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Cougars face tough battle in Auburn

By By Matthew Nascone
There was a lot of basketball played in Auburn before the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve. The Auburn University men's and women's teams were in action, and the Escambia Academy Cougars and participated in the seven-team Lee-Scott Academy Tournament.
The tournament began Dec. 28 and ended Dec. 30, but the Cougars lost two games and were on the way back to Canoe by Friday evening.
Taylor Road was the Academy's opposition Friday and the Cougars were downed 55-42.
"We hustled, but we were out rebounded in the fourth quarter and we could not pull it out," EA head coach Kevin Woods said.
Woods said his team made a few turnovers in the final quarter, but the game was close until that point.
"We were in it until the fourth quarter," he said. "We were never ahead in the game, but we kept the score within three or four points for most of the first three quarters."
The game was tied at 25-25 for halftime and the Cougars only trailed by four at 40-36 after the third quarter. But the Cougars went on to score a mere six points in the final quarter.
Andrew Lambeth led the scoring with 18 points. Cody Norton added seven points, Joe Drew scored five points, Blake Kirk had four points, Kevin Maher contributed three points and James White added two points.
Cottage Hill 81 – Cougars 31
The Cougars could not get a shot to drop Dec. 28 in their meeting with Cottage Hill, losing 81-31.
"They dominated us on the boards," Woods said. "They would miss a shot, but have three or four more opportunities. They have one guy who was about 6-feet-4-inches tall and another one who was at least 6-feet-5-inches tall. They were just too much for us to handle."
Woods said the good part about the game was his player's desire.
"We played as hard as we could in the first half and we did not give up," he said.
Andrew Lambeth scored 15 points to lead the team in scoring. Blake Kirk added four points, Joe Drew and Austin Eicher scored three points each and Kevin Maher and Alan Ash dropped in two points each.
The Cougars face Monroe tomorrow and tip off is set for 4 p.m. in Canoe.