As if District 10-AAA needed any more of a heads up: Kenwood’s James “Scooter” Williams is a beast.
The big, speedy guard scored 29 points and played lockdown defense on Tuesday night to help Kenwood claim a 61-54 victory – and first place in the district – over the Clarksville Wildcats.
“We thought before the game we might just try to tie Scooter’s shoelaces together and hope that he didn’t notice it the rest of the ball game,” said Clarksville coach Ted Young. “He sort of put Kenwood on (his) shoulders and when they needed a basket, he was able to get one in tight or get it to one of his teammates to score.”
As an alternate strategy, the Wildcats’ plan was to keep a lookout for him wherever he was on the floor. But when he had the ball, it was usually just Williams against one Wildcat defender.
Most of the time, it did not go well for the defender.
“Honestly, they were disrespecting me by going one-on-one,” Williams said. “My coach told me if they go one-on-one, destroy them.”
On the opposite end, Williams’ length combined with strong all-around teamwork by the Knights held the Wildcats to just 54 points; tied for the second fewest they’ve scored all season.
“Our deal was just try to not give them clean looks. I thought we did an okay job of that,” said Kenwood coach Jason James. “There were a couple of times where we lost guys in the first half and they were able to get clean (shots). In the second half, I thought we did a better job of getting out to shooters. We just want to make everything tough for them.”
The Knight defense benefited from Clarksville’s leading scorer JJ Wheat drawing his fourth foul just halfway through the third quarter, relegating him to the bench and, when he was on the floor, to a less aggressive, off-ball role. He eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.
As a result, Wheat was held to six points. On top of that, the Wildcats missed seven free throws in the fourth quarter and 10 total in the second half. Jamarco Mimms stepped up to pour in 19 points, but it inevitably would not be enough to overcome the poor team shooting, clamping Kenwood defense and Williams’ offensive production.
Now atop the district with the Wildcats, the Knights (9-7) will face another difficult squad on Friday when they visit the Northeast Eagles. Across town, Clarksville (8-5) will look to get back on track at Northwest.
Kenwood (61): Scooter Williams 29, Kevin McIntosh 8, Malik Brooks 5, Kemari McIntosh 5, Makhi Richarson 4, Zac Kramer 4, Jaylen Washington 2.
Clarksville (54): Jamarco Mimms 19, Jaheim McDonald 13, Nick Keener 8, JJ Wheat 6, Mason Spurbeck 4, Jaheim Berry 2, Wesley Booth 2.