SEYMOUR — In the end, Trevon Blueitt and the No. 1 Park Tudor Panthers were too much for Clarksville.
Blueitt scored 36 points, grabbed 17 boards and handed out four assists to lead Park Tudor to its third state finals in four years after a 76-64 victory over the Generals.
It certainly wasn’t for lack of determination, grit and heart on the part of Clarksville.
Four times Clarksville fell behind by double figures at Seymour’s famed Lloyd E. Scott Gymasium. Three times the Generals came storming back to make it a game.
“They were a great team, the best team we’ve faced [in the tournament] so far,” Blueitt said of the Generals. “I knew it was going to be a battle from the start. We were never comfortable with any lead. They’re tough.”
Less than six minutes into the game, Blueitt pulled up and nailed a deep 3 to give the Panthers a 17-6 lead. The future Xavier Musketeer and McDonald’s All-American candidate had 11 points and a pair of assists in the opening run.
“One of the things I said to the guys before the game was, “Guys, you can’t get down 8-10 points.’” Clarksville coach Jason Connell recalled. “Within two minutes of the game starting, we got down 10 points.”
If anyone thought the game was over, they underestimated the heart of a champion. Senior Andrew Jones banked in a three-quarters court shot to cap a 6-2 run to close the opening period.
Clarksville senior Calvin McEwen opened the second with a drive then assisted on an Evan Guenthner 3-pointer that got Clarksville within 19-17. Jones later hit a 3 and the Park Tudor advantage was again down to two points at 26-24 with 3:13 left in the half.
“I think that’s the kind of team we have,” Jones said. “We’re going to fight regardless of the score. That’s the kind of mentality we have.”