Devils clip Eagles

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia County Blue Devils basketball team grounded the W.S. Neal Eagles Thursday.
ECHS (6-2) defeated the Eagles 76-52 in the first round of the County Tournament in Flomaton. Devils head coach Jerome Antone said it was a good victory for the team and he is proud of his players' effort.
"We played tenacious defense by putting a lot of pressure on them all night," Antone said.
The Blue Devils played well on offense as well, shooting 64 percent from the field as a team and 76 percent from the charity stripe. Antone said he was happy with how his team shot the ball all night long.
Antone said the game was in no way a blowout and W.S. Neal put up a fight for three quarters of the game.
"They were a scrappy bunch of guys and they came out firing at us and they were actually leading us after the first quarter 15-14, but we came out in the second quarter and outscored them 27-9 and that is what helped us win the game," Antone said.
The Eagles were not able to make up for the second quarter as they were outscored 35-27 in the second half. Antone said the second quarter was so dominant for the Blue Devils because they did everything right.
"We started hitting our three-pointers and Frank Taylor knocked down five free throws," Antone said.
Taylor led the scoring attack for ECHS with 22 points. Calvin Hartley added 21 points, Chris Andrews contributed 14 points and B team player Deon Frye dropped nine on the Eagles.
"I pulled up four B team players for the tournament and Deon did a good job for us," Antone said.
The Blue Devils won the game, but it cost them a starter. During the game Larry Bowens was elbowed in the mouth by an Eagles player and received nine stitches. Antone said Bowens will be out for a couple games and the entire team wishes him a speedy recovery.
The injury is a setback for Antone and the Devils for sure, but Antone said the team needs to push on and continue to play fundamental basketball.
"We are still trying to get to the top and we are working hard to get there," Antone said.
Tournament results of the Blue Devils games against Flomaton on Friday and T.R. Miller Saturday can be found in Wednesday's Advance.
The Lady Blue Devils played W.S. Neal Thursday, Flomaton Friday and T.R. Miller Saturday. Tournament results can be found in Wednesday's edition of the Advance.

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