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Blue Devils fall to 3-4 on season

By By ZACH BROOKS
Sports Writer
The Escambia County Blue Devils capped off a gruelling week of games last week with a loss against Clarke County that dropped their record to 3-4 for the year.
The Blue Devils started off the week with an incredible overtime game against the T.R. Miller Tigers on Tuesday night.
The game went down to the wire, but at the end of regulation the score was tied at 57-57. So the teams had to go into overtime to decide the outcome.
It was the first time the Devils have had to play an overtime game all year, and you could tell, as the Devils came out tired and rusty. They could score just seven points the period, as the Tigers scored 11 to get the win 68-64.
The Devils started the game off great, outscoring the Tigers 23-13 for the quarter.
The second quarter was no different as the Devils scored 11 points in the quarter to take a 34-19 lead into half-time.
The second half however, was all T. R. Miller.
The Tigers outscored the Devils 38-23 for the half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter and 21 points in the fourth.
The overtime period went the Tigers way as well, as they outscored the Devils 11-7 to the dramatic victory.
The Tigers won the game at the free-throw line as they converted 63% of their shots on 20/32 shooting. The Devils shot only 48% from the line on 14/31 shooting in the loss.
The leading scorer for the Devils was Barrett Finney. He scored 19 points and also had nine rebounds. Damien Robinson and Layton Knight followed with 10 and eight points, respectively. Steven Moore also had eight rebounds in the loss.
The leading scorers for T.R. Miller were Ryheem Drakeford and Neal Cheatham. Drakeford lead the Tigers with 18 points, while Cheatham followed with 15 in the win.
After the game ECHS Head Coach Robert Zarahn retired due to serious health problems. Coach Zarahn has coached the Blue Devils varsity boys team for seven years. He has an 119-60 record over that span and has taken the boys team to the regional tournament one time and sub-state games four times.
Coach Zarahn will be replaced by Jerry Smith. Coach Smith is also the Head Principal at Escambia County High School.
ECHS next played the Robertsdale Golden Bears at home on Friday night. The Blue Devils stomped the Bears 76-49 to give new head coach Jerry Smith his first win as head coach of the Blue Devils.
The Devils jumped out to a 26-19 lead, in an emotional first quarter, and never looked back.
In fact, that was as close as the Bears got, as the Blue Devils never allowed them to get within 11 points of the lead.
The Devils lead at half-time 47-26, on their way to the 76-49 win. "The win against Robertdale was a big win for our team," Coach Smith said. "To tie up our area record at 1-1 at come back after a tough loss against T.R. Miller was a major character builder."
The leading scorer for the Blue Devils was Damien Robinson. He led the Blue Devils with 20 points in the romp. Barrett Finney followed with 17 points and James Wilson also had 12 points in the win. "I thought Damien, Barrett and Steve played a good game for us," Coach Smith said. "In fact, all ten players played well for us in some phase or another."
The Devils were better at the free-throw line this game, shooting 51% on 11/21 shooting. Obby Trotter and Adam Longshore lead the Bears in points with 13 and 11 points respectively.
The Devils played their last game of the week against Clarke County on Saturday night in Grove Hill.
The Devils were plastered by Clarke County, losing by 23 points in the shellacking.
The Devils were blown out from the start, as they fell behind 23-13 after the first quarter and never could catch up.
The second quarter was no different as the Blue Devils fell behind 41-24 going into half-time.
The second half was a nightmare for the Devils as everything they tried went wrong. Clarke County whipped the Devils 35-29 for the half to get the 76-53 win.
Barrett Finney and Kenneth Clark led the Devils in scoring with 10 and nine points apiece. Finney also had 10 rebounds in the loss for his second double double of the year. Steven Moore also had eight points and eight rebounds in the loss.
The Devils next two games will be against the Cintronelle Wildcats on Friday and the Baldwin County Tigers on Saturday.
The Cintronelle game is a must-win if the Devils want a winning record in area play. The Cintronelle game will start at 6:00 and will be the varsity teams only.
The Baldwin County game will start at 4:30 and will be for both the varsity and junior varsity team.