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NHS defeats ECHS in local tourney

By By ZACH BROOKS
Sports Writer
Both the Escambia County High School Blue Devils and the Northview Chiefs ended disappointing showings in the United Bank Invitational Tournament last Saturday night with a hometown showdown at the gymnasium in Atmore.
Both teams began the tournament with wins in their first games. The Blue Devils destroyed J.U. Blacksher 75-9 in their first game of the tournament, and the Chiefs hung-on to defeat Robertsdale in the final minutes, 58-54.
To the dismay of both teams their winning streaks in the tournament would stop there. Pace mentally and physically whipped the Blue Devils 57-43, in their rematch of last years Championship game.
The Chiefs were handed a last-minute, heart-wrenching loss to T.R. Miller, 46-45 in their second game, to set up the game with the Blue Devils.
Both teams started off slow offensively, as they seemed to be feeling the effects of playing their third game in three days.
Northview took a 10-5 lead however, heading into a critical second quarter.
Northview's offense gained a little spark in the second quarter as they scored 10 points for the quarter. The Blue Devils however, could only muster a measly four points for the quarter, and trailed the Chiefs 20-9 heading into half-time.
The Blue Devils offense woke up a little bit its self in the third quarter. They scored more points in the third quarter, than they did in the entire first half, 11.
The Chiefs however, had their best scoring output of the game in the third quarter also, 16 points, so the Blue Devils did not gain any ground and trailed 36-20 heading into the final period.
The Blue Devils finally trimmed the Chiefs lead down to 10 points in the final period, but it was too late for the Devils to win and they went down to the Chiefs, 44-34.
Damien Robinson lead the Blue Devils in points with 10 points on the night. Jeremy McCants followed with eight points for the Devils, while Barrett Finney also had six points in the loss.
Finney, Robinson, and McCants were also the leading scorers in the tournament for the Blue Devils. Finney lead the Devils with a 9.3 points per game average. Robinson and McCants followed for the Devils with an average of nine points a game.
Daryl Cohen lead the Northview Chiefs in points on the night with a game-high 21 points. Mendell Smith followed for the Chiefs with 11 points on the night. Jason Gillis also had seven points in the loss.
The Blue Devils and the Chiefs had two players from each team selected to be on the United Bank Invitational All-Tournament Team.
The players for the Escambia County Blue Devils were Damien Robinson and Barrett Finney.
The All-Tournament players for the Northview Chiefs were Mendell Smith and Daryl Cohen.
The next game for the Blue Devils will be against the Robertsdale Golden Bears on January 8 at 4:00.