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EA boys capture second

By By Matthew Nascone
Last Saturday was a busy one in Canoe as the Escambia Academy JV Cougars and Lady Cougars hosted the Escambia Academy JV Tournament all day. With a 54-17 victory over Sparta Academy, the Cougars grabbed second place in the tournament.
"We played well," EA head coach Kevin Woods said. "Whenever you have a 54-point game at the JV level it had to be a good game. We were able to be patient with the ball and get the open shots. And our guys knocked them down."
Michael "Tank" Mitchell and James White were named to the all-tournament team for EA.
"James and Tank played hard for the entire tournament," Woods said. "Tank did a good job of starting our offense and James hit his shots early and got into a groove."
White scored 23 points in the tournament and Mitchell scored 12 points.
Against Sparta, the Cougars were able to execute a man defense, and that led to the victory, Woods said.
"Our defense set up our offense with a lot of easy baskets," he said.
Mitchell led the way with 12 points. White added 11 points, Nate Smith and Jon Dean scored eight points each, Austin Lee contributed six points, Chase Jaye added three points and Jake Taylor, Wade Matthews and James Dean scored two points each.
Faith 55 – Cougars 21
The Cougars were outmatched in their opening game against Faith as they lost, 55-21.
"In that game, it looked like we might pull it out after the first half," EA head coach Kevin Woods said. "But they (Faith) are one of the best teams in the state, if not the best, and they pulled away from us quickly. They have 10 players that they can sub in and out so we just ran out of gas."
Woods said Faith also killed EA on the boards.
James White scored 12 points to lead the Cougars. Austin Lee added seven points and Jon Dean contributed two points.
Faith 37 – Lady Cougars 16
The Escambia Academy JV Lady Cougars finished the tournament with a 0-2 record after they lost to Faith, 37-16.
"We were simply outplayed," EA head coach Larry Bonds said. "We got into foul trouble and when we lost Kayleigh (Miller) as she fouled out, we had ball control problems."
Bonds said the girls fought hard, but they could not muster enough points to pull the game out.
Taylor Helton led the scoring for EA with nine points. Ashley Geck added three points and Kayleigh Miller contributed two points.
Helton was named to the all-tournament team. She scored 21 points in the tournament.
Sparta 29 – Lady Cougars 24
In the opening game of the day, the Lady Cougars lost a close one to Sparta Academy, 29-24. The game opened about as bad as a game could for the Lady Cougars, after trailing 11-0 at the end of the first quarter.
"We came out timid," Bonds said. "I don't know why, but we just were not playing well. But we regrouped at halftime and closed the gap, but we couldn't close it completely."
Taylor Helton led the charge for EA with 12 points. Kayleigh Miller added four points, Amber Huskey contributed three points, Ashley Geck and Kristen Matthews scored two points each and Rachel Fuller added one point.
In previous action
The Lady Cougars had a winning streak of four games entering the tournament and were 6-3 after the tournament. During the streak they took down Marengo Dec. 5, 20-18. Kristen Matthews led the scoring with eight points. They defeated South Montgomery County Academy easily, 42-18 on Dec. 4. Kayleigh Miller led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 14 against SMCA.
On Dec. 1, EA took down Crenshaw, 19-12 with Rachel Fuller leading the scoring with six points. The Lady Cougars defeated Fort Dale in a defensive struggle, 9-8 Nov. 27. Taylor Helton scored four points to lead the EA scoring.