Season ends for Cougars on hardcourt in Evergreen

Published 6:39 pm Monday, February 5, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Even a dominating night from Tyler Harrison was not enough to propel the Escambia Academy Cougars into the championship round of the AISA Class 2A Region 1 Area 1 Tournament Friday at Sparta Academy in Evergreen. The Cougars were defeated 59-51 by the Wilcox Wildcats.
Harrison scored 16 points and snagged 13 rebounds in the loss to the Wildcats, but problems in the second half led to the Cougars' loss.
"Tyler had a great game and I hope he can continue to play like that next year for us," Woods said. "That was probably his best game of the season and it came at the right time, but we just couldn't pull it out."
The Cougars entered halftime tied with Wilcox, but the second half was the telling sign of the game.
"We just seemed to go cold from the floor in the second half," EA head coach Kevin Woods said. "We got good looks, but we just couldn't knock them down."
Woods said when Cody Norton and Andrew Lambeth got into foul trouble, the aggressiveness of the first half disappeared.
Like the Lady Cougars' game before them, the Cougars and their opponent were locked in a battle early, as Wilcox clung to a slim 18-17 lead after the first quarter and the score was tied at halftime.
And the lead fluctuated all game, until Wilcox was able to take control early in the fourth quarter. EA led most of the third quarter, with Harrison dropping in layups and shooting passes inside for his teammates, but the Wildcats grabbed a 42-41 lead after a three pointer with time winding down in the third quarter.
The Cougars (12-11) were outscored in the final period 16-10 and they were not able to get any shots to drop for them.
"We just went cold, that is the easiest explanation for what happened," Woods said.
Harrison and Lambeth scored 16 points each, Norton added 10 points, Joe Drew contributed seven points and Blake Kirk added two points.
With the loss, the Cougars were eliminated from the area tournament and from postseason play, but Woods said he would miss the seniors.
"I hate to lose Andrew, Cody and Joe," he said. "Those three guys always played hard for me and they had a lot of success here. But we have a lot of guys coming back and coming up from the JV squad. EA has a bright future and I know everyone will get better next year."

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