Borden High School erased nearly all of a 14-point second-half deficit before watching Clarksville pull away to a 61-52 boys’ basketball victory on Friday night.
The Braves (14-4) trailed 33-19 early in the third quarter after Clarksville’s Andrew Jones completed an old-fashioned three-point play. Then Borden scored the next 11 points and climbed back into the game.
Borden closed the gap to one on a couple of occasions early in the fourth quarter, the last when Garrett Vick — who led the Braves with 21 points — scored on a layup with 6:16 left.
“We finally decided to put the ball in the hole,” Borden coach Doc Nash said. “Our guys figured there was a basketball game going on and some of our guys wanted to be a part of it. We didn’t make any adjustments.”
Then one of the most unlikely Generals — Evan Guenthner — came to the rescue for Clarksville (16-2).
With Borden concentrating on Calvin McEwen and Jones, Guenthner found himself open in the left corner. He hit 3-pointers from the same spot on the Generals’ next two trips down the floor for a 46-40 lead with 5:14 remaining. Borden would get no closer than four the rest of the way.
“Evan made a couple of big threes for us,” Clarksville coach Jason Connell said. “He’s a shooter, and that’s his job when he comes in. He played big for us.”
McEwen said the Generals have confidence in Guenthner.
“When he comes in, he has to knock down some shots,” McEwen said. “He really did that tonight and he helped us out a lot.”
Connell said, “We looked really good at times and we lost our focus at times. Basketball’s a game of runs. They made a run at us and we countered it. That’s what good teams do.”
Nash said, “I can’t fault our game plan or our kids’ effort in executing that game plan.. That’s the best team we’ve played.
“Calvin McEwen is extremely hard to guard for high school kids.”
Connell said there isn’t much to change with his team as the regular season winds down.
“We just need to stay focused and keep doing what we’re good at,” he said. “This time of the year, you can’t be changing everything. We have to keep working defensively.”
McEwen, who scored 12 points in the second quarter, finished with 21. Marquise Parrish added 12 and Jones had 11.
“The sky’s the limit for them,” Vick said of Clarksville. “They have a chance to do what we did last year — win the state. They have to come out and play great every night, and it’s hard to do.”
– McGee 7, Vollstedt 11, Vick 21, Gillam 4, Craddock 6, Hart 3.Borden (14-4)
– McEwen 21, Coleman 7, Hale 2, Guenthner 6, Parrish 12, Jones 11, Kissel 2.Clarksville (16-2)
– Vollstedt 2, Hart 1, McEwen 2, Coleman 1, Guenthner 2.3-point goals