Mitchell proving Ram tough Play at boys camp sharpened game

December 23, 1992|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

During the winter season, Randallstown junior Nyota Mitchel spends much of her time on the basketball court.

In the summer, Mitchell wants to be where the boys are.

No, she doesn't spend her vacation on the beach at Ocean City. Mitchell attends Coppin State's summer basketball camp, where she is the only female competing against high school boys.

At the camp, Mitchell is treated like one of the guys. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

"They don't slack up on me," she said. "They play me hard, and that's the way I like it."

Mitchell, a 6-foot power forward who is the area's top scorer (25.8 ppg), has been playing basketball against boys since the ++ third grade.

Three years ago, she approached the Coppin State camp and asked if she could play.

"They told me I'd have to prove myself," said Mitchell, who once scored 16 points in a game at the camp. "They saw I could play so they let me come back."

Opposing players and coaches in Baltimore County also have RTC seen that Mitchell can play.

She has led the No. 16 Rams to a 6-0 record and first place in the Baltimore County 4A/3A League. Randallstown, 12-9 last season, has defeated Catonsville, Lansdowne, Dulaney and Woodlawn, four of the top teams in the league.

"She's the best ballplayer in Baltimore County," Catonsville coach Dennis Quinby said.

Mitchell, who has sparked interest from Division I schools such as Stanford, Clemson and Duke, has an impressive arsenal of offensive weapons.

She is averaging 11.4 rebounds, and her leaping ability allows her to score off second and third shots over opposing players.

Mitchell, who averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore, also scores a number of points off steals. And she can shoot an occasional three-pointer as well as drive to the basket with slick one-on-one moves.

"Her competition against boys has probably helped her to create a lot of the moves she has," Slaughter said.

The drawback to Mitchell's aggressive play on offense is that she is frequently in foul trouble.

"Sometimes she might be a little over-aggressive, but she seems to get called for charging no matter what," Slaughter said. "She's been adapting to it quite well."

As Mitchell's reputation grows, she sees more gimmick defenses designed to neutralize her.

"We played a box-and-one with a double-team any time she got '' into the box," Woodlawn coach Mary Duckworth said.

Was it successful?

"Well, she only scored 28 against us," Duckworth said.

Quinby used a triangle-and-two, with one player guarding Mitchell and another trailing her. Mitchell scored 19 against the Comets.

"I felt I held her under control as best I could," Quinby said. "You don't stop her. You contain her."

The double-teaming of Mitchell has opened up the offense for other players, especially senior center Kim Arthur, who is averaging 16 points and 10.2 rebounds.

"When Nyota sees the open person, she's not afraid to pass it off," said first-year Randallstown coach Kris Slaughter.

L Mitchell also is not afraid to compete against the big boys.

"That's natural for Nyota," Slaughter said. "She's not an average high school player. Her level is above that, and I think she intimidates people."

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