The Clarksdale High School boys earned their first Region 3-4A win for the 2020-21 basketball season Tuesday night with a 63-55 victory at Greenwood.
Devontae Halbert led the Wildcats (5-3, 1-1) with 19 points followed by Kelley Jones with 14, Dave Wilson with 12, Markevious Jackson with 10, Teric Trotter with 4, Korea McKay and Kyle Coleman with 2 each.
The win came after a 54-38 loss against Yazoo City at home Friday night to open district play.
Jackson led the Wildcats Friday with 22 points sparked by six 3-pointers, Jones followed with 6 points, Coleman had 4, and Wilson and McKay had 2 each.
Clarksdale led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter thanks to 11 points from Jackson in the period. The Wildcats held on to the advantage for most of the second quarter, but a late Yazoo City run gave the Indians a 24-18 halftime lead they would not relinquish.
“I just got on Dave Wilson,” said Clarksdale coach Farrington Hill after Friday night’s game. “Defensively, Dave Wilson let us down and let the point guard penetrate and get in too deep on our defense too much so that was one of the major problems. I just told them and he just owned up to it. Halbert didn’t do anything for us. He couldn’t get it going. I knew they were keying him because they saw the game film from when we played Cleveland Central and he shot the ball pretty well.”
Hill said he knew Jackson would get open shots and he did his part, but as a team, he felt the effort was a problem Friday.
“They were getting there penetrating and they got a lot more layups,” Hill said.
After Friday night, Hill said the Wildcats had to win out to get the No. 1 seed in the district. He said, due to the COVID pandemic, it is a possibility the district tournament will not take place and the playoff seeds will be determined based on how teams fare in the regular season.
The Wildcats did took that first step by bouncing back with the 8-point win at Greenwood.
“It comes down not down to head-to-head,” Hill said. “It comes down to just the points. With them (Yazoo City) beating Greenwood and Gentry – beating Greenwood by 3 and beating Gentry pretty good – we’ve got to do the same. We’ve got to beat Greenwood by more than 3 and we’ve got to beat Gentry by more than 20 because if it comes down to us both being 5-1, it’s going to come down to common opponent.”
The Wildcats will be trying to win by as many points as possible from here on out.
“It sounds unsportsmanlike, but that’s what you have to do,” said Hill, adding without the district tournament, the playoff seeding may be based strictly on the regular season.
The Lady Wildcats (3-3, 0-2) dropped their first two district games by a combined total of four points. They lost 49-46 at Greenwood Tuesday and 27-26 to Yazoo City at home Friday.
“At the end of the game, we had two eighth-graders on the court,” said Lady Wildcats coach Greg Wilson after Friday’s loss. “They’ve got to get experience and the upper classmen have to play like they’re upper classmen.”
Post player Caitlin Hall, who Wilson expects to do big things for years to come, and Janterria Logan are the eighth graders.
“We had a discipline situation that I won’t mention, but we had that going on tonight also and they played hard, Wilson said.
Wilson said the Lady Wildcats battled back, took the lead and put themselves in position to win, but could not capitalize on the opportunity.
The discipline issues were solved before Tuesday’s game and did not play a role.
Hall finished with 15 points against Greenwood, Jermiya Wright had 12, Alexis Moore had 11, Ramiyah Brown had 6, and Logan had 5.
Hall finished with 9 points against Yazoo City, Moore had 7, Tamaria Marbley had 4, and Logan, Wright, and JgeMarriyah Evans had 2 each.
Clarksdale was scheduled to travel to Gentry High School Wednesday, Jan. 20.