Lady Devils in Fort Walton

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia County High School girl's basketball team will try to keep it real in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend
The team will travel to Fort Walton, Fla. to take on rival T.R. Miller, Crestview, Niceville, Gainesville, Pensacola and Moss Point, out of Mississippi, in the three-day tournament.
Head coach Christy Nall said her team is ready for the tournament.
"We will be playing some stiff competition and that is always good for a team," Nall said. "The teams who play in holiday tournaments are the ones who have the edge."
Nall said the better competition would come in the form of the schools from Florida in the tournament because they are bigger schools than ECHS.
The tournament starts today and will crown a champion Friday. It is a double elimination tournament and the Lady Blue Devils will open on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. They will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday if they are victorious or 3:30 p.m. if they lose Thursday.
"This is a good tournament to be in," Nall said. "It will prepare us for the county tournament we have in a couple weeks."
Nall said she has been happy with the way her girls are playing as of late. She said if her team accomplishes certain aspects of the game they will succeed in the tournament.
"I have to have some outside shooters step up and play big," Nall said. "That is one of our weaknesses. We are not able to hit any shots outside of the paint. For us to win all of my guards need to step up and make shots."
How Anushka Banks, Jasmine Sanders, Ashanti Jones and Brittany Lee play will also factor in to the tournament, Nall said. She said if her players come out with the intensity to win and they put into action all they work on in practice they should win.
The Lady Blue Devils squared off against T.R. Miller on Monday and they lost a neck-and-neck battle, Nall said. The final score was 49-39 in favor of T.R. Miller.
"In the first half of the game the score went back and forth," she said. "We stayed with them and we showed them we can play with them. The past couple years they have beaten us badly and I think this game gained the respect we have needed."
Nall said she had some encouraging words for the team after the game.
"I told them 'T.R. Miller didn't beat you, you beat yourselves,'" she said. "If we would have made more shots in the paint we would have won."
The field goal percentage is still not where it should be for the Lady Devils, Nall said. She said the team has to do better than 16 for 47 from the field to win ball games.
"Most of those misses were shots in the paint that we failed to put back," Nall said. "If we can be patient and take good shots we will win more games."
The leading scorers for ECHS were Jasmine Sanders and Courtney English with 12 points each.

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