Clarksville boys rally past Silver Creek 56-53 to earn share of Mid-Southern title

Clarksville boys rally past Silver Creek 56-53 to earn share of Mid-Southern title


Clarksville boys rally past Silver Creek 56-53 to earn share of Mid-Southern title


The Clarksville boys’ basketball team dug itself out of an 11-point second-half hole and slipped past visiting Silver Creek 56-53 Thursday night.

With the win, the Generals (18-2, 8-1 Mid-Southern) grabbed a share of the conference title, along with Browns­town and Corydon.

“Conference championships — they’re hard to win,” said Clarksville coach Jason Connell. “We’ve won two of the last three years. To be honest, nobody thought we could win the conference this year.

“So I’m very proud of our guys, because Silver Creek played well. I thought they gave a great effort.”

Clarksville found it hard to contain the Dragons (12-7, 6-3) who erupted for 23 points in the third quarter and still led 46-37 after Jake Steele hit a six-footer with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

“Our defensive effort again was just not very good,” Connell said. “Silver Creek’s length gives you trouble. But we found a way to win. In the end, we made the plays that seniors make.”

After D.J. Coleman hit a ­3-pointer in the last minute of the third quarter, the Generals made their move in the final period.

Silver Creek led 51-48 after Zach Davidson hit a six-footer for the Dragons with 3:49 left.

From there the Dragons hit just two free throws the rest of the way, and Clarksville’s two star guards, Calvin McEwen and Andrew Jones, came up with the deciding plays.

With 3:13 left, McEwen, who finished with 20 points, drilled a 3-pointer to tie it at 51.

About a minute later, after McEwen missed from the left corner, Jones stole the ball from Silver Creek and drilled his own 3-pointer, giving the Generals their first lead of the game.

“That definitely felt good,” Jones said. “It was a big game-changer for us.”

“We have a winning mentality,” Connell said of his team. “It does help.”

Jones, who led the Generals with 25 points, then missed two front ends of bonus opportunities, and Davidson hit two free throws with 55 seconds left.

“I never expect to win,” Jones said. “We come out ready to play, thinking we haven’t won all year.”

After Jones missed a shot in the lane, the Dragons had the ball with 20 seconds left, and Shae Durham drove to the basket and was fouled with eight seconds left. He missed both free throws.

“We wanted somebody going to the basket,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “We got the opportunity we wanted. Ten times out of 10, I’d want Shae Durham in that same situation.”

After Jones hit two free throws, Silver Creek’s Gabe Bauer missed a 3-point attempt with two seconds left.

Nick Tinsley led the Dragons with 17 points, and Bauer added 13.

Hoffman said he was proud of the way his team played, considering it was missing its top post player, Christian Reed, who twisted an ankle against Brownstown.

“We got taken behind the woodshed against Brownstown,” Hoffman said. “It was embarrassing. We didn’t know what to expect, to tell the truth. Our guys showed we’re going to be a tough team in the sectional.”

Hoffman said Reed will be ready for next week’s sectional tournament.


More USA TODAY High School Sports