Cougars continue streak
By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia Academy Cougars withstood a slow start at home Monday for their fourth area win in as many tries.
EA (7-8, 4-0 AISA Class AA, Region 1, Area 1) held a slight 24-19 lead over Jackson Academy when the teams entered halftime, but the Cougars exploded with a 14-2 advantage in the third quarter and 14-13 edge in the fourth quarter for the 52-34 victory.
"We came out sluggish in the first half," EA head coach Kevin Woods said. "Jackson made some shots and played hard, but we were able to come away with the win."
Woods said it is tradition to start the seniors and he got all of them in early in the game.
Woods said it was good to see the team working together, but there are some improvements to make.
"We picked up our defensive effort near the end of the game and started moving the ball well," he said. "But we missed a lot of point blank shots."
The Cougars had a balanced scoring attack Monday night with no Cougar in double digits. Sophomore Michael Hippa led the way for the second straight game with 9 points.
Sophomore James White added 7 points. Juniors Blake Kirk and Tyler Brown and sophomore Austin Lee each contributed 6 points. Junior Seth Lassiter had 5 points. Seniors Tyler Harrison and Ethan Brooks each had 4 points. Senior Greg McGhee had 3 points and sophomore Tank Mitchell added 2 points.
"We played like a team tonight and having the balanced scoring was great," Woods said.
Harrison added 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Brooks had seven rebounds. Lee and Mitchell each had six rebounds. Kirk, Hippa and White had three rebounds. Jake Taylor had two rebounds. White added five assists and junior Alan Ash had two steals.
The Cougars hosted archrival Sparta Academy Tuesday and the results will be in an upcoming Advance. Upcoming for the Cougars are three road games to conclude the season. They travel to face Marion Schools Friday, Wilcox Academy Monday and Fort Dale on Tuesday.
Jackson 37 Lady Cougars 28
In a game with many ups and downs, the Escambia Academy Lady Cougars ended up on the down side of the score, 37-28, at the hands of the Lady Eagles from Jackson Academy Monday night.
"I thought we did a great job on the defensive side of the ball, but could not score enough points," EA head coach Keri Payne said. "Everybody hustled, but what really hurt us was how they shut down Clare (Jones)."
Jones, EA's senior leader and scoring threat, was held scoreless on the night and sophomore Jordan Jaye led the way in scoring with 13 points. Jaye was 5-for-6 from the free throw line. She also added eight rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.
Junior Sara Beth Davis added 5 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Kay Leigh Miller had 3 points, two assists, one rebound, one block and one steal.
Junior Alaina Arnold, sophomore Jennifer Morris and freshman Amber Huskey each had 2 points. Morris added three rebounds. Arnold had two rebounds and two assists and Huskey added two rebounds.
Freshman Taylor Helton contributed 1 point, three rebounds and one assist.
The Lady Cougars (2-14, 0-4) trailed 21-12 at halftime and 30-18 after three quarters, but they made a run in the fourth quarter and won the quarter 10-7, but it was not enough to clip the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Cougars hosted archrival Sparta Academy Tuesday and the results will be in an upcoming Advance. Upcoming for the Lady Cougars are three road games to conclude the season. They travel to face Marion Schools Friday, Wilcox Academy Monday and Fort Dale on Tuesday.
Cougars 33 Wilcox 31
The Cougars hosted Wilcox Academy Friday and got caught in a battle, only to escape with a 33-31 victory over the Wildcats.
"That was a slow-paced game because they played a zone defense and our guys played to that level," Woods said. "We got in their rhythm, but were able to eek out a victory. We didn't play well, but we got a win."
Hippa led the Cougars with 9 points and two rebounds. Brown added 6 points. White, Kirk and Harrison each added 6 points. Harrison had 15 rebounds, Kirk had five rebounds and White had two rebounds.
Lassiter had 2 points and Mitchell added 1 point, two rebounds and five steals.
Wilcox 52 Lady Cougars 50
In what head coach Keri Payne called the "best complete game in a while," the Lady Cougars dropped a close game 52-50 at home against Wilcox.
"We ran our plays, we hit our shots and we played great defense," Payne said. "But in a back-and-forth game we did not have some calls go our way."
Jones led the Lady Cougars with 20 points and added one assist. Jaye had 11 points, eight rebounds, five blocked shots, one assist and one steal. Morris added eight points, one rebound and one assist.
Davis and Arnold each scored 4 points. Davis had three rebounds and Arnold had two assists. Miller added 3 points, one rebound and one steal. Huskey had one block.