On Friday night, it was Clarksville guard Andrew Jones who stole the show with 31 points in a Silver Creek Holiday Tournament semifinal win over Providence.
In Saturday night’s championship matchup against tournament host Silver Creek, it was Jones’ running mate, Calvin McEwen, who hoisted the Class 2A No. 7 Generals on his back with as impressive a performance by a point guard that might be seen around here this season.
McEwen finished with 24 points, 17 of which came in the second half, and 11 assists in Clarksville’s 51-45 win over the Dragons, and hoisted the tournament MVP trophy as well as helping his teammates celebrate their second “bucket” trophy in the last three seasons.
“Both of these guys are great guards — they’re different, but they’re fantastic,” Clarksville coach Jason Connell said. “We got on him [McEwen on Friday night]. We said, ‘You have to attack the basket more.’ And he did that tonight. He was great.”
Jones chipped in with 17 points, with his final two coming off a feed following a long rebound that McEwen grabbed off a missed Silver Creek shot with a few seconds remaining in the contest. Jones and McEwen were joined by teammate D.J. Coleman on the all-tournament team.
In Saturday’s consolation game, Providence rebounded from Friday night’s semifinal loss to Clarksville with a 44-23 win over Charlestown.
The Dragons committed to the strategy of pounding the ball inside to their 6-foot-6 sophomore center, Christian Reed, and it paid off.
Reed notched 12 of his team’s 24 first-half points as the hosts led by three at halftime, 24-21.
Reed scored on Silver Creek’s first two offensive possessions and helped the Dragons to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. He led all Silver Creek scorers with 18 points.
Maybe the biggest thing that emerged out of the weekend as far as the Dragons (5-2) are concerned is that he looks to be an impressive inside presence for years to come.
“He’s turning into a man, growing from a boy to a man,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “He’s going to have a great career for us. He realizes that there’s not too many people who can stop me if I’m really aggressive. Going forward he’s going to be a big weapon for us.”
But it was McEwen who took over the game in the third and fourth quarters.
McEwen’s 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Generals a 32-26 lead with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. Another trey with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter gave the Generals a 35-32 lead, and Clarksville would not trail for the remainder of the contest, although the game remained tight.
Jones was quiet early, only scoring six points heading into the half and was held scoreless during the third quarter. But his 3-pointer gave Clarksville a 38-34 lead early in the fourth quarter, and he added eight additional points throughout the fourth frame, including 4-of-4 free-throw shooting as the Generals held onto the lead.
With 20.7 seconds left in regulation, a layup by Silver Creek’s Nick Tinsley narrowed the Clarksville lead to 47-45, but McEwen was fouled on the Generals’ next possession. The senior guard coolly sunk the two free-throws with 15 seconds remaining, and Silver Creek couldn’t mount enough offense to narrow the gap any further.
As he held his MVP trophy after the contest, McEwen talked about what the tournament championship meant to him and the Generals going forward.
“The great thing about our team is that we do have so many weapons. It can be Andrew one night, it can be me one night, next night it can be D.J. [Coleman],” he said. “Tonight it was me because one thing we felt they wouldn’t be able to stop is our penetration to the basket, and with the help of my teammates I was able to get that done.”
While he was disappointed by the loss, Hoffman said he wasn’t discouraged necessarily with his team’s play.
“It was the type of game between two really good teams where literally one bounce goes our way and we could have won it,” he said.
Reed and teammate Zach Davidson were named to the all-tournament team.
Clarksville will host Providence for the annual town championship on Friday, Jan. 10, while the Dragons will travel to Eastern the same night.