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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

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.”

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