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EA Cougars finished what the Lady Cougars started

By By Larry Bonds, Special to the Advance
The E.A. Cougars squared off with the Pickens Academy Pirates for the boy's AISA 2A State Championship match and quickly fell behind 7-1 at the start of the game. The Cougars would roar back to tie the game at 10 behind Robert Hardy's 6 points to end the first quarter. Pickens held a 29-25 lead at the half. E.A.'s defensive pressure would hold the Pirates to 6 points in the third quarter and heading into the fourth, the Cougars trailed by 1, 35-34. With 25 ticks left on the clock and the score tied at 50 all, Matt Amerson put back an offensive rebound giving E.A. a 52-50 lead. With only 6 seconds left, he would seal the victory with 2 clutch free throws and for Coach Prewett his second State Championship in less than 2 hours.
All year long, the Cougars have had different players step up at different times but all giving it everything they had.
Senior center Robert Hardy (10 rebounds, 15 points, I steal, I deflection) whose presence on the floor was felt both offensively and defensively during both Final Four games would be named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. %
Senior Zack Smith recorded 5 boards, I blocked shot 2 steals, 7 deflections, and 9 points would be named to the Final Four All-tournament team. Senior point guard Chris Moore would dish out 4 assists, grab 3 rebounds, and 3 steals and have 8 deflections. Senior Steven Shirley would hit a big 3 -pointer in the second quarter to help his team stay close in the first half Junior Zack Thomas added 9 points (witA35 points in Thursday night's game), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, I steal, and 4 defensive deflections. He would also be named to the Final Four All-tournament Team. Junior Matt Amerson added 2 rebounds and 7 points, with the last 4 being the biggest of his career. Junior Josh Montel had 3 rebounds, 2 assists, I steal and 6 points, and made his presence felt on the court with a team leading 15 defensive deflections. Junior Buckie Dawson's 3 rebounds and junior Billy McCann's 2 (13 points in Thursday night's performance) would round out Friday night's stat sheet. Sophomores Matt Ash and Bruce Smith, and freshman Cody Norton round out Escambia Academy's Championship team.