For the second time this season, Jason Connell beat his former team as the Charlestown boys’ basketball team topped Clarksville 65-47 on Monday in the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament semifinals.
“The first time it was very weird; now it’s not,” said Connell, who is in his first year as the Pirates coach after guiding the Generals the previous four. His team will face Silver Creek in the title game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Charlestown (4-3), which had beaten Clarksville 54-40 Dec. 12, jumped on the Generals (0-8) early. The Pirates made 8 of their 11 shots in the first quarter, which they finished on a 9-2 surge, to lead 17-9.
“It was our defense and rebounding that got us off early,” Connell said.
Clarksville’s Evan Guenther hit a 3-pointer 24 seconds into the second quarter, but Charlestown responded with an 11-2 run that was highlighted by reserve forward Jamal Long’s steal and dunk. Long tallied six of his team-high 12 points in that spurt.
Leading 28-17 at halftime, the Pirates then scored the first 13 points of the second half to take command.
Led by Long, Charlestown got a big boost from its bench as the Pirates’ starters outscored their bench by one, 33-32.
“We’ve got seven or eight kids that could probably start any night,” Connell said. “Our bench came in and gave us a good lift.”
Starters Gage Martin and Lex Smith added nine and eight points, respectively, while Korey Harris and Tanner Wesp scored seven each off the bench for Charlestown, which shot 53.7 percent (22 for 41) from the field.
Guenther tallied 12 points to lead Clarksville, which shot 35.7 percent (15 for 42) from the field and was plagued by 18 turnovers, while Nick Bryant tallied 10 off the bench.
Charlestown (4-3) – Lex Smith 8, Eli Daniel 6, Tristan Chester 6, Gage Martin 9, Hunter Crace 4, Derek Walters 6, Korey Harris 7, Jamal Long 12, Tanner Wesp 7.
Clarksville (0-8) – Cody Leonhardt 8, Evan Guenther 12, Nick Jones 3, Bryce Hale 4, Wyatt Kissel 7, Nick Bryant 10, Alex Taylor 3.
3-point goals – Bryant 3, Guenther 2, Martin 1.