Published 7:38 am Friday, February 1, 2002
By By Zach Brooks, Sports Writer
The Escambia County High School Blue Devils faced the Blount High School Leopards in what was a critical area game for both teams last Saturday night in Atmore.
The Blue Devils came into the game trying to improve on their dismal 10-16 record, and get an to get a split on the season series with area leading Blount.
One of the main keys to a Blue Devils was to contain the Leopard's All-State forward Kennedy Winston. Winston is one of the best players in the state, and could be Parade All-American.
Both teams came out cold in the first quarter, as neither team could score. Blount managed to outscore the Blue Devils 16-5 however, to take a 11-point lead into the second quarter.
"Both teams came out flat in the first quarter, " Escambia County Assistant Coach George Brown said. "Especially us, because we were not ready to play at all."
"We have been off and on all season, " Brown said. " And we just did not play well tonight."
The second quarter was a little better in scoring for both teams. The Blue Devils scored 10 points to the Leopards 15, as the Leopards took a 16-point lead, 31-15, into half-time.
The Devils attempt to gain on the Leopard lead was shot down, as Blount outscored the Blue Devils 15-13, to add two points to their 16-point lead to make the score 46-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kennedy Winston took over in the final period. He scored 11 points in the final quarter, on a variety of jump shots, lay-ups, and rim-rattling dunks.
Blount outscored the Blue Devils 23-17 for the quarter to put away any dreams of a comeback, and take the victory 69-45.
"It really hurt us for the fourth quarter when Damien Robinson fouled out in the third quarter, " Brown said. "He is one of our best defenders and he was doing a good job on Winston."
"We have the talent to defeat teams like Blount, " Brown said. "But we are just not consistent enough to win."
Winston lead all scorers in points with 21 on the night. The Devils did a great job on Winston until the fourth quarter.
James Wilson lead the Blue Devils in points with 15 on the night. Barrett Finney followed with nine points and four rebounds. Steve Moore also had seven points and six rebounds for the Devils.
"We did not hustle for the entire game," James Wilson said. "Plus our shots would not fall, and we could not get any offensive rebounds."
"Our lack of defense in the final period really hurt us also, " Layton Knight said. "We took some bad shots, and that really hurt us."
Winston lead Blount with 21 points, while Fredrick Thresh also had 17 points on the night for the Leopards.
The Devils next game will be against the T.R. Miller Tigers Tuesday night in Atmore. Gametime will be at 5:00 and the games will for varsity girls and boys teams only.