Area Tourney in Atmore

Published 9:26 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
Most people know, when in doubt, choose heads. Escambia County boy's basketball head coach Jerome Antone is no different.
When Antone had to take a 50 percent chance on his team's future Monday at 9 a.m. in Mobile, he went with the safe bet of heads. This bet was the tiebreaker between ECHS and the UMS-Wright Bulldogs to decide the host of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A Area 1 tournament.
With the victory on the coin toss Antone and ECHS principal Kyle Ferguson were able to come back to Atmore with great news.
"When we saw we had won the toss coach Antone and I had to maintain our composure," Ferguson said. "But when we got outside we gave each other a huge hug. This is a great thing for our school and our community."
Antone knows the town of Atmore has been starving to host the tournament for a long time.
"I don't know how many years it has been, but it has been a while and I am happy to bring the area tournament back to Atmore," Antone said. "This community has been thirsty for this opportunity."
Ferguson said the drive down to Mobile consisted of a long talk on whether to go with heads or tails and he is glad Antone chose heads. He also said this is a victory for more than just ECHS.
"This is bigger than Escambia County High School," Ferguson said. "We are representing all of Escambia County and we would love to see people from the Academy and Northview come support our Blue Devils."
The Blue Devils posted a 5-1 record in AHSAA Class 4A Area 1 play and are ranked No. 3 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll. They will open the tournament as the No. 1 seed and face Gulf Shores Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.
Gulf Shores was 1-5 in area play and will be the No. 4 seed for the tournament. The No. 2 seed will be UMS-Wright (5-1) and they will play No. 3 seed Jackson (1-5) Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. The final will be Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.
The Lady Blue Devils will travel to UMS-Wright for the area tournament as the No. 2 seed. Their first game will be Feb. 9 against Gulf Shores at 5:30 p.m. No. 1 seed UMS-Wright will play No. 4 seed Jackson Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. and the girl's final will be Feb. 11 at 3 p.m.

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