ECHS gains experience
By By Matthew Nascone
Escambia County Lady Blue Devils' head coach Todd Reynolds has stressed working hard towards a goal since the first day he arrived in Atmore. He took his girls to an eight-team tournament in Choctaw, Fla. to see how hard they were willing to work.
He was pleased with how his girls played at the Choctaw Invitational Nov. 23-25.
"The bottom line is that you have to play good teams to get better," Reynolds said. "And while at this tournament we played three teams from Class 5A in Florida and we went 1-2. The whole point is to teach these girls how to come back in a game."
Reynolds said the girls played their best game of the early season Saturday in their third, and final, game of the tournament.
The game was a 45-42 loss to Crestview, but Reynolds said he saw a lot of good things in the game.
"Crestview lost to the eventual tournament champion and their game against us was a see saw until the end," he said. "We led after the first quarter, then they led at halftime. It was tied after three and they pulled out the victory in the end."
But the reason it was the best game of the year was a simple reason for Reynolds.
"We executed the game plan to perfection," he said. "We had a few mistakes and that is what I am trying to teach. If we can cut down on the mistakes in the close games we can win them all."
Sophomore Courtney English had nine points and six rebounds, senior Jasmine Sanders had six points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and junior Anushka Banks contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Lady Devils 62 – Choctaw 46
ECHS took down host Choctaw 62-46 for their only win of the tournament. Reynolds said this game was a good one for his team. The Lady Devils never trailed at the end of any quarter.
The squad had four players score in double digits. Senior Jasmine Sanders scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had eight blocks and steals. Sophomore Courtney English added 12 points and six rebounds, junior Anushka Banks added 10 points and 10 rebounds and senior Ashanti Jones scored 11 points with five assists.
Niceville 45 – Lady Devils 40
The Lady Devils' 45-40 loss to Niceville did one a silver lining for ECHS.
"This game gave the girls confidence that they can come back in a game," Reynolds said. "We were down 11-3 after the first quarter and 29-16 at the half, but we battled back and only lost by five."
The Lady Devils outscored Niceville in the second half, 24-16.
"Instead of the book 'A Tale of Two Cities,' it was a tale of two halves," Reynolds said. "If not for the lousy start, we would have won the game."
Senior Ashley Kidd led the scoring with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Jasmine Sanders added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Devils faced the Northview Lady Chiefs Tuesday and the results will be in a future Advance. The team's next game is a home game against McIntosh Friday. Tip off is set for 4:45 p.m.