Clarksville senior guard Calvin McEwen had not taken more than 10 shots in any game this season. That is, before Friday night.
“The coaches have been telling me I need to shoot more,” McEwen said. “They said I needed to be assertive on the offensive end if we were going to pull this one out.”
He heeded their advice, hitting 14 of 22 shots and 13 of 15 free throws for a career-best 42 points to help the Class 2-A’s No. 2 Generals rally past host Corydon 79-76 Friday night in overtime.
“Tonight, I was just feeling it,” the 6-foot McEwen said of his productivity against the Panthers (10-2, 3-1 Mid-Southern), ranked No. 4 in Class 3-A. “I was in a zone. No disrespect to them, but I didn’t think they could guard me off the bounce.”
McEwen said he could’ve have picked a better night to have his best offensive performance of his high school career. “It was a great atmosphere,” he said. “Two top-10 teams in the state of Indiana, duking it out. There’s nothing better than this.
“It’s pretty cool it (the career high) came against a team of that caliber,” McEwen said.
Clarksville (11-1, 4-0), down by as many as eight on several occasions in the first half, kept scrapping its way back into the game.
“We fought,” said Clarksville coach Jason Connell. “We fought back and never quit. These kids do not give up.”
Connell admitted it wasn’t a perfect performance. “We had quite a few mental breakdowns,” he said. “But it’s a great win. It’s a conference win on the road against a ranked team.”
Corydon coach Jamie Kolkmeier said the Panthers had a chance to seize total control in the first half. “We had an eight-point lead and the ball,” he said. “You just can’t let teams hang around like that.”
The Generals finally grabbed the lead — their first since a 3-2 edge in the first quarter — when Andrew Jones drilled a 3-pointer with 2:20 left in regulation.
After Clarksville’s Evan Guenthner converted a layup with 1:22 left, Corydon’s 6-foot-7 Bronson Kessinger hit a short jumper and was fouled with 1:12 left. He hit the free throw and tied the game at 68.
After exchanging turnovers, Jones missed a shot in the lane at the end of regulation.
In overtime, McEwen converted a layup and two free throws and the Generals led 74-70, closing out the game by hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the last minute.
Jones added 18 points for the Generals. “I thought he played big for us in the second half,” Connell said. “He gave us that other threat.”
For Corydon, Kessinger led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. Tommy Wiseman added 19.
“It was a heck of a high school game,” Kolkmeier said. “He (McEwen) was just able to make a few more plays than we were.”