The Donelson Christian Academy Wildcats visited the Clarksville Academy Cougars on Jan. 7 in a battle between unbeaten DII-A District 4 foes – and it didn’t disappoint.

Despite the absence of leading scorer Eddie Ricks, the Cougars battled to the final seconds – literally – and Donelson Christian emerged with a 56-55 victory.

The final minute was full of thrills. The Cougars nailed baskets, and the Wildcats responded with made free throws, making seven down the stretch, including with roughly 15 seconds to go to put them back up by three points. Clarksville’s Paris Pridgen took an inbound on the next possession and slashed to the rim for a layup – not a three-pointer – to go back down by one with 10 seconds left. All Donelson Christian needed to do was make free throws like it had done all night.

They didn’t. Instead, Riley Stanton missed both of his attempts, and the Cougars took over, down one, with about three seconds remaining. However, instead of trying to get a closer shot, the Cougars chucked the ball from near half-court, and the final horn sounded as the rock unceremoniously landed on the floor without drawing net, rim or even backboard.

With the victory, the Wildcats took themselves from a three-way tie for first place into a two-way tie with Goodpasture. It is their seventh-consecutive win.

It was a bittersweet night for Clarksville Academy head coach Tyler Hickman and the team. On one hand, they battled without their leading scorer and two other starters – Pridgen and Keith Richburg – in foul trouble, but on the other, they lost an entirely winnable game.

“[Without Ricks] you’re missing scoring; you’re missing easily one of your most talented players. You’re missing a good rebounder. You’re missing juice, energy, somebody who can get his own bucket,” Hickman said. “I was happy with the way we fought. It’s a sucky result, but at the end of the day, you could be happy with the way we fought.

“We’re happy that we grew some depth tonight, that’s a big step for us, but we wanted to win. Give up offensive rebounds upon offensive rebounds then on the back end of it you miss seven free throws. Two big things in a one-point game.”

The Cougars are no strangers to tight games; the loss was their fifth game to be decided by three points or fewer, with the team going 2-3 in such contests.

Pridgen, Corn Stevens and Tyler Moss all scored in double figures for the Cougars, but nobody could match the production of Donelson Christian’s Blake Anderson and Ben Singer, who finished with 21 and 18 points, respectively.

Both teams played the second half of a back-to-back slate Jan. 8 with the Cougars visiting Goodpasture and the Wildcats at home against Ezell-Harding.

BOX SCORE

DCA (56): Blake Anderson 21, Ben Singer 18, Jude Charlton 7, Riley Stanton 7 and Joe Sims 2.

Clarksville Academy (55): Paris Pridgen 12, Tyler Moss 11, Corn Stevens 10, D.J. Merriweather 8, Cooper Wallace 7 and Jac Wyatt 7.

DCA boys knock off Ezell-Harding

ELIJAH CAMPBELL

sports@mainstreetmediatn.com

The Donelson Christian boys’ team improved to 12-2 (6-1) on the season with a resounding 70-50 win over Ezell Harding on Jan. 8.

Blake Anderson’s scoring night led the Wildcats with 19 points. Ben Singer continued his stellar season with 17 points, and Jude Charlton rounded out the double-figure scoring for DCA with 13.

Max Frazier pitched in with seven points, and Jon Lewis contributed with six points.

The Wildcats continue their season Jan. 15 when they take on Goodpasture Christian School at home.

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