By Josh Troy
Clarksdale High School finished the Region 3-4A boys basketball district tournament at Yazoo City High School in third place and can open this 12 months’s playoffs on the road. The Wildcats (4-4 Region 3-4A) defeated Gentry High School 36-33 on Friday and lost to Greenwood 70-55 on Tuesday. They’ll begin the playoffs at Itawamba Agricultural High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Kyle Coleman led Clarksdale with 12 points against Gentry, Patrick Broomfield followed with 10, Henry Espy added 5, Kelley Jones scored 4, Gregory Neely added 3, Chad Metcalf contributed 2, and Isaiah Galmore scored 1. Clarksdale has beaten Gentry in all three meetings this season.
Wildcats coach Corney George said his team did higher defensively against Gentry than it did three days earlier.
“We were more lively than we were on Tuesday,” he said. “I feel we were a bit of more locked in. “We’re definitely more of a defensive team. We sometimes struggle offensively but hold our own on the defensive end.” The Wildcats led the Rams 23-9 at halftime. “We just played a zone, kept the fellows from getting within the paint, contested shots, and got out on a run,” George said.
Gentry outscored Clarksdale 24-13 within the second half. George said, “The second half, we got stagnant, lost focus; it appeared like.”
George said he reminded his athletes they need to remain focused for the complete contest within the playoffs to achieve success. “It’s a 4 quarter game,” he said. “It’s not a half, and it’s not made up of 1 half; it’s 4 quarters.”
Going into the district tournament, George said the goal was to at the least finish in second place and host a playoff game.
As an alternative, Clarksdale finished within the third and will probably be on the road against a No. 2 seed Itawamba Agricultural High School. The win against Gentry kept Clarksdale from being a No. 4 seed and playing a top seed. George acknowledged the Wildcats are in a a lot better position as a No. 3 team.
“If it could actually’t be No. 2, you don’t want the last, so you would like the three as an alternative of 4,” he said. “The teams are more evened up as an alternative of playing a powerhouse team. We must always be able to play anybody, regardless of who we play, so long as we come locked in, defend, and rating a bit of bit.”
Broomfield and Jones led the Wildcats 15 points each within the loss against Greenwood, Neely followed with 11, Espy had 10, while Galmore and Travis Moore scored 2 each. The Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats by 5 points or less every quarter and added as much as a 15-point victory at 70-55. “That’s just about what it was,” George said. “They’d more points than us each quarter and got us.” The largest difference between the 2 teams in any period was the fourth quarter when Greenwood outscored Clarksdale 20-15.
Clarksdale and Greenwood split the regular season series prior to the district tournament. As Clarksdale prepares to travel to Itawamba Agricultural High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday, George will probably be studying film in preparation and making adjustments because the game goes along because the two teams have yet to play each other this season. “You’ve got to learn it while the sport goes and take a look at to regulate in-game adjustments,” he said.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Wildcats coach Corney George talks to his team during a timeout Friday. JALEESA COLLINS PHOTO