27 Dec 2019

Sunshine State Basketball Explosion: Dillon Mitchell shines on Day 1

The 2019 Sunshine State Basketball Explosion is taking place Friday and Saturday at Coconut Creek High School. Here are 5 Takeaways from Friday’s action:

Mitchell’s profile on rise

Tampa Sickles sophomore forward Dillon Mitchell posted a double-double in a 77-57 victory over Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

The 6-foot-7 standout, who plays with E1T1 on the EYBL cirucuit, scored 25 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and tacked on 4 assists and 4 steals for good measure. Mitchell runs the court well, has a soft shot and finishes at the basket.

“We’re doing good,” Mitchell said of the 6-2 start. “We just [need to] keep staying focused.”

Of the next level, Mitchell said, “I’ve got a couple offers Florida, SMU, USF, Texas A&M and I’ve got a couple other colleges watching me.”

Mitchell and 6-11 center Gary Jones III are both very good ball-handling, passing bigs.

Jones contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jones is getting a lot of Division III attention. He said if Texas A&M Corpus Christi offers it would be at the top of his list.

Sandi takes over reins

Julius Sandi was at the helm of St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday after it came out last week that Ed Nelson would no longer be coaching the program.

Sandi, in his first year at STA, was a longtime assistant under Adam Ross at Sagemont.

“As far as I know I am the head coach moving forward and looking forward to the challenge,” Sandi said. “We just gotta get the kids together. We’re taking a positive road to it. They’re all on board so we just have to build. I like challenges.”

The loss to Sickles drops St. Thomas to 3-8. Junior Tristan Goldstein did return to the lineup and led the Raiders with 17 points.

Goldstein had been out with a dislocated shoulder.

Douglas County’s (Ga.) Jackson impresses

Douglas County, out of Georgia, took down Jacksonville Bishop Snyder, 60-48, to run its record to 9-5.

Douglas County plays in Conference 5-6A. The state champion has come out of that conference the past four seasons.

6-4 2021 Jaylen Jackson and 6-0 2021 Jermichael Mahorn led the way.

Georgia State and Kennesaw State are in the hunt for Jackson and Albany State was in the gym Friday. “He’s been one of our better players,” sixth-year coach Hollis Bethea said. “Shoot it, drive, penetrate, can jump very high.” Mahorn is a combo guard who gets the squad in the right sets.

Bishop Snyder was the home of Corey Walker a season ago. The 6-7 standout is at Hargrave Military Academy this year and expected to attend Tennessee.

Edmond in 4th year at Creek

Wade Edmond is in his fourth year as coach of Coconut Creek.

Creek’s top player is 6-4 senior Chris Jones — a Division I football recruit.

Edmond coached at Pompano Beach Blanche Ely from 1985-97 and won a state championship in 1993.

UAB, Kennesaw involved

UAB, Kennesaw State, Tennessee State and Lander are all recruiting Cedar Shoals (Athens, Ga.) 6-6 senior Quincy Canty. Kashik Brown may only be 5-6, but the sophomore guard looks to have a bright future. Very quick.

… Some of Friday’s other scores:

Coral Reef 61, American Heritage-Plantation 50

Florida Christian 93, Spanish River 59

If you have high school or travel basketball news you can reach Pat Lammer at PatALammer@Gmail.com