Donelson Christian dominated the fourth period to take down visiting Clarksville Academy 53-41 last Friday night.
It was a defensive slugfest throughout the game. Both offenses struggled with the pressure from the defenses, and each was held well below their season averages.
Clinging to a slim lead for the majority of the first half, the Wildcats held a five-point lead at halftime. Junior point guard Ben Singer had 11 of the team’s 24 points in the first half, making four of his five attempts from the field.
The Cougars held the lead 33-32 going into the fourth, but the lid finally came off the Wildcats’ offense in the final period.
Donelson Christian scored on 10 of their final 12 possessions and went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line to close out the game on an 18-4 run. Singer added another eight points in the final frame.
“In the fourth quarter, I felt like we were a team that had more grit,” Singer said. “We were able to get after it a little more and got a few big plays here and there. That led to our win.”
Clarksville Academy coach Matt Wallace was frustrated with his team’s effort in the final minutes.
“They knocked down some big threes,” Wallace said. “We didn’t do a great job of getting out on [Singer]. He’s a great shooter. I think it was a little bit of a lack of effort on our part.”
“We play very little zone,” Johnson said. “We put that in just two days ago, and we worked on it. I was really pleased with how we played it.”
Once again, Singer led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 22 points and knocking down five threes. Singer took off this season, coming up with big scoring nights to propel his team to victory.
“He’s really fun to coach, because he’s really hard on himself, more than I have to be,” said Donelson Christian head coach Nate Johnson. “So for Ben, I don’t have to say a lot to him.
“I guarantee he’ll be out tonight shooting, because he wasn’t happy with something he did tonight or he’ll be here tomorrow, because that’s just Ben.”
“You know when you’re feeling it, you’re just making them,” Singer said. “You know you’re the guy. They got to get it to you, and then once you get going, you get your teammates going. And it’s easy because we just get rolling.”
Clarksville Academy finished fourth in the district last season but has some ground to make up this year if it wants to get back into that position this year.
“We’ll regroup, and we’ll be OK,” Wallace said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve always been told to play for the postseason. I think we’re digging ourselves a little bit of a hole here in terms of the district standings in relation to where we’ve been in the past, but we’ll continue to fight.”
Donelson Christian (53): Ben Singer 22, Riley Stanton 12, Parker Howell 11, Blake Anderson 4, Jaden Carman 2 and Parker Kelley 2.
Clarksville Academy (41): Daniel Loos 19, Cooper Wallace 9, Don Hardison 7 and Jeremiah Smith 6.