Lady Cougars' rough ride

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia Academy Lady Cougars basketball team faced two of the toughest teams in the state of Alabama in the past six days. On Jan. 29 the Lady Cougars dropped a 49-39 game to No. 3 ranked Fort Dale Academy and Jan. 26 saw a 51-35 loss to No. 6 Marion Schools.
Both of these opponents had only two losses when they faced EA. The rankings are from the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
EA head coach Keri Payne said the game against Fort Dale would have been much closer if not for the 30 turnovers committed by EA.
"The turnovers killed us," Payne said. "They played man to man against us and we couldn't get our game clicking. They had some big fast girls out there and they also had some outside shooters. We just couldn't execute our offense."
Clare Jones and Heather White led the scoring for EA with 12 points each. Jordan Jay added six points, Alaina Arnold contributed five points and Andrea Nall and Amber Huskey each scored two points.
Marion 51 – Lady Cougars 35
In another matchup Payne said was dominated by fast players on the other side, the Lady Cougars lost, 51-35 to Marion Schools Jan. 26.
"They were fast," Payne said. "Our girls didn't look like the same team that had won a game earlier in the week. You could tell we were tired because we scored no points in the third quarter."
Heather White led EA with 14 points, Jordan Jaye scored 12 points, Clare Jones added seven points and Kayleigh Miller contributed two points.
Lady Cougars 51 – Sparta 35
When the Lady Warriors from Sparta Academy visited Canoe Jan. 23, the Lady Cougars defended their home court with a 51-35 victory.
"It was a good win," Payne said. "They were fired up for this game because they knew they had to win this one to stay out of the No. 4 seed in the area tournament. They played good as a team and we had everything clicking."
Heather White and Clare Jones both cleared the 20-point plateau as White dropped in 21 points and Jones added 20 points. Jordan Jaye added eight points and Alaina Arnold contributed two points.
Payne said free throws won the game for the Lady Cougars because they connected on 21 of their 31 tries from the charity stripe.
Lady Cougars 38 – Wilcox 27
The Lady Cougars grabbed a 38-27 victory over Wilcox Academy Jan. 19 in Canoe.
"We executed our plays and we had a variety of scorers, so that was a good game for us," Payne said.
Jordan Jaye scored 10 points to lead all scorers, Morgan Dorriety, Alaina Arnold and Clare Jones each scored eight points and Andrea Nall and Kayleigh Miller contributed two points apiece.
The No. 3 seeded Lady Cougars travel to Sparta Friday for the first round of the AISA Region 1 Area 1 Tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. against No. 2 seed Jackson Academy.

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