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Lady Cougars beat two top 5 teams in 4 days

By By Lori Dann
Managing Editor
Last week was quite a week for the top-ranked Escambia Academy girls basketball team.
In just four days, the Lady Cougars knocked off a pair of top 5 teams on the road. Then they turned around and posted a 41-point win on the road Saturday.
The first major test of the week came Tuesday at No. 2 Faith Academy in Mobile. The Lady Cougars struggled offensively at times in the contest, trailing 21-10 at the end of the first half. But EA put it together in the second half, outscoring Faith 12-8 in the third period and 13-8 in the fourth for a 44-37 win.
Jenifer Dykes led the offensive effort with 16 points, followed by Amy Ridgeway with nine, Holly Mack with seven, Jennifer Martin with six and Emily Hardy, Carmen Smith and Bethany Hawkins with two each.
The best overall performance of the week came Friday at No. 4 Wilcox when EA held the home team to just 29 points in a 47-29 victory.
Again, EA fell behind early, trailing 11-7 at the end of the first period. But the rest of the game was all Lady Cougars as they outscored Wilcox 16-5 in the second period, 13-8 in the third and 11-5 in the fourth.
Dykes led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while Mack had 13 points and Martin added 10 points and eight rebounds. Jessica Gibbs contributed four points and seven rebounds; Hardy had two points and six rebounds; Ridgeway had one point, six rebounds and three assists; and Ashley Helton chipped in one point.
EA rounded out the week with a convincing 62-21 win, though the Lady Cougars' first-half performance was a bit under par. EA led just 28-13 at the break.
Indeed, the Lady Cougars opened the second half with a flourish, outscoring Central Christian 24-7 in the third quarter, and closed the game with a 10-1 run.
Dykes and Mack were the top scorers in that game with 14 points each, while Ridgeway had 10. Dykes dished out five assists and six assists; Mack tallied five steals; and Ridgeway finished with five assists. Other standouts were Martin with six points and six rebounds; Gibbs with four points and six rebounds; Smith and Anna Parrish with four points each; Hardy with two points and six rebounds; Brooke Young with two points and five rebounds; and Heather James with two points.
With the three wins, EA improved to 16-2 heading into Tuesday night's game against Greenville.
The Lady Cougars will face another tough team Friday when they travel to No. 8 Clarke Prep in Grove Hill.