Two overtime victories in one day — over Austin and Linton — is all it took for Clarksville to win its first boys’ basketball regional championship on Saturday in Memorial Gym.
After a 49-45 squeaker against Austin in the semifinals, Marquise Parrish’s layup at the buzzer off Calvin McEwen’s assist sent the title game into overtime. McEwen followed with a basket and another assist to spark the Generals to a 42-36 victory over defending champion Linton in the Class 2-A Southridge Regional.
“These guys just needed to make plays,” Clarksville coach Jason Connell said of his No. 2-ranked Generals (23-2). “We challenged them, and they did it.”
The Miners (20-7) led 20-19 at halftime and 26-23 going into the fourth quarter.
To say it was a defensive struggle would be an understatement. Linton managed just three free throws and no field goals in the fourth quarter but still led, 29-27, after Ryan Woodward’s two free throws with 4.4 seconds left.
But the Generals made their final possession count. McEwen found Parrish wide open under the basket for the tying shot, and suddenly momentum was with the Generals going into overtime.
“We started attacking like we knew we could,” Connell said.
After scoring just 10 points in the second half, Clarksville scored 13 in the four-minute overtime. McEwen’s driving layup at the 2:15 mark put the Generals on top for good at 33-31. Parrish’s defensive rebound set up Aham Yennes’ basket — off another McEwen assist — for a four-point edge with 1:26 left.
In the final 40 seconds, Clarksville got a steal and fast-break layup by Andrew Jones and two free throws by McEwen to make it 39-34.
It was 39-36 with 17 seconds left, but Jones and D.J. Coleman combined to hit 3 of 4 free throws to clinch it. Coleman’s trip to the line at 0:07 came after a big defensive rebound.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys,” Connell said. “It’s nice; it feels really good.”
McEwen scored 16 points to lead Clarksville. Linton was led by Bryant Jackson’s 10.
Yennes grabbed a defensive rebound and hit two free throws with 2.5 seconds left in overtime to ice the victory over Austin, which had rallied from eight down in the fourth quarter.SEMIFINALS:
McEwen’s two free throws with 1:48 left in the fourth quarter tied it at 43 and were the last points of regulation.
D.J. Coleman got the Generals off to a good start in overtime, hitting his only 3-pointer of the game to make it 46-43 with 3:30 left. Austin’s Hunter Spencer scored to make it a one-point game, and McEwen hit 1 of 2 free throws with 47 seconds remaining for a two-point edge.
The Eagles came up empty on two golden chances to tie or take the lead, and Yennes grabbed the last rebound to set up his free throws.
McEwen scored 17. Devin Richey had 15 for Austin (13-11).
In the earlier game, Bryant Jackson scored 23 points and Beau Eaton added 18 to lead Linton past Perry Central 75-65.
– Woodward 9, Riddell 9, Joshua Dieball 8, Jackson 10, Joseph Dieball 0.Linton (20-7)
– Coleman 7, McEwen 16, A. Jones 9, Kissel 2, N. Jones 2, Parrish 4, Yennes 2.Clarksville (23-2)
– Coleman 1, McEwen 2, Woodward 1, Riddell 1, Jackson 3.Three-point goals
– Jackson 23, Joseph Dieball 9, Woodward 13, Joshua Dieball 4, Riddell 8, Eaton 18.Linton (20-6)
– Schraner 17, Huber 20, Schwartz 2, Schaad 1, LeClere 11, Hubert 14.Perry Central (18-6)
– Jackson 2, Woodward 1, Schraner 2, Huber 1, Hubert 1.Three-point goals
– Mayfield 6, Richey 15, Wooten 8, Vires 3, Spencer 8, Fleenor 3, Staschke 2.Austin (13-11)
– Yennes 6, McEwen 17, Parish 6, Jones 5, Kissel 2, Guenthner 5, Coleman 8.Clarksville (22-2)
– Mayfield 2, Richey 1, McEwen 4, Guenthner 1, Vires 1, Jones 1, Fleenor 1, Coleman 1.Three-point goals