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Cougars, Lady Cougars downed

By By Matthew Nascone
Last weekend was not a good one for the Escambia Academy Lady Cougars. They traveled to Monroeville for the Monroe Academy Christmas Tournament and came back to Canoe without winning a game.
The consolation game Saturday matched EA (2-7) up against the rival Sparta Lady Warriors, but the pressing defense of Sparta was too much for EA, as they lost 60-44.
"They pressed us a lot and we couldn't run our offense effectively," EA head coach Keri Payne said. "We played well in the fourth quarter, but we were not consistent throughout the game and we need to be consistent."
EA sophomore Jordan Jaye led the way with 12 points, 18 rebounds and six blocked shots. Senior Clare Jones added 7 points, six rebounds and six assists. Junior Sara Beth Davis had 8 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Junior Alaina Arnold and sophomore Kay Leigh Miller each had 7 points. Arnold added two rebounds and three assists and Miller contributed three assists.
Freshman Amber Huskey had 2 points and sophomore Jennifer Morris and freshman Taylor Helton each had three rebounds.
Monroe 46 Lady Cougars 29
The Monroe Academy Lady Volunteers took down the Lady Cougars in the opening game for both teams Friday night, 46-29.
Payne said the late-game press worked to the Lady Cougars' advantage.
"The press worked late in the game and I should have started it earlier," she said.
The Lady Cougars were outscored 22-8 in the first half, but only 24-21 in the second half.
Jaye again led the scoring with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Jones added 9 points, six rebounds and six assists. Arnold had 5 points, five rebounds and four assists. Davis had 1 point and seven rebounds. Miller had three rebounds.
Jones was named to the All-Tournament Team with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
Up next for the Lady Cougars is a game against Central (Fla.) High School tomorrow in Central beginning at 6 p.m. with the JV girls' game.
Sparta 70 Cougars 39
The Sparta Warriors took it to the Escambia Academy Cougars 70-39 in the consolation game of the boys' bracket Saturday.
The Cougars (2-7) trailed 38-19 at halftime and Monroe added to that lead in the second half with a 32-20 half.
"Once again we shot poorly and we turned the ball over quite a bit," EA head coach Kevin Woods said. "We need to start making shots if we want to have a good ball game. But again, I was pleased with the hustle and they never gave up."
Junior Blake Kirk led the way for the Cougars with 11 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Senior Tyler Harrison added 9 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore James White had 6 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore Tank Mitchell and Jake Taylor each had 3 points. Mitchell added two rebounds, two steals and four assists and Taylor had three rebounds.
Austin Lee, Tyler Brown and Alan Ash contributed 2 points apiece. Lee had four rebounds. Greg McGhee had 1 point and Seth Lassiter had three rebounds.
Monroe 57 Cougars 43
The Cougars held a 14-10 first quarter lead in their opening game of the tournament Friday against Monroe Academy, but Monroe stormed back and won 57-43 following a 47-29 effort after the first quarter.
Harrison led the scoring for EA with 10 points and six rebounds. Kirk added 8 points and three rebounds. Alan Ash added 7 points, including two three-pointers. Lassiter added 6 points and three rebounds. Mitchell had 4 points and White, McGhee, Taylor and Wade Matthews each had 2 points. White added three rebounds.
Harrison was named to the All-Tournament Team with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the tournament.
The Cougars take a break for the Christmas season and resume play Jan. 3 on the road at Monroe. Tip off is set for 4 p.m. for the JV girls' game.