Van Vleck claims Flyer Classic

Mike Forman By Mike Forman

Dec. 30, 2017 at 9:12 p.m.

Malik Mitchell knows Van Vleck has the ability to have a successful basketball season.

The key for the Leopards will be to mesh their talent into a cohesive unit.

"We need to have respect for each other and never get down on ourselves," Mitchell said. "We need to pick up on each other."

Van Vleck displayed its potential by running off with an 85-41 win over Goliad in the championship game of the 2017 St. Joseph Flyer Classic on Saturday evening at the Flyer Dome.

"I feel like the team chemistry is definitely starting to click," said Van Vleck coach Victor Pena. "I feel like I'm finding the rotation that will click. We're very well balanced, and we're looking for the guys who can step up and do the same role as the starters. It's being on the same page and getting in shape and not so much football shape, but basketball shape."

Mitchell and De'Mitri Monroe each scored 22 points and A.J. Stredic added 12 to pace the Leopards, who improved to 8-4.

"This was a good game for all of us," Mitchell said. "It helped us work together as a team and just work hard when we did."

Van Vleck jumped out to a 22-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased its advantage in each quarter.

"Just being able to attack transition and get into our press and cause those turnovers, that's the epitome of our game," Pena said. "If we're able to do that, we're going to see success."

Rocky Morris scored 25 points for the Tigers, who fell to 3-14.

"We started the season without our football players," said Goliad coach Patrick McKay. "The kids have been working hard. We'll be ready for district."

The Leopards are also looking forward to beginning district competition.

"Finding out the rotation is absolutely crucial and I think this tournament did a good job of getting a lot of guys in who I needed to see what they've got," Pena said. "There's no replacement for game time. This tournament allowed me to see that, and I'm excited about moving forward and starting district."

St. Joseph Flyer Classic

Championship

Van Vleck 85, Goliad 41

Points - (Van Vleck) Zey'Vaunte Easton 5, Malik Mitchell 22, Kaleb Burrell 6, De'Mitri Monroe 22, K.P. Ellis 3, Jalen Williams 9, A.J. Stredic 12, Vyron Fields 2, Cameron Brown 4. (Goliad) Rocky Morris 25, Cameron Morris 2, Tino Reyes 2, Bailey Huber 5, Dontavion Clay 2, Justin Brady 5. Halftime - Van Vleck 39-15. 3-pointers - Easton, Burrell, Williams, Stredic, Morris 2, Huber.

Records - Van Vleck 8-4; Goliad 3-14.


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