebounding technique and improve his offensive game. Kone had a nice bucket when he was fronted early in the game, but lacks a developed offensive arsenal. Overall, strong showing for Kone.