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James Clemens outscores Black Bears in 71-68 win to advance in Class 7A, Area 8 tourney

MADISON — James Clemens edged Austin, 71-68, in the opening round of the Class 7A, Area 8 tournament on Wednesday.

The Jets advance to the tournament finals vs. Florence, which upset No. 1 seed Bob Jones, 61-59, also on Wednesday.

It was close contest all night and when Austin’s Kelton Petty hit two free throws with 2:14 left to play to cut the Jets’ lead to 67-66, it looked like a fantastic finish was coming. Fortunately for the Jets, the finish did not go in Austin’s favor.

Austin’s last chance came with 20 seconds left. They were down 70-68 and had possession under the Jets’ goal. The inbounds pass was good, but a bad pass went out of bounds with five seconds left to play.

James Clemens’ Keenan Walker hit a free throw with three seconds left to make it 71-68.

Austin could not get a chance at a tying field goal before the buzzer sounded.

The Black Bears led 22-13 after the first quarter. James Clemens used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to take a 29-25 lead. The Jets led 38-36 at halftime.

The Black Bears led 57-53 after three quarters, but the Jets tightened the defense in the final quarter. Austin had only two field goals in the fourth quarter.

James Clemens outshot Austin 45% to 36%. The Jets hit 19 of 32 free throws to 13 of 24 for Austin. The Black Bears had 18 turnovers to 13 for James Clemens. Rebounds were even at 41 each.

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