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EA girls upend state champs

By By Lori Dann
Chad Prewett knew his Escambia Academy Lady Cougars had the potential to be a state championship contender this year.
Now the rest of the state knows it too.
The Lady Cougars, who struggled in their first couple of games this season, raised their game to a higher level Tuesday night. The result was a 63-54 victory over defending state champion Fort Dale, the state's top ranked AISA Class 1A girls basketball team.
EA's victory snapped a 28-game winning streak for Fort Dale.
"We've gotten better each game," Prewett said. "It all came together against Fort Dale."
Prewett said the game was won on the boards, where pulled down 48 total rebounds. Freshman Jessica Gibbs led the way with 17, including nine on the offensive boards, followed by Jenifer Dykes with 10, Amy Ridgeway with seven and Jennifer Martin and Ashley Helton with six each.
"Jessica really stepped up for us," Prewett said. "For a ninth-grader to have 17 rebounds is incredible."
After a close first quarter, the Lady Cougars took control in the second quarter and eventually pushed their advantage to double digits. The game never got much closer, with Fort Dale getting no closer than six points the rest of the way.
"They hit two straight three-pointers at one point, but we came right back and answered," Prewett said. "That's the mark of a good team. And we were doing it against basically the same team that won the state championship last year. They only lost one player off that team."
Dykes led the offensive effort for EA with 20 points, while Gibbs had 16, including an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line. Martin added nine points.
Ridgeway and Holly Mack had six each, Bethany Hawkins had two and Emily Hardy had one.
Dykes also had six assists and three steals in the game, while Ridgeway had six assists, Mack had two steals and Helton had two assists.
With the win, Escambia Academy improved to 3-0 heading into the Fort Dale Invitational Tournament on Saturday.
Published Nov. 28, 1999