CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Clarksville High’s basketball team walked into its locker room after a 55-39 loss to Beech in the season opener of the high school basketball season expecting to see head coach Ted Young with a sour look on his face.
What they got was shocking.
“I was elated,” Young said about his postgame demeanor after his Wildcats struggled to do much of anything against the Bucs in a Hall of Fame game Tuesday at William Workman Gym. “I told our kids their effort was incredible. If we had shot free throws better or made some of those point-blank shots, this is a different story. Sure we have some things to work on but our upside is pretty good.”
Clarksville had nine fouls in the first five minutes of the game, sending Beech to the free throw line with each blow of the whistle. Post players D’Vaughn Whitt and Brevon Johnson combined for five fouls in the first quarter and both sat for much of the first half.
Meanwhile, Beech took advantage, getting in transition while breaking down Clarksville’s defense. The Bucs led 10-2 early in the first quarter and were up 12-7 after the first period.
Clarksville High (0-1) climbed back 14-10 using the foul line, but Beech’s 1-3-1 zone began to take its toll. Clarksville would finish the game with only 13 turnovers but eight of those came in the first half.
“I was teaching our kids with these new rules that you can’t put your hands on a player and you can’t use your forearm,” Young said. “But what I was having an issue with was that if our hands were out, I was teaching the kids it’s OK to run along the side of the offensive player with your chest. But we were getting called for that, too. I need to get some clarification on that because maybe I’m teaching our kids wrong.”
Young also said he intends on spending much more time in practice with his team at the foul line. The Wildcats shot 13-of-30 while Beech was 21-of-30. Sixty shots were attempted from the charity stripe as Noah Chatman led Beech with 15 points.
Only two of Beech’s first 12 points came from the field and the Bucs (1-0) only hit five field goals in the first half yet were holding a 22-15 lead.
Beech opened the lead to double digits after a 3-pointer from Drake Sanson with 3:35 left in the third quarter. That lead would balloon to 19 after back-to-back three-point plays from Chatman. The latter came with 5:32 left in the game to give the Bucs a 47-28 advantage.
“I think our kids have never seen me come into the dressing room smiling after a loss,” Young said. “But I was tickled to death because I know the effort we put out there and the mistakes that we made, those are easily fixable. We’re going to be OK.”
George Robinson. Prep writer. 245-0747. email@example.com.