Devils: County Champs

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By By Chandler Myers
Escambia County cruised to a tournament championship and a third straight victory with a 59-40 win over the Flomaton Hurricanes on Monday night in the championship game of the Escambia County Tournament.
The Blue Devils (7-7, 0-0) outplayed the Hurricanes for the majority of the game, but did not pull away until the second half.
In the first quarter, both teams went up and down the court, with ECHS outscoring the Hurricanes 12-10.
Junior forward and tournament MVP Kingston Craft pushed the Blue Devils throughout the game and scored a game high 18 points in the championship game. Senior forward Johnathan Gholsby supported Craft’s performance with 13 points.
In the second quarter, both teams shot poorly. Flomaton scored six points, and the Blue Devils only added four. At the half, the teams went to the locker room knotted at 16.
Blue Devils head coach Anthony Hayes said he told his team in the locker room that they needed to step up and finish the game the way they had against their other two opponents.
Senior guard James Webster scored seven points for the Blue Devils, while junior guards Rayvon Madison and Eric Davis each added five points.
Seniors Nic Radojicic, Nate Davis, Myles Everett and Charles Crook and junior Lawrence Arnold all scored two points in the victory.
In the third and fourth quarters, the game swung into the Blue Devils’ favor, and ECHS scored 22 points in the third and 21 to close out the game 59-40.
Hayes said winning the county tournament really means a lot to this team and shows their capabilities against good opponents.
Miller 48
The Blue Devils of Escambia County picked up their second straight victory in the Escambia County Tournament, as they defeated the T.R. Miller Tigers 63-48 on Saturday afternoon at ECHS.
The Blue Devils (6-7, 0-0) and the Tigers battled tightly in the first quarter of their second round match up in the tournament.
Junior forward Kingston Craft led the way for the Blue Devils with a game high 18 points, while Miller was led by J. Payne’s 13 points.
At the end of the first quarter, the Blue Devils led the contest 11-9.
Jitters disappeared and scoring picked up in the second quarter, with ECHS scoring 19 points in the period and the Tigers adding 14 to their total. At halftime, ECHS led Miller 30-23.
Blue Devils head coach Anthony Hayes said the first half performance by his team was much better than their first game against Miller.
Senior forward Johnathan Gholsby helped Craft pace the Blue Devils by scoring 14 points in the win. Senior guard Myles Everett added eight points, while junior forward Lawrence Arnold and senior forward Nate Davis posted six points each.
After halftime, both defenses tightened up and did not allowing more than 10 points. The Tigers outscored ECHS 10-9, but the Blue Devils continued to lead the game 39-33.
Senior guard James Webster scored five points for ECHS, and seniors Nik Radojicic, Dontae Johnson and Charles Crook all scored two points in the win.
In the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils ran away from the Tigers and scored 24 points, while only allowing 15. When the final buzzer sounded, ECHS had secured their second straight win 63-48.
Hayes said the Blue Devils are showing signs of life, but still face the same issues they have had all season.
Neal 57
A four-game losing streak was broken by the Escambia County Blue Devils in their first game of the Escambia County Tournament with a 59-57 victory over the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles on Friday night.
The Blue Devils (5-7, 0-0) fought a back-and-forth game with the Blue Eagles never pulling away.
ECHS was paced by junior forward Kingston Craft’s 19 points, while senior guard Charles Crook added 14 points.
W.S. Neal was led in scoring by K. Floyd’s 13 points, B. Elliott’s 12 and C. Payne’s 10 points in the loss.
At the end of the first quarter, the Blue Devils led Neal 11-10 and took that lead into halftime 27-21.
Blue Devils head coach Anthony Hayes said the goal at halftime was to get focused and not lose the lead they had gained.
After halftime, the back-and-forth battle continued between the Devils and the Eagles. At the end of the third quarter, the ECHS led Neal 50-43.
Senior forwards Dontae Johnson and Nate Davis and senior guard Myles Everett scored six points apiece for the Blue Devils.
In the fourth quarter, the slug fest continued and Neal gained ground on the Blue Devils. The Blue Eagles outscored ECHS 14-9 in the final quarter, but the nine points by the Blue Devils would prove to be just enough to squeak past Neal 59-57.
Senior forward Johnathan Gholsby scored four points for the Blue Devils, while senior forward Nik Radojicic added three points. Junior forward Lawrence Arnold scored two points for ECHS in the victory.
Hayes said he hopes the win is the start of a new streak that keeps his team winning.

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