EA Cougars win 49-47 over Mobile Christian

Published 6:31 am Wednesday, January 16, 2002

By By Zach Brooks
Sports Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars boys varsity basketball team ended their week with a bang after a thrilling 49-47 overtime win against Mobile Christian.
"We played possibly our best game all year against Mobile Christian, " Cougars Head Coach Chad Prewit said. "I was proud of the way we played a complete game as a team."
This was the third game that the Cougars had to play without leading scorer Justin Shirley. The Cougars have managed very well without him, as they have accumulated a 2-1 record in his absence.
Bradford Price and Robert Hardy have really stepped up in his absence to lead the Cougars. They both have the Cougars in scoring in his absence and have also stepped up and become the leaders of this team.
The game against Mobile Christian started out slowly for the Cougars, as they only scored ten points in the quarter. But due to the Cougars stout defense, they held Christian to only six points to take a four-point lead, 10-6 into the second quarter.
The Cougars offense came alive in the second quarter, as they scored 14 points in the quarter. The Cougars defense once again shutdown Christian's offense, holding them to only seven points to take a 24-13 lead into half-time.
Both the Cougars and Christian played well coming out of the locker rooms at half-time. The Cougars and Mobile Christian scored nine points for the quarter as the Cougars lead stayed at eleven points heading into the fourth quarter.
Mobile Christian finally found their shot in the last period. They scored 20 points in the quarter, compared to nine for the Cougars, as Mobile Christian came back to tie the game and take it into overtime.
Both defenses took over in the overtime period. The Cougars only scored seven points in the period, but Christian did slightly worse, as they only scored five points for the period to give the Cougars the win, 49-47.
"I was really impressed by the way we played defense, " Prewitt said. "We played great half-court defense all night and really stepped it up down in the post."
Bradford Price and Robert Hardy once again stepped up for the Cougars in scoring. Price not only led the Cougars in scoring with 15 points, but he almost had his first double double of the year with nine assists in the win.
"Bradford has been playing real well for us lately, " Prewitt said. "He has picked up he slack in scoring, while also getting other players involved."
Hardy followed with 13 points for the Cougars. Chris Moore also had 11 points in the win for the Cougars.
Paul Andry lead Christian with 17 points in the loss. Steven Walker and Orrin Law also had nine points in the loss for Christian.
The Cougars next game was against Evangel Christian on Monday night. The Cougars wanted to keep building on the momentum that last weeks overtime game against Mobile Christian gave them.
The Cougars also had another weapon in the arsenal against Evangel. The Cougars leading scorer Justin Shirley, played for the first time in four games agaisnt Evangel.
The Cougars began the game on fire as they had a huge first quarter, scoring a season-high 28 points for the quarter to build a 14-point lead, 28-14, heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was the stage for another offensive explosion for both teams. Both teams scored 18 points for the quarter, as the Cougars took a 46-32 lead into half-time.
The combined 78 points were the best total points for one half that the Cougars and their opponent has had all year.
"We felt Justin's presence early, "Prewitt said. "He hit two key three-pointers in the first quarter to break the game open for the Cougars."
The second half still had some offensive fireworks but it was not as explosive as the first-half. The Cougars scored 14 points in the quarter compared to Evangel's 15 as Evangel trimmed the Cougars lead by one, 60-47, heading into the final period.
The Cougars just tried to hold the ball in the fourth quarter. They tried more of a ball-control offense in the final period. The offense worked as the Cougars held Evangel to 15 points and took the victory, 73-62.
"The closeness of the score did not tell the dominance that we had over the game, " Prewitt said. "After we got a big lead, I tried to get a lot of our subs in so we would be fresh for tomorrow's game with Sparta Academy."
The win against Evangel left the Cougars undefeated in area play with a 5-0 record.
Cody White lead the Cougars in points on the night with 15. White may have lead the Cougars in points. but they also had five people score in double figures against Evangel.
Justin Shirley scored 14 points in his first game back from injury. Jace Beasley also had 14 points on the night. Bradford Price and Robert Hardy followed for the Cougars with 11 points each.
"I was really proud of our team scoring tonight, " Prewitt said. "Our post playing has really improved and Bradford is still playing with alot of confidence. "
Chris Betzhold led all scorers on the night with 26 points for Evangel. Josh Thorton and Aaron Webster followed with 13 and 11 points for Evangel in the loss.
The Cougars next game will be against Sparta Academy on Tuesday night. The game will be in Sparta and will start at 4:00.

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