By CHRIS STONER
Led by Andrew Jones’ 23 points, Clarksville knocked off visiting Corydon Central 55-46 in overtime Friday night to remain unbeaten in the Mid-Southern Conference.
The Generals dominated the extra period 16-7 and defeated the Panthers for the second straight season.
“When you win close ones, it’s nice,” said Clarksville head coach Jason Connell, whose team hit 9-of-11 overtime free throws. “But we never should’ve gotten tied. We were up and came down with two possessions and shot two quick threes and that’s how they got the game tied up. We just didn’t make good decisions at that time.”
Then Generals (8-3, 4-0 MSC) led and 37-34 with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers (7-3, 2-1) finished regulation with a 5-2 spurt to force the extra frame. The home team made all three of its overtime field goals while Corydon shot just 3-of-8 in the extra period.
“We changed our offense a little bit,” Connell said. “It’s hard to guard us when we spread the floor. We have a lot of experience back, but we do have some new guys that are still trying to find their way.”
Early on, the Generals’ defense was on display as they held Corydon to just 3-of-14 first period shooting. Two triples from Jones helped Clarksville to a 10-7 lead at the first stop. The Henryville transfer had four 3-pointers overall and scored 17 of his 23 in the second half.
“[Jones] is an explosive player,” Connell said of his junior guard. “He’s a newer guy to our program and is still finding his way on our team. He’s hard to guard. He’s very quick with the basketball. The last two or three games he’s played really, really well.”
The hosts pushed its lead to 17-9 midway through the second period before the Panthers offense woke up. Corydon finished the first half on a 14-3 run to grab a 23-20 halftime advantage. Tyler Ross scored eight of his 10 points in the second frame to power the Panthers to the lead.
“We’re having a hard time transferring the things we work on in practice to games,” said Connell, whose team committed eight first half turnovers. “It’s also hard to simulate certain defenses in practices also. We took some quick shots at times. Just some situational basketball stuff that we need to get better at. That’s why they went on that run and the game of basketball is a game of runs.”
Clarksville’s defense came out of the locker room strong as Corydon didn’t notch its first bucket in the third period until a Brayden Lander layup at the 3:47 mark. Jones poured in eight of his team’s 10 third quarter points but the Panthers claimed a slim 32-30 lead going to the fourth.
Calvin McEwen pumped in 11 of his 17 in the fourth quarter and overtime, nailed three triples, and dished out a game high seven assists. The Generals, who hit eight 3s on the night, shot 57 percent in the second half.
“Calvin is very patient with the ball in his hands,” Connell said. “He uses his ball fakes well and does a good job of finding open guys.”
Aidan McEwen added 10 for Clarksville, who shot 9-of-12 from the line but didn’t attempt its first free throw until the fourth quarter.
“A team that drives as much as we do, we just don’t get to the line a lot,” Connell said. “I don’t know what the reason is on that. Last year we shot 20-25 free throws a game. We want to get to the rim.”
The Generals are back in Mid-Southern Conference action tonight hosting Austin (3-6), which upset Borden 45-43 on Friday.