ECHS pounds Eagles
By By Matthew Nascone
Frank Taylor racked up 36 points as the Blue Devils cruised past the W.S. Neal Eagles, 78-32, in the first round of the Escambia County Tournament Dec. 14 in Brewton.
"We have built this team around Frank," ECHS head coach Jerome Antone said. "And he has stepped up big for us. He showcased his talent out there. And we left him in so any scouts watching could see how good he is."
Antone said the game was a good team effort even though Taylor did most of the scoring.
"I wanted the guys to come out and have a great game and they did," Antone said. "Everyone played up tempo tonight. It was a big team effort."
The Blue Devils dominated every facet of the game, pressing on defense and scoring 78 points on offense.
"We played an extended defense and we took the guards out of the picture for them," Antone said. "And that led to a lot of steals and easy baskets."
The game had all the physical subtleties of the rivalry it is. The physicality grew until a Neal player was ejected for a hard foul in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Blue Devils never trailed in the game and opened the game on a 10-0 run and only allowed five points in the first quarter for a 23-5 lead. Atmore led 39-14 as the teams headed to the locker room for halftime and Taylor had 19 of his 36 points already through the net.
Taylor led the way with 36 points, James Webster added 11 points. Trey Hartley added 10 points, Lee Watson contributed nine points, Jarrod Jefferson and James Lykes scored four points each and Derrick Riley and Josh Adams scored two points each.
The Devils faced Flomaton Dec. 15 and rival T.R. Miller Dec. 16 and the results from those two games will be in an upcoming Advance. The team's next game is Tuesday against B.C. Rain on the road. Tip off is set for 4:45 p.m.
Lady Devils 68 – W.S. Neal 24
After a slow start, the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils turned on the afterburners and blew past W.S. Neal, 68-24, in the opening round of the Escambia County Tournament Dec. 14 in Brewton.
"We started off a little slow," ECHS head coach Todd Reynolds said. "But that is what happens sometimes with the press and we had to start switching up our attack. And when we did that, we got on track."
The Lady Devils were down a starter, as Ashley Kidd was not able to play because of a foot injury, but Reynolds said the team moved on.
"Anushka Banks and Tineka Crimbley stepped in and played well for Ashley," he said.
Atmore was never behind in this game and showed no mercy to rival W.S. Neal.
"I told them I just wanted maximum effort and they have given me that so far," Reynolds said. "I have tried to instill that aggressive streak in these girls when they are on the court, and they are starting to get it."
Recently, the Lady Blue Devils have unearthed a "Three-headed monster," according to Reynolds.
"If a team watches us, they have to figure out who to stop for them to beat us," Reynolds said. "And on this team we have three girls who can score at any time. So, who are you going to stop?"
Senior starters Jasmine Sanders and Ashanti Jones team with sophomore sixth man Courtney English to form the "Three-headed monster" for the Lady Devils.
Sanders and English dropped 17 points on the Lady Eagles and Jones scored 16 points. Adding five points apiece were Latesha Lee and Anushka Banks. Megan Hartley, Kristen Culliver and Tineka Crimbley each scored two points in the game.
The Lady Devils faced Flomaton Dec. 15 and rival T.R. Miller Dec. 16 and the results from those two games will be in an upcoming Advance. The team's next game is Tuesday against B.C. Rain on the road. Tip off is set for 4:45 p.m..