EA edges Sparta AcademyPublished 8:55pm Friday, December 14, 2012
It’s not easy playing without one of your best players and it showed Tuesday at Escambia Academy. The Varsity Boys Cougars managed to beat Sparta Academy, but they were without point guard Jordan Sasser. Sparta had the ball with less than 10 seconds to play, but Garrett Kirk came up with a big block to seal the game for the Cougars, who won by a final score of 43-41.
Kirk’s final block was only one of a team-high total of six he had throughout the game. Kirk also led the team in points with 18, rebounds with 19, steals with three, and contributed two assists.
The team started out with a strong first half, but struggled in the second half. By the end of the first quarter, they had a 13-8 lead and carried a 21-15 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Sparta managed to take their only lead in the game when the scored to make the score 30-29. The Cougars responded to retake the lead 31-30 by the end of the third quarter.
The game was tied late in the fourth quarter 41-41, but Brett Helton and Josh Peeples each hit clutch free throws and it was enough for a 43-41 win. Helton finished the game with five points, two rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. Peeples had three points, three rebounds, and four assists.
Jacob Dean was tied for most assists on the team with four, while also tallying seven points, two rebounds and a steal.
The win improved the team’s overall record to 9-1. Despite the team’s loss to Kingwood Christian, they remained no. 8 in the ASWA basketball poll.
The Varsity Girls team also had a 62-59 close win against Sparta and improved their record to 8-1. Grayson Emmons led the way with an impressive 31 points, while also contributing seven rebounds and two steals.
While the team trailed at the end of the first quarter by a score of 16-13, they battled back to regain the lead 33-27 at the half. Sparta also refused to give up, retaking the lead at the end of the third quarter 45-42. Not far into the fourth quarter, the Lady Cougars regained the lead 50-48 and this time, never relinquished the lead. Emmons was four for four on key free throws in the closing minutes that made the difference in the final score.
The Lady Cougars struggled to contain Sparta’s April Palmer, who finished with 22 points including three three-point shots. However, Palmer was in foul trouble for most of the game and was forced to sit on the bench for several minutes.
Lacie Flowers led the team in steals with five and contributed nine points and three assists. Allison Woods led the team in assists with four while also tallying four points and four rebounds. According to the school’s unofficial statistics, Paige Allen led the team in rebounding with a total of 18, while Peyton Snider finished second with a total of 13.
The JV Boys were also able to defeat Sparta and their victory wasn’t close. The team won by a final score of 34-26, although the team led 34-22 near the end. The first half was close with the Cougars leading 12-11 by halftime. However, the team pulled away early in the fourth quarter. Trae Lee had several blocks to lead the defense, while H.T. Fountain sank three three-point shots. Tim Finklea had two assists on those three shots, while also scoring seven of the team’s final eight points, including a three-pointer.
The Varsity Boys and Girls teams will be participating in a tournament at Wilcox Academy this weekend. All the basketball teams will return to action at home following the holiday break on Jan. 4 with first tipoff schedule for 4 p.m.