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Cougars win second straight area game

By By Matthew Nascone
Before the season started, Escambia Academy Cougars' head coach Kevin Woods said his team would play the first part of the season to get ready for area play in January.
The Cougars (5-8, 2-0) defeated Jackson Academy 54-45 Jan. 15 to keep hold on the AISA Class AA, Region 1, Area 1 lead with a 2-0 record.
"We came out a little sloppy, but we got ahead and stayed ahead for the rest of the game," Woods said. "We were able to get everyone some playing time."
Early on this season the Cougars struggled with shooting the ball, but the team shot 50 percent from the floor against Jackson.
Woods said he was happy to play all the players who have not seen too much of the floor this year, but have worked hard every day at practice.
"Some of our guys needed a chance to play and we were able to give that to them Tuesday," he said.
Eight Cougars scored at least one basket against Jackson and senior Tyler Harrison led the charge with 10 points and seven rebounds in limited action. The starting five only saw the floor for a little more than one and a half quarters total in the game.
Sophomore Austin Lee added 10 points and two rebounds. Sophomore Tank Mitchell contributed 9 points and three assists. Sophomores James White and Michael Hippa each scored 7 points. Junior Blake Kirk had 4 points and five rebounds. Junior Seth Lassiter had 4 points and three rebounds and senior Greg McGhee had 3 points and three rebounds.
The Cougars took an 18-9 lead after one quarter and were up by 15 points at one point in the quarter, but Jackson cut that lead to 27-24 by halftime. EA outscored Jackson 27-21 in the second half for the win.
The Cougars hosted Wilcox Academy in an area game Friday and the results will be in an upcoming Advance. Next up for the Cougars are back-to-back area games against Jackson Monday and Sparta Tuesday in Canoe.
Jackson 34 JV Cougars 29
The JV Cougars did not fare as well as their varsity counterparts, losing 34-29 Tuesday in Jackson.
Gavin Salter led the charge for EA with 12 points. J.P. Solomon added 4 points, Chase Jaye had 5 points, Tanner Kirk and Keaton Maher each scored 3 points and James Dean had 1 point.
The JV boys played in the AISA JV State Tournament in Wilcox yesterday and the results will be in an upcoming Advance.