HUNTINGBURG — Survivors. Champions.
Class 2A No. 2 Clarksville withstood a major challenge from upstart Austin in the Southridge Regional semifinal Saturday afternoon but outlasted the Eagles in overtime, 49-45. In the nightcap, the Generals went to overtime once again, turning back a challenge from Linton-Stockton, defeating the Miners 42-36 to advance to the semistate for the first time in school history.
It certainly wasn't easy, but as it has throughout the season, Clarksville proved up to the challenge.
"These kids were dead tired. Their legs were gone, but what you have to do at this time of the season is find a way to win," Clarksville coach Jason Connell said. "There are things we have to try and fix going into next week, but we're going to enjoy this one. That's for sure."
Clarksville senior Calvin McEwen was named tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring 16 points against Linton and 17 in Clarksville's win over Austin.
"I can't even begin to describe this feeling," McEwen said. "This is honestly the greatest feeling I've ever felt in my life. We really battled back, and it showed our toughness in the end of the fourth quarter and going into that overtime period. I love my guys and I love my coaches. It was just a great effort, and it feels great to be regional champs."
The 2A “chalk” showdown next weekend many predicted would happen will take place, as the Generals will face No. 1 Park Tudor next Saturday at a site to be determined.
In claiming the regional championship, Clarksville exacted some revenge over the Miners (20-7), who elminated them in the 2A Southridge Regional semifinal last season.
The contest was tight throughout. The Generals (22-2) held a five-point advantage on two different occasions during the first half, leading 13-8 with 12 seconds left in the first quarter after Andrew Jones fed reserve center Wyatt Kissell for a layin. Marquise Parrish scored inside off a another feed from Jones early in the second quarter that gave the Generals a 15-10 lead.