BY JON REITER
Just three days after suffering their first Mid-Southern Conference loss of the season to Brownstown, the Clarksville Generals rebounded with an impressive 57-28 home win over Salem on Thursday.
Class 2A No. 6 Clarksville (13-4, 7-1 MSC) jumped out to a 13-0 lead and held the Lions (0-16, 0-8) scoreless until a layup by Eli Voyles notched a short jumper with 32 second remaining in the first quarter.
Clarksville, which never trailed, led 29-8 at the half, 47-17 at the end of the third quarter and played most of its bench throughout the final frame.
Clarksville coach Jason Connell, who had been suffering from the flu for the past week, was back on the General bench Thursday.
He said he felt his troops did a few things successfully in the contest against Salem but still have plenty of room to improve.
“Our transition from defense to offense, I think we’re a little too quick and too fast to not get it out quicker. We walk it up a little bit too much,” Connell said. “But it was a good game for us. We were able to get some good play out of our bench and get some kids in there at the end.”
The Generals received another impressive performance from junior point guard Calvin McEwen, who led all scorers with 17 points. The 5-foot-11 McEwen scored 12 points during the 3rd quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers on Clarksville possessions early in the quarter, and back-to-back 3-point plays on subsequent possessions towards the end of the frame.
“He’s a complete kind of player,” Connell said. “He can handle the ball, drive with either hand, pull up, shoot from outside. He’s not a bad defender, although we’re working on that with him. He’s come a long way for us from when he was a freshman and has turned out to be a good leader for us.”
The Generals were heavily favored in Thursday’s matchup but have a more difficult task Tuesday night, when North Harrison (11-4, 5-2) invades Clarksville territory on Senior Night.
“The main thing now is preparation,” Connell said. “We prepare for teams and then need to carry what we’re doing in practice out to the floor. We have an opportunity to do that in practice this week and see what happens against North Harrison next week.”
On Tuesday night, three Generals — Jermargio Smith, Austin Johnson and Aidan McEwen, who has been a four-year starter for the Generals — will play their final home game on Senior Night.
Aidan McEwen scored 10 points for Clarksville in the win, Smith added seven and Johnson six on Thursday.
Jordan Baker and Derek Catlett led Salem with seven points apiece.