The Clarksville boys’ basketball team made history when it secured Clarksville’s first regional championship with wins over Austin and Linton-Stockton on Saturday at the Class 2A Southridge Regional in Huntingburg.
But the Generals didn’t just make school history. According to Indiana basketball historian John Harrell, no team has won a regional crown with two overtime victories in at least 20 years, which means that Clarksville’s the first to do it in the class basketball era. Harrell couldn’t say if it had ever been done.
“I guess it’s pretty cool for our community,” said Clarksville coach Jason Connell when presented with the stat. “Whether it’s two overtimes or however you do it, it’s great for our community because it’s never been done before.”
The Class 2A No. 2 Generals (23-2) played more minutes than any team in the state on Saturday. But Connell’s not concerned about that impacting his team’s chances against Class 2A No. 1 Park Tudor (22-4) at the Class 2A Seymour Semistate this coming weekend.
“We’re fine. At this time of year, you rest a little bit for two or three days after,” Connell said. “We came in [Monday] and did a lot of shooting drills and started watching some game film on Park Tudor to just prepare.”
Connell said the team’s main concern is making sure the team’s players are all healthy for next Saturday’s semistate. He said Generals’ senior guard Andrew Jones is back to full mobility after suffering a hip injury a few weeks back.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Connell said. “This team has been resilient, and to win two close games that like says a lot about their character.”
— Staff Writer Matt Koesters
DRAGONS EXPECTED TO BE GOOD NEXT YEAR
Though Silver Creek’s postseason run came to an end on Saturday, there was plenty to take from the 70-60 loss to Class 3A No. 1 Greensburg in the Class 3A Washington Regional, played at the famed Hatchet House.
The main lesson?
This may only be the beginning for a young Dragon team that stunned fans across the state by knocking off three ranked teams to win the sectional, and then leading 26-1 Greensburg at halftime in the regional.
While it was the final game for three Silver Creek seniors — Zach Davidson, Brooks Howell and Shae Durham — the junior class is deep and skilled enough to make many observers believe it will no longer be an underdog next season.
The starting lineup will remain mostly intact, with only Davidson departing. Nick Tinsley (10 points in the regional semifinal), Jake Steele and Gabe Bauer (18 points against Greensburg) will be returning as seniors, and sophomore Christian Reed — often the focal point of the offense — will be back for his junior season.
“We don’t want to be a one-hit wonder,” said Reed after the Greensburg game. “The juniors have to step up and me, going into my junior year, has to step up with them.”
The phrase “one-hit wonder” was one repeated often around Silver Creek’s camp during the postseason journey. Next year’s Dragons (15-9) are already aware of the pressure to perform, as their role switches from underdog to possible favorite.
Down the line, nearly every Silver Creek player mentioned the three departed seniors as the reason for the culture switch.
“We just have to make sure we have the leadership that this year’s seniors gave,” Bauer said. “Whatever we do next season, we’ll do it for them.”
— Staff correspondent Matthew Cress