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EA splits with Crenshaw

By By Lori Dann
The Escambia Academy Lady Cougars exploded for 28 points in the third quarter on their way to a 68-33 blowout of Crenshaw Christian Academy on the road Tuesday.
Jenifer Dykes played a major role in the victory, hitting 12 of 18 shots from the field, including a trio of three-pointers, and finished with a game-high 27 points.
Dykes scored nine of her points in the first quarter as EA took a narrow 13-10 lead and added 10 more in the second to help the Lady Cougars extend their advantage to 32-18. EA put the game away with a 28-point surge in the third, keyed by eight more points from Dykes.
"We didn't play very well in the first half," EA head coach Chad Prewett said. "I really challenged the girls at halftime. We had a good talk, and they came out in the third quarter and scored 28 points."
Joining Dykes in the scoring column for EA were Jennifer Martin with 13 points, Holly Mack with 10, Emily Hardy and Carmen Smith with four each and Amy Ridgeway, Jessica Gibbs, Ashley Helton, Heather James and Bethany Hawkins with two each.
Gibbs was the top rebounder with 10 boards, followed by Helton with five. Helton also dished out six assists, and Ridgeway contributed seven steals and six assists.
The news wasn't as good for the EA boys, who dropped a 50-40 decision at Crenshaw.
The game was close throughout, with EA leading 13-10 at the end of the first period and 34-33 at the end of the third.
The teams were knotted at 38-38 with about four minutes remaining. However, EA managed to score just two points the rest of the way as Crenshaw closed the game with a 12-2 run to earn the win.
"We just didn't step up when the game was on the line," Prewett said. "We didn't execute in the fourth quarter. We're not playing well right now. To only score six points in the fourth quarter and two in the last four minutes shows me that we didn't step up."
The Cougars are struggling on offense in particular, where they shot a dismal 24.6 percent from the field Tuesday, hitting only 15 of 61 shots. Their top three shooters n Josh Lilly, Justin Beasley and Justin Shirley n were a combined 11-for-44.
"If just one person had been hot, we could have won the game," Prewett said, "We just couldn't buy a basket."
Lilly and Beasley finished with 10 points each for the Cougars, followed by Shirley with seven, Ben Hardy with six, Mark Hall with four and Daniel Alaniz with three.
The boys dropped to 3-5 with the loss and were scheduled to face Demopolis Friday night. EA will also host Catherine Monday, with the varsity girls game starting at 4 p.m., followed by the varsity boys.