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Home Clarksdale falls to Gentry in district tournament championship, 28-19

Clarksdale falls to Gentry in district tournament championship, 28-19

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Clarksdale falls to Gentry in district tournament championship, 28-19

By Josh Troy
Clarksdale Advocate

The Clarksdale High School girl’s basketball team could be playing on the road in the second round of the playoffs next week after falling short in the Region 3-4A District Tournament Championship at Yazoo City High School on Friday night.The Lady Wildcats (23-2, 8-0) came into the tournament as the top seed but finished runner-ups after falling to No. 3 Gentry 28-19 in the tournament championship.

Clarksdale led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter thanks to sophomore post player Caitlin Hall scoring all 4 of her points during the period and junior guard Shacora Jurden connecting on a 3-point field goal. Jurden finished the game with 8 points but made two 3-pointers during the first half. The Lady Rams adjusted and took a 13-10 halftime lead and a 19-15 lead at the end of the third quarter before winning 28-19.

“They extended their defense on the passing, keeping us from setting up our offense a lot,” said Lady Wildcats coach Greg Wilson. “Going from there, we tried to penetrate the defense, getting inside on the block drive to our big (Hall). They were fronting and jumping her, and we would reverse it out, but we didn’t make the shots that we needed to make.”

Wilson expects all of Clarksdale’s opponents to focus on Hall. “Everybody is going to scout us coming up with a game plan trying to defend us as well as they can, so they’re going to try to take away Caitlin, our inside game. As we’re in here practicing, we’re working on outside shots. We’re working on ball fakes and trying to get into the teeth of the defense.” Clarksdale finished the game 2 of 3 from the free-throw line, while Gentry went 11 of 16. The Lady Rams made 7 of their foul shots during the fourth quarter.Clarksdale sophomore guard and forward Janterria Logan fouled out.

The Lady Wildcats beat Gentry twice during the regular season, but things were different in the district tournament championship. “I always say that Gentry kids play for mama and pawpaw and play for the community, so they’re going to be a strong team to play against,” Wilson said. “I just think that was the third time we played them this year. We won by 4 over there (at Gentry) and 3 here (at Clarksdale), and they won last night. So, they know what we do, and we know what they do, and last night we just didn’t have a really, really good game.” Senior forward Janya Walker finished with 3 points for Clarksdale, while junior guard Ramiyah Brown and sophomore guard Sylenthia Earl added 2 apiece.

Clarksdale opens the playoffs hosting Itawamba Agricultural High School at 6 p.m. Monday, and Wilson encouraged fans to attend. “I’m watching film as we speak,” said Wilson on Saturday afternoon. “They are a sound and fundamental team. They play good team basketball from watching the film right now. They’re very fundamental. What we have to do is play and execute our game plan that we’ll come up with in the next hour.”

Wilson said there are many ways to scout opponents Hudl, MaxPreps, and other services, but he said it would be different than facing opponents in the district tournament that the Lady Wildcats played two times each during the regular season. If the Lady Wildcats win on Monday, they will be on the road for the second round of the playoffs later in the next.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Gentry High School focused on stopping Clarksdale sophomore post player Caitlin Hall in the district tournament championship. JALEESA COLLINS PHOTO

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