PAOLI — No. 2 Clarksville notched their second consecutive Class 2A Paoli Sectional crown on Saturday, defeating crosstown rival Providence 41-32 in a contest that showed blowout potential early but tightened late.
With the win, Clarksville advances to Saturday’s Southridge regional, where it will face Austin, which the Generals defeated 51-41 on Jan. 18, at in the second regional semifinal at 1 p.m. If they win, they'll take on either Linton-Stockton, which defeated Clarksville in last year's regional, or the winner of Sectional 48. Perry Central and Evansville Mater Dei will face off for the Sectional 48 title on Monday because of Mater Dei’s girls’ run to the state championship game.
"It's a good feeling to be here and to do it again," said guard Andrew Jones, who scored six points in the win for Clarksville. "We've got a chance to go [ into the Southridge Regional) next week again, and I'm looking forward to going there and trying to win it."
The Generals had defeated Providence twice already earlier in the season, 49-46 in the semifinals of the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 and 41-32 in the Jan. 10 city championship at Clarksville.
A competitive but slow-paced first quarter saw the No. 2 Generals hold an 8-6 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from D.J. Coleman and Calvin McEwen increased the lead to 14-6 two minutes into the second quarter.
From there, the lead swelled. The score was 21-7 at the end of the first half.
Holding the explosive Generals to 21 points in the first half would have been a positive development, but the Pioneers couldn't find the basket. Overall, Providence was 2 for 20 in the first half and 0 for 11 in the second quarter alone.
Providence's lone second quarter score came when reserve forward Daniel Schuler sank 1 of 2 free throws with 4:32 remaining.