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Streak ends for ECHS girls

By By Lori Dann
Advance Managing Editor
The streak is over.
After 11 consecutive wins and the best start in school history, the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils finally lost a game. Unfortunately for ECHS, which is still ranked No. 5 in the Class 5A state poll, the loss came against area rival Jackson, which captured a 71-66 victory.
ECHS got off to its usual slow star, trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half before roaring back within a single point at 31-30 at the half.
Jackson went on a 19-9 run in the third quarter only to see the Lady Blue Devils charge back again, but for the first time all season. ECHS came close, hitting six three-pointers in the final quarter, four of them from Latonya Knott, who had 14 points in the fourth quarter. Fenetrias Lewis added two treys and also had 14 points in the final period.
For the game, Lewis had 21 points, Knott had 18 and Trenessa Rice had 11. Rice, the Lady Blue Devils' leading scorer, scored just one field goal in the second half. Rounding out the scoring were Tamekia Crimbley and Aleshia Stallworth with eight points each.
Natasha Gamble burned ECHS for 32 points, including 12 in the second period and 10 in the fourth.
The loss dropped ECHS to 11-1 non the second and 1-1 in area play. The Lady Blue Devils opened the area slate with a 75-28 blowout at Citronelle.
Leading scorers in that game were Knott with 24 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter; Stallworth with 14 and Pam Bynum with 10.
Rice added eight points, Bridgette Miller had four, Crimbley and Marquita Jones had two each and Janet Wilson added one.
Despite the 1-1 start in the area, White said he feels confident the Lady Blue Devils can win out to force a coin flip to see which team will host the area tournament. That would be a repeat of last year's scenario, where ECHS lost the toss but won the tournament at Jackson and went on to advance to the Southeast Regional finals.