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December 21, 2012

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Baker leads Jeff rally past Clarksville, 77-59

JEFFERSONVILLE — For Clarksville, it was a chance to tune up against a local powerhouse ahead of the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament. For Jeffersonville, it was another day at the office.

Darryl Baker scored 32 points and the Red Devils outscored the Generals 25-11 in the third quarter en route to a 77-59 victory over the Generals at Johnson Arena on Friday.

“Clarksville’s an outstanding team,” Jeff coach Chad Gilbert said. “Our kids played hard with them. We knew they weren’t going to get rattled.”

Thanks to a 3-pointer at the midway buzzer by Aidan McEwen, the Generals trailed by just two points, 32-30, heading into the third quarter. But the Red Devils forced three straight Clarksville turnovers to start the second half, converting on all three to put together a 7-0 run to open the frame.

Keenan Williams led the Jeff assault, scoring eight of his 12 points in the quarter.

“I thought Keenan came out ... and really gave us a spark to start the second half,” Gilbert said.

“I don’t think they did anything different,” Clarksville coach Jason Connell said. “Maybe their pressure picked up a little bit, but ... it was on us. It was the things that we didn’t do that we did do in the first half. They picked up their pressure a little bit, but we didn’t cut very well. We stood around on offense.”

The Generals’ offense sputtered in the third quarter, managing just seven shots and 10 points from the floor. Clarksville turned the ball over five times to none for Jeff.

“It’s a thing we’ve stressed for four days, and it’s called focus,” Connell said. “We just lost focus.”

Baker scored 19 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, mostly working the paint.

“Darryl did great,” Gilbert said. “He missed a couple of early shots that he usually hits, but that had a lot to do with Clarksville playing aggressive.”

McEwen, Clarksville’s top scorer, struggled mightily in the first half, hitting 2-of-10 from the field for five points. He finished with a team-high 16.

The Generals were successul from long range early on. Austin Johnson drained two 3s, while Jermagio Smith added another. Jeffersonville tried to respond from long range in the second quarter, but missed on all five of its attempts.

“You can’t win shooting 3s like that, all the 3s we shot,” Gilbert said. “Clarksville’s a great shooting team. That’s their style. That’s not our style.”

For Jeffersonville, Drew Ellis contributed 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds. The Red Devils outrebounded Clarksville, 21-16.

Myles Harvey added 11 points in the victory.

For Clarksville, Calvin McEwen fought through foul trouble to score 13 points, with 10 of those coming in the final stanza. Andrew Jones added 12.

Jeffersonville (5-1) faces off against Indianapolis Metropolitan at the Bob Wettig Tournament in Richmond on Thursday, while Clarksville (5-1) faces the Dragons in the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament opener on Dec. 28.

“It’s great playing a game like this going into the holiday tournament,” Connell said. “It helps us a lot. Like I told the kids, win or lose this game, it’s a momentum builder. Things we need to work on going forward, but it’s also great competition for tournament time.”

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