News and Tribune

January 30, 2014

TEN TO WATCH: Big Panthers pose first big obstacle for No. 2 Clarksville

Generals have three games in four days after rescheduling

By GREG MENGELT
greg.mengelt@newstribune.com

CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville has certainly be tested in 2013-14.

The Class 2A No. 2 Generals are 10-1 and have beaten Jeffersonville, Providence and Silver Creek and took Class 3A No. 2 Bowman Academy to the wire.

There are still four unbeaten teams in the Mid-Southern Conference. Clarksville is joined by Silver Creek, Brownstown Central and Corydon Central with unblemished league marks. Obviously none of the four have faced each other.

On Friday, Clarksville faces Class 3A No. 4 Corydon in its first test in conference play. However, Generals coach Jason Connell says the contest is just another MSC road game.

“It’s a conference game and I view all conference games the same,” he said. “They’re a top-10 3A team, but it’s just a conference game. If you lose, you’re behind the 8-ball a little bit. We still have Brownstown and Silver Creek, so this is just the start of a tough stretch for us.”

The Panthers do pose a rare challenge with 6-foot-7 Bronson Kessinger, who is currently being recruited by the likes of Indiana, Purdue, Xavier, Clemson, Boston College and Indiana State. Bowman Academy had some height and the Generals stepped up to the plate, but Kessinger’s size and skill could pose Clarksville’s biggest challenge of the season.

“I’ve been impressed with how we’ve battled and defending [against bigger teams],” Connell said. “You have to have good guard play to win and most people would say that we really have good guard play. I’ll take guard play over size.”

Friday’s game is the first of three in four days for Clarksville, which has suffered through delays in the schedule like everyone else in the region. After Corydon on Friday, the Generals go to winless Southwestern on Saturday and to Scottsburg (5-6) to face an improved Warrior team in a rare Monday contest.

“We’re all in the same boat,” Connell said of the rearranged schedules. “It has been very frustrating — more for the kids than for us. The kids just want to play, especially at this time of year.”



GAME OF THE WEEK

GIRLS — HENRYVILLE (9-8, 4-0 SAC) AT BORDEN (12-2, 3-0 SAC)

• DAY/TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Borden — Class A No. 11 ICGSA.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Borden 9-6 (Borden has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: Borden 36, at Henryville 33.

• REASON TO WATCH: As good as Clarksville-Corydon boys is going to be, this game is actually for a conference championship. Henryville and Borden both remain unbeaten in Southern Athletic Conference action. The Hornets would clinch an unbeaten conference slate with a victory, while Borden would likely win the title outright with a win over the Hornets and a victory at South Central on Saturday.

• ANALYSIS: Early in the year, I would have given Henryville a chance. The Hornets haven’t been playing well lately — certainly not well enough to win at Borden.

• THE PICK: Borden 51, Henryville 37.

 

TONIGHT

GIRLS — FLOYD CENTRAL (6-9) AT PROVIDENCE (12-6)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Providence — Class 2A No. 14 ICGSA.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Floyd Central 9-0.

• LAST YEAR: At Floyd Central 45, Providence 42.

• REASON TO WATCH: It’s a rivalry game and both teams are attempting to get better as the tournament approaches. Floyd appears to be doing so after wins over Meade County and Jennings County and a strong performance at Bedford North Lawrence on Saturday. Providence is coming off a shocking loss to Crawford County on Tuesday.

• ANALYSIS: Don’t let the records and the rankings fool you. Floyd is the better team.

• THE PICK: Floyd Central 60, Providence 43.



GIRLS — JEFFERSONVILLE (13-5, 3-2 HHC) AT MADISON (11-1, 4-1 HHC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Madison — Class 3A No. 5 ICGSA.

• SERIES ALL-TIME: Jeffersonville 28-10.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 8-2 (Madison has won two straight).

• LAST YEAR: Madison 63, at Jeffersonville 56.

• REASON TO WATCH: Before the season, we said that the race for second place in the HHC behind Bedford North Lawrence would be an interesting to watch. Madison is second right now, but Jeff would do no worse than tie for second with a win at Madison and a home win over Seymour next Tuesday.

• ANALYSIS: I’m pretty sure Mike Warren and the Red Devils like it when I pick against them. They seem to win every time I do. So, here you go, guys:

• THE PICK: Madison 59, Jeffersonville 57.



FRIDAY

BOYS — CLARKSVILLE (10-1, 3-0 MSC) AT CORYDON CENTRAL (10-1, 3-0 MSC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP; Corydon Central — Class 3A No. 4 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Tied 5-5.

• LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 55, Corydon Central 46 (OT).

• REASON TO WATCH: First place is on the line in the Mid-Southern Conference. The winner isn’t guaranteed anything and the loser isn’t out of the race. However, the winner will be in great position and the loser will become a longshot in the conference race.

• ANALYSIS: I picked Corydon to win by three a couple weeks ago when the game was originally schedule. Thanks to the weather, nothing has really happened to change my mind. Corydon big man Bronson Kessinger may be the difference.

• THE PICK: Corydon Central 66, Clarksville 63.

 

BOYS — BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (5-6, 1-2 HHC) AT JEFFERSONVILLE (7-5, 2-2 HHC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WXVW-1450 AM.

• SERIES ALL-TIME: Jeffersonville 27-21.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 8-5 (Jeff has won four straight).

• LAST YEAR: Jeffersonville 81, at Bedford NL 75 (regular season); Jeffersonville 83, Bedford NL 58 (sectional).

• REASON TO WATCH: This has been one of Southern Indiana’s top rivalries over the years. Although neither is having a great season, both are capable of winning sectional games in March.

• ANALYSIS: Jeffersonville is a bit of a different team than earlier this season and Bedford has enough experience returning to give the Devils a game. Still, it’s hard to pick against Jeff at home.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 70, Bedford North Lawrence 65.

 

BOYS — MADISON (8-2) AT SILVER CREEK (7-4)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Madison — Class 3A No. 10 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Silver Creek 6-5 (Creek has won four straight).

• LAST YEAR: Silver Creek 61, at Madison 54.

• REASON TO WATCH: Madison is coming off one of the biggest upsets of the season statewide when it came from behind to beat Class 3A No. 1 Greensburg in overtime on the road Saturday. Creek is coming off an impressive 23-point road win at Providence on Tuesday.

• ANALYSIS: Madison’s on a roll, but Creek has been exceptionally tough at home recently.

• THE PICK: Silver Creek 69, Madison 67.

 

BOYS — ORLEANS (9-4) AT BORDEN (10-2)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Orleans — Class A No. 10 AP; Borden — Class A No. 4 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Tied 6-6 (Borden has won two straight and 3 of 4).

• LAST YEAR: Borden 37, at Orleans 36 (regular season); Borden 52, Orleans 51 (regional).

• REASON TO WATCH: The two teams have met in the regional the past two seasons. In fact, they’ve met in the regional three of the past six years. This is probably Southern Indiana’s top Class A rivalry at this point.

• ANALYSIS: Borden bounced back with some really strong performances after its first loss. I think it will again after Saturday’s loss to Christian Academy. If history has taught us anything, it will be a close game.

• THE PICK: Borden 59, Orleans 57.

 

BOYS — PROVIDENCE (8-4) AT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (9-3)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WFIA-94.7 FM.

• RANKINGS: Providence — Class 2A No. 10 AP; Christian Academy — Class A No. 8 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Providence 10-0 (Providence has won 14 straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Providence 47, Christian Academy 26.

• REASON TO WATCH: The Warriors have a chance to end a long losing streak to Providence. The Pioneers could use a win after Tuesday’s 23-point home loss to Silver Creek.

• ANALYSIS: I fully expect the Pioneers to bounce back in a close defensive battle.

• THE PICK: Providence 38, Christian Academy 34.

 

SATURDAY

BOYS — JASPER (5-6) AT NEW ALBANY (9-3)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WNAS-88.1 FM.

• RANKINGS: New Albany — Class 4A No. 14 AP, No. 17 IBCA.

• LAST 10 YEARS: New Albany 9-1 (New Albany won nine straight before last year).

• LAST YEAR: At Jasper 51, New Albany 46.

• REASON TO WATCH: Jasper upset New Albany in the middle of a rough stretch a year ago. The Bulldogs may be out for some revenge.

• ANALYSIS: There aren’t too many players left from last year’s team that lost to Jasper. There are enough to remember and take it out on the Wildcats.

• THE PICK: New Albany 66, Jasper 55.



MONDAY

BOYS — CLARKSVILLE (10-1, 3-0 MSC) AT SCOTTSBURG (5-6, 3-3 MSC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Scottsburg 7-3 (Clarksville has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 65, Scottsburg 52.

• REASON TO WATCH: If Clarksville can beat Corydon Central on Friday, this will become a crucial conference road game for the Generals. It could be a trap game as the third game in four nights.

• ANALYSIS: This could be Clarksville’s biggest scoring night of the season.

• THE PICK: Clarksville 82, Scottsburg 65.