Updated: Chiefs beat Blue DevilsPublished 9:54pm Friday, December 20, 2013
Friday night’s 80-76 win over the Escambia County High School Blue Devils was a “really big” win for the Northview Chiefs, said coach Mandel Smith, but may have been even bigger for guard Tony McAroy.
McAroy scored 19 points in the Alabama Souther Community College High School Classic in Monroeville against the team he helped to lead to the Class 4A state semifinals last season.
“It was a great game,” McAroy said. “There was a high-level of intensity. It was good.”
McAroy said there was no animosity on either side and he gave credit to Smith for keeping him focused.
“Coach and I talked about it and calmed my nerves,” McAroy said.
Smith said he told McAroy to play like it’s any other game.
“Just go out there and perform,” Smith said.
ECHS coach Earlando Courtney said McAroy played an “excellent game” and there was no animosity from the team for their former teammate.
Smith stressed to McAroy’s teammates, the importance of the game to him.
“I told them ‘if it means anything to you, go lay it on the line and get the win for him,” Smith said. “They did that.”
Courtney said the Blue Devils allowed two many offensive rebounds during the game and didn’t perform well toward the end of the game.
“We didn’t execute down the stretch and they did,” Courtney said.
As for the rebounding, that’s something the team will continue to work on.
Northview’s Neino Robinson picked up 30 points to lead all scorers. The Chiefs’ Eric Williams added 11 points and Cameron Newsome added nine in the win.
Desmond Williams led the Blue Devils in points with 19 points, while Jarvis Knight and Melik McMillan added 16 each.
The Blue Devils’ clung to a 25-23 lead at the end of the first quarter before Jacorian Shavers hit his second 3-pointer of the game early in the second quarter. Williams then drove the length of the floor during the next ECHS possession to give the Blue Devils a 30-23 lead.
Robinson answered for Northview by hitting both foul shots and then draining a 3-pointer on the following Chiefs’ possession with 6:19 left in the half. ECHS’ Knight hits one foul shot to increased the lead to 31-28.
Knight stole the ball from a Chiefs player and was fouled on the other end of the court. Knight again hits one of two foul shots and increased the lead to 32-28 with 6:03 left in the quarter.
On the Blue Devils’ following possession Jerome Webster hit Williams with an alley-oop pass and the wing player threw it down for two points and a 34-28 lead. Robinson quickly answered with a 3-pointer on the other end and cut the lead to 34-31.
Williams answered back to give ECHS a 36-31 lead with 4:55 left.
Robinson hit two free throws and cut the lead back to three points with 4:49 left in the half.
The Chiefs brought the lead to one after a made free throw and a rebound and put back. ECHS’ McMillan got fouled after a rebound and a made lay in. The ECHS lead increased to three points with 3:44 left in the half.
The Blue Devils increased the lead to seven points after a Robinson shot was blocked and ECHS’ Webster scored. Shavers then got a steal and passed it to Akeem Gray for a lay in.
Newsome rebounded a McAroy miss and then McAroy hit a 3-pointer on a following possession to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 43-41 with 2:11 left in the half.
ECHS then went on a 5-0 run to end the half with a 48-41 lead.
Northview opened the third quarter on a 5-0 run, after McAroy scored on a lay up and Robinson hit a 3-pointer with 7:14 left. ECHS brought the lead to five points, after McMillan hit two consecutive shots.
After McAroy tied the game at 50 each, the teams traded scores until ECHS took a 61-53 lead on a McMillan made shot and foul. The Chiefs stormed back to bring the game within three points after a 3-pointer by Eric Williams and a rebound and put back by McAroy.
The teams traded scores again and ECHS took a 67-62 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Blue Devils increased their lead to 69-62 early in the final quarter, before Robinson hit a foul shot for Northview to make it 69-66 with 5:53 remaining in the game.
McAroy hit a 3-pointer during the next Chiefs’ possession to tie the game up at 69 apiece. Shavers only answered by hitting one of two foul shots during the ECHS possession.
McAroy passed it to Daulton Tullis, who gave the Chiefs a 71-70 lead with 5:05 left in the game. After a series of misses by both teams, Tullis increased the lead to 73-70, before McMillan answered for the Blue Devils.
Robinson hit a jumper to give Northview a 75-73 lead with 3:01 left in the game. After a couple possessions, McAroy hit two foul shots for Northview and the lead increases to 77-72.
ECHS began fouling with less than a minute remaining, but the strategy didn’t work as the Blue Devils went cold from the field and lost the game.
ECHS rebounded from the loss Friday and beat Pine Forest High School of Pensacola by the of 52-41 to move to 8-7 on the season.
The Blue Devils travel to Camden on Friday to take on Selma in the Wilcox-Central Christmas Tournament. The winner of that game takes on Wilcox on Saturday, a team that ECHS has defeated twice this season.