By JON REITER
Host Silver Creek will face off against Clarksville in tonight’s Silver Creek Holiday Tournament championship game after respective wins over Charlestown and cross-town rival Providence last night.
Silver Creek (5-1) opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run that put away the Pirates (1-5) and cruised to a 47-30 victory.
The nightcap between the Class 2A No. 7 Generals and the No. 6 Pioneers was much closer. A 3-point attempt by Brock Hayden that would have tied the contest at the buzzer missed the mark and allowed Clarksville to escape with a 49-46 victory.
Clarksville guard Andrew Jones scored 31 points in the win, including all of his team’s 20 points in the first quarter as the Generals held a 20-12 lead.
Providence will play Charlestown at 6 p.m. tomorrow night, and gametime for the Silver Creek-Clarksville game is estimated to be at about 7:45 p.m.
SILVER CREEK HANDLES CHARLESTOWN
The heavily-favored Dragons (5-1) were a 60-32 winner over the Pirates Nov. 30, but found the going a little bit tougher in the early contest last night.
The Pirates held a 4-2 lead early after a follow-up basket by center Jacob Pollock just 90 seconds into the game. Following that bucket, Silver Creek embarked on an 8-0 run, which was capped by a steal and layup from guard Shae Durham that gave the Dragons an 10-4 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Charlestown coach Sean Smith called a timeout following the Durham basket and the Pirates began to slow the tempo of the contest.
Charlestown held the Dragons scoreless over the remainder of the quarter, and a put-back from reserve forward Darren Taylor at the buzzer tied the contest at 10 heading into the second frame.
“Really, they played us a lot better than the first time we played,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “But honestly, I was not impressed with our energy. That was far from our best effort. The whole first half was like one big mental lapse.”
Silver Creek finally got some distance from the pesky Pirates with a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the half, with centers Christian Reed and Jake Steele converting four consecutive foul shots and Durham scoring again in transition off a nice feed from Zach Davidson with 23 seconds left.
Silver Creek led at intermission 23-16.
Charlestown guard Gage Martin sank a runner in the lane to cut the margin to 23-18 as the second half opened, and forward Tanner Wesp next converted 1 of 2 free throws to cut the margin to 23-19.
Following Wesp’s free throw, Silver Creek scored 11 unanswered points over the ensuing 4:30. Zach Davidson’s short jumper gave the Dragons a 34-19 lead with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter, and the lead grew to as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
For Charlestown coach Sean Smith, there were some encouraging signs for the Pirates, but during one point in the third quarter his squad turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions, something that dissappointed him.
“When we executed our offense, we got a lot of good looks,” he said. “We still turned the ball over too many times (14) to win against a team like Silver Creek. I felt like some of the critical turnovers ... were unforced. We’re giving away the ball when we don’t have to. A lot of our ills are self-inflicted right now.”
CLARKSVILLE EDGES PROVIDENCE 49-46
In the second semifinal, it looked as if Jones by himself might be enough to best the Pioners. The 6-foot-1 senior sank five of his seven 3-point attempts, both 2-point field goal attempts and 1 of 2 free throws as Clarksville held an eight-point lead after one quarter.
“I’m the first to tell you that he’s a tremendous player, and he’s as good as any guard around here,” Providence coach Lou Lefevre said. “I’m not taking anything away from him, but he got 20 points in the first quarter without really having to work very hard. We treated him like he was a reserve from on their bench and not anything special. We weren’t worried where he was, we weren’t worried about leaving him wide open. That was disappointing.”
The Pioneers were able to narrow the gap to 28-25 at the half, but it looked like Clarksville was poised to put their archrivals away with 2:53 left in the third quarter, when Marquise Parrish’s 3-pointer gave Clarksville a 41-28 lead.
If Lefevre was disappointed by his squad’s defensive performance on Jones, Clarksville coach Jason Connell said he was equally disappointed with his team’s lack of focus in playing with the lead.
Providence managed to crawl back into the contest by virtue of an 13-1 run over the next five minutes, drawing within one after forward Nick Hayes backed down Clarksville center Aham Yennes in the post and scored off the glass to make the score 42-41 with 5:17 remaining.
The Pioneers tied the contest at 46 after Calvin McEwen’s missed free throw landed in the hands of Providence forward Grant Goad, who drove the length of the court and scored with 1:09 remaining. Goad led Providence with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
“I hate to be this critical after a win, but I told the guys this was their worst defensive effort of the season,” Connell said. “There were a couple of times that Goad got the ball and was able to go straight to the basket without having anybody get in front of him. That’s just not good defensive effort.”
On Clarksville’s next possession, Jones knocked down two free throws after being fouled by Providence guard Ben Shahroudi, and Parrish sank 1 of 2 with 13.4 remaining for the final margin.
Providence had the ball under their basket down three with 5.4 seconds remaining, but Hayden’s 3-point attempt was short and the Generals captured the win.
“We didn’t play hard, that’s just a fact,” Connell said. “We’re happy to get the win, don’t get me wrong, but this wasn’t our best effort.”
SILVER CREEK 47, CHARLESTOWN 30
Silver Creek 10 13 15 9—47
Charlestown 10 6 5 9—30
Silver Creek (5-1): Tinsley 9, Howell 2, Steele 4, Bauer 5, Reed 10, Davidson 8, Garr 0, Durham 9.
Charlestown (1-5): Wesp 7, Crace 2, Ramirez 0, Taylor 2, Brown 2, Pollock 4, Walters 1, Long 6, Cardwell 2, Martin 4.
3-point field goals: Silver Creek 1 (Bauer); Charlestown 0.
Rebounds: Silver Creek 22 (Steele 7); Charlestown 20 (Wesp 7).
Free throws: Silver Creek 18-20, Charlestown 4-10.
Turnovers: Charlestown 14, Silver Creek 8.
CLARKSVILLE 49, PROVIDENCE 46
Providence 12 13 9 12—46
Clarksville 20 8 13 8—49
Providence (5-1): Shahroudi 7, Goad 16, Hayes 7, Betz 6, Koerner 3, Hayden 3, Schuler 4.
Clarksville (6-1): Jones 31, McEwen 4, Fetz 0, Parrish 4, Coleman 6, Yennes 4.
Rebounds: Providence 23 (Goad 9); Clarksville 19 (Coleman 6).
3-point goals: Providence 3 (Goad, Betz, Hayden), Clarksville 6 (Jones 5, Parrish).
free throws: Providence 10-13, Clarksville 11-20.
Turnovers: Providence 8, Clarksville 11.