Cougars top Rams

Published 11:55 am Monday, January 19, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
Escambia Academy senior guard Michael Hippa continued his domination Tuesday night in a 53-44 win over the Atmore Christian School Rams.
Hippa paced the Cougars with 23 points in the win, which redeemed the Academy from a loss it suffered to ACS on Dec. 18 in Canoe. Hippa also finished the game with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Cougars head coach Kevin Woods said Hippa proved to be a great leader in the game.
In the first quarter, the Cougars started out strong by starting the game on an 8-2 run. After a timeout was taken by Rams coach Tim Battles, the Cougars were slowed by the aggressive ACS defense, and the visiting team took advantage of it with an 8-5 advantage to end the quarter.
Coming into the second period, the Cougars led 13-10 and would continue a back-and-forth battle for the lead heading into halftime.
The Rams would win the quarter outscoring EA 10-9, but still trailed 22-20 when the teams went to the locker room.
After halftime, the Cougars picked up where they left off and controlled the tempo of the third quarter. EA outscored the Rams 14-9 and kept putting pressure on the ACS offense.
The Rams would not be able to capitalize on any opportunities as the fourth quarter started.
In the fourth period, both teams picked up their offensive momentum and scored at will. The Cougars led the scoring with 17 points, while ACS added 15 to their total. As the final buzzer rang, EA picked up some revenge and a second straight victory with a nine-point win over ACS.
Woods said the hard work on the boards and having several scoring opportunities helped his team pick up the win.
Cougars’ senior forwards Jeff Price and Blake Kirk chipped in on the scoring. Price scored 10 points, while recording six rebounds, five steals and two blocks. Kirk added eight points, 11 boards, one assist and one block in the win.
The Rams were paced by Stephen Yoder’s 12 points. Yoder also posted six rebounds, three steals and one assist in the loss. Randy Classen added nine points, one steal and two rebounds.
Cougars forward Nate Smith notched six points and had seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
EA senior Alan Ash and sophomore Keaton Maher each posted three points. Ash pulled down two rebounds, while Maher had four rebounds and one steal.
Woods said defense was a strong point of his team’s performance and praised some players for their efforts.
The Cougars next game is Tuesday in Canoe against Patrician Academy. Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.
Escam. Acad. 65
Sparta Acad. 53
A 22-point performance by Escambia Academy senior guard Michael Hippa fueled a 65-53 victory over the Sparta Academy Warriors on Monday night.
The Cougars played strong defense and, at one point, held a 22-point lead over the Warriors.
In the first quarter, EA jumped ahead quickly outscoring the Warriors 12-4. After taking the first, the Cougars never looked back.
That 12-4 lead grew larger in the second period as the Cougars outscored Sparta 24-13, and took an overwhelming 36-17 lead into the locker room at the break.
Cougars head coach Kevin Woods said the defensive aggression by his team proved to be a difference maker.
After halftime, the Cougars came out and did not give an inch back to the home team.
In the third period, the Warriors allowed 16 points from the Cougars of Canoe and were only able to score 14, which did not even dent the lead that had been mounted by the visitors.
Sparta found some life in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Cougars 22-13 and pulled within 12 points, but it was too little too late as EA picked up a 65-53 win.
Woods said the win over Sparta was a testament to the hard work of his players.
Cougars’ forwards Jeff Price and Nate Smith scored season highs in point totals in the win. Price chipped in 16 points and recorded six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Smith added 13 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Woods said Price and Smith played their best games of the year.
Seniors Blake Kirk and Alan Ash notched four points apiece. Kirk pulled down four boards, stole two passes and had two assists. Ash fought for four rebounds and added one assist.
Cougars sophomore Keaton Maher scored four points and had eight rebounds and four blocks in the win. Sophomore Nick Mills added two points, three rebounds and one assist for the Cougars.

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