ECMS caps off perfect season
Published 3:06 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The Escambia County Middle School basketball team completed its perfect season this weekend by winning the St. Paul's Invitational in Mobile.
The Big Blue's head coach Robert Smith was very pleased with the results of the tournament.
"We played against by far the best competition we've seen all year and came out on top," Smith said. "I'm very proud of them."
Aside from getting better competition, Smith said a big reason for accepting the invitation to the tournament was the simple problem of scheduling.
"We have a hard time finding many teams to play around the area," Smith said. "I wanted them to get a taste of some new teams and of course play some quality opponents."
The Big Blue first faced off against St. Paul's Middle School, winning 58-34.
Leading scorers were Kingston Craft with 23 points, Lawrence Arnold with 19 and Mark Watson chipped in with 10 points.
The following day, the Escambia County faced off against George County, Miss. and won a hard-fought game 44-35.
"George County was clearly the best team we've seen all year," Smith said. "They may have been one of the best teams I've seen since I've done this."
Kingston Craft was again the leading scorer for the Big Blue with 20 points. Lawrence Arnold followed close behind with 14.
Despite not doing a great deal of scoring, Smith was most pleased with the play of Mark Watson.
"Mark was our most outstanding player in my eyes," Smith said. "He did a great job running the point and played tremendous defense."
Not only did this season end well for the Big Blue, next season could hold even more promise.
"We've got seven seventh graders coming back next year," Smith said. "Four of them started for us and all put in significant playing time. I think we could be even better."
Not one to look ahead, Smith instead basked in the glow of the fabulous finish to the season.
"It just feels really good to go down there and win," he said. "And it feels even better to come back home undefeated."