Mitchell busts out big

MANASSAS — Walking from the gym to the parking lot, Jason Flagler was not in a hurry to give Potomac teammate Mitchell Freeman any credit for his 35-point outburst in the Metro South Upperclass All-Star Game Saturday night at Osbourn Park.

Sure Freeman’s team of stars from the four Cedar Run District schools lost, 115-106, to a team made up of players from the Cardinal District. But that’s not what Flagler was riding Freeman for.

“Man, no way did you score 35,” Flagler shouted. “They must have given you some of Tyc Snow’s (26) points or something. No way did you score all those yourself.”

Well, Freeman did score all those himself and showed area hoopsters that he’ll be a force next year as a senior.

Freeman played limited minutes for the Panthers last year and only scored 62 points in 28 games. So needless to say, his 35 on Saturday night came as a little bit of a surprise.

“I’ve just waited my turn and hopefully things will work out,” Freeman said.

Freeman played on the freshman squad his freshman year at Potomac and then junior varsity as a sophomore. He moved up to varsity last year, but had trouble getting on the floor on a loaded Panthers team that went 22-8 and made the Group AAA state semifinals.

Just a rising junior, Flagler led the team with 14.8 points per game and did not hesitate giving Freeman a hard time, even though he his younger.

“I still can not believe you dropped 35,” Flagler joked. “Someone must have been counting wrong or something.”

After riding the bench last year, Freeman seems ready to contribute. He showed strength underneath fighting for rebounds with Forest Park transfer Marcus Relf and Hylton’s Patrick Gaines. He scored the majority of his points from inside, but also showed some range hitting two second-half three pointers.

“I’ve worked really hard,” Freeman said. “I’ve been working out with Ian (Sumers) and Eric (Sidberry) and they’ve really helped my game. They helped me get to this point and I’m ready to help out.”

The Panthers lost Sidberry and Sumers to graduation as well as point guard Gary Price, but still have lots of talent returning as they reload for another run at the state title.

Flagler and guard Bryan Butler return to lead the team. The two lit up the underclass game as Flagler scored 32 and Butler added 15. The two finished as the leading scorers for the game and should be amongst the area leaders this fall.

Freeman hopes that he will be able to join in the fun as the Panthers make another run at the state title.

“I guess I was joking around too much in the past,” Freeman said, “but now I’m serious and things should change.”

Freeman’s performance was only one of several scoring outburts on Saturday night. Osbourn Park’s Adam Hinton-Moore scored 18 for the Blue Team, complementing teammate Snow’s 26 points.

Hinton-Moore electrified the crowd with a first-half break away dunk and showed athletic moves throughout the game, including a huge block of Relf in the first half.

Kevin Kelley and Nathan Johnson from Fauquier joined the Cardinal District Gray Team and took away co-MVP honors. Kelley scored 20 and Johnson added 15.

Snow was named MVP for the Blue Team after some hot first-half shooting. He buried 17 points in the first half, mostly on fadeaway jumpers and three-pointers, and continued to shoot well in the second half.

Also shining was Gaines, who scored 19 points in the win. Woodbridge’s James Prince scored 18 for the Grey squad.

UNDERCLASS ALL-STAR GAME, GRAY 98, BLUE 78: Flagler and Butler stole the show for the Gray team combining for 47 points. Flagler scored 32, mostly on dunks and alley-oops to lead all scorers, while Butler chipped in 15.

Woodbridge’s Danny Fountain scored 14 and Chris Kendall scored 10 in the Grey team’s victory. Hylton’s Endor Cooper led the Blue team with 21 points, including three three-pointers. Hylton’s Deon Butler added eight in the victory.

Unlike the Upperclass Game, teams were not divided by district. Players were put on teams based on their division in Metro South.

JUNIOR VARSITY ALL-STAR GAME, BLUE 80, GRAY 70: Forest Park’s Lenzie Adams stole the show, scoring 23 points for the Blue team. Adams is a rising sophomore at Forest Park and scored the majority of his points on jump shots.

“I really like playing in these types of games,” Adams said. “There are not any coaches telling you what to do or anything and you can just go out and play.”

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