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Lady Blue Devils win Baker Tournament

By By Lori Dann
Who's the best girls basketball team in south Alabama?
The Escambia County Lady Blue Devils took a major step in that direction this past weekend when it captured first place in the Baker Thanksgiving Holiday Classic. They could firm up that unofficial designation with another win Friday over No. 7 Vigor in Atmore.
ECHS looked every bit the part of a Final Four team in its four tournament wins, starting with a 65-27 rout of Mary G. Montgomery.
On Friday, the Lady Blue Devils followed that up with a 58-39 win over Clarke County and a 49-26 triumph over Harrison-Central of Mississippi.
ECHS actually fell behind 16-2 against Clarke County as a couple of key starters were on the bench for missing practice. But once the starting lineup was intact, the Lady Blue Devils were simply unstoppable. ECHS closed the first period with a 16-2 run to tie the game at 18-18 and then outscored Clarke County 13-7 in the second period, 13-7 in the third and 18-8 in the fourth.
Trenessa Rice led all scorers in the game with 21 points, while Fenetrias Lewis had 18. Rounding out the scoring were Latonya Knotts with nine points, Aleshia Stallworth with six and Tamekia Crimbley with four.
ECHS then met last year's tournament champs, Harrison-Central. After a close first period, the Lady Blue Devils outscored their opponents 12-6 in the second period and 13-9 in the third before putting the game away with a 16-4 run to end the game.
Rice again topped the scoring column with 13 points, but Crimbley and Stallworth were close behind with 11 each, Fenetrias Lewis chipped in 10 and Knotts had four.
The Lady Blue Devils then took on No. 10 B.C. Rain, fresh off their win over No. 7 Vigor. In their closest game of the tournament, ECHS took an early lead, going up 13-10 at the end of the first period and 35-23 at the half, but then had to fight for their lives in the second half. Rain made a 24-10 run in the third to take a 47-45 lead, but ECHS went on a 23-15 tear to pull away late.
Rice, the tournament MVP, scored 25 points in the game, including 13 during the fourth-quarter rally. Knotts added 17 points, Crimbley had eight, Stallworth had six and Miller had four.
Rice was joined on the all-tournament team by Stallworth and Lewis.
ECHS is off to its best start ever at 7-0 with one tournament title already under its belt. The Lady Blue Devils will host No. 7 Vigor (10-2) on Friday at 5 p.m. and will host Hillcrest next Tuesday.
Published Dec. 1, 1999