E.A. Cougars place second in area tourney

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, February 6, 2002

By By Larry Bonds, Sports Writer
The opening round of the East Area 1 Tournament was held this past Friday night at Escambia Academy.
Justin Shirley scored 24 points and Jace Beasley added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 71-58 victory over Sparta Academy Warriors.
Eight different players scored for the 17-11 Cougars. Bradford Price scored 8 points and handed out 1 1 assists, Robert Hardy had 6 points, Cody White and Cole Norton added 5 points apiece, Chris Moore added 3, and Steven Shirley had 2 points.
Coach Chad Prewett said that he was proud of the way his team played.
Prewett also said he believed Jace Beasley played the best game of his high school career thus far.
With the victory the Cougars advanced to the championship game Saturday afternoon. The Cougars faced the SMCA Raiders in their first game of the area tournament and were defeated 61-35.
It was a close ballgame all the way as the lead changed hands several times.
South Montgomery used a slowed-down game to disrupt the Cougar running game.
E.A. fell short, losing to South Montgomery 56-50 to place second in the tournament.
Bradford Price led all scorers with 15 points. He also had 4 assists and 6 steals. Justin Shirley added 13 points, and Jace Beasley had 6 rebounds and 10 points, while Robert Hardy tallied 7 points and 7 rebounds. Chris Moore rounded out the scoring by adding 5.
Coach Prewett said that while his Cougars were disappointed in the loss that he still felt good going into the Elite 8 tournament.
He believes that senior Justin Shirley is starting to shoot with a lot of confidence.
Prewett told his guys that this is the beginning of the second season of play, that the win/loss records and state rankings go out the window.
The Cougars will face Abbeyville at 6 p.m. on February 9th at Faulkner University in Montgomery.

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