Senior guard hopes to help Tigers improve

Mitchell Swarengin only knows one way to play.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound, Mount Pleasant senior guard goes 100 percent all the time, full speed ahead.

"Mitchell is a phenomenal athlete with a great will to play," said Mount Pleasant basketball coach Michael Johnson. "This kid never stops, he goes 100 miles per hour on and off the court, which can be a lot to handle. But, he hustles all the time, and it makes him the type of guy everyone wants to coach."

Swarengin's skills also makes him a coach's dream, as the senior has improved his game in his final season as a Tiger.

After being a role player for most of his career at Mount Pleasant, averaging about 10 points per game last year, Swarengin has taken over the lead role for the Tigers and is now scoring 21 points per game.

Johnson says the key to Swarengin's game is his fearless ability to get to the basket, almost at will.

"(Mitchell) is always attacking the rim, getting to rim," said Johnson. "He has a good outside shot, but he prefers to drive it."

No matter what he is doing, Swarengin has become a scoring machine, having exploded for 29 points in a win over Gray Stone Day, 20 in a win over North Stanly and 26 points in a loss to Weddington.

But while Swarengin likes to be the leader and the player that his teammates count on, he wants to help his team get better more than anything. Right now, the Tigers have struggled, going 3-4 (0-2 in the South Piedmont Conference)."I love being the man everyone looks to lead the team," said Swarengin. "But I want to win first and foremost. I will do anything I can to make that happen."

That includes Swarengin asking Johnson if he could address the team before practice in a players-only meeting.

Swarengin told his team that he was tired of losing and that everybody, including himself, needed to pick up their energy and intensity.

"Mitchell wants to win so bad, I think it is infectious and rubs off on the rest of the team," said Johnson. "He is a great leader. He will do anything he can to help his teammates."

Swarengin and Johnson think junior point guard Dylan Calicutt, who's averaging 15 points, and forward classmate Dezmond Leach are capable of doing great things.

If they can pick it up and help Swarengin in the scoring department, it should mean bigger and better things for the team.

Swarengin lists his goals as finishing in top half of the SPC, making at least the second round of the conference tournament so they can play in Cabarrus Arena and a trip to the 3A playoffs, which would be the second time in school history.

But he knows to accomplish that, he'll have to continue helping his team.

"I have to be the leader," said Swarengin. "That means I have to do whatever it takes to help this team win. This is the last time I will get to do this with my teammates. I want to make the most of it."