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Cougars outlast Rams

By By Chandler Myers
What looked to be a blowout turned into a second-half shootout Thursday night that ended with the Escambia Academy Cougars beating the Atmore Christian School Rams 40-32.
The Cougars (7-2, 0-0) had control of the game early, but allowed the Rams to creep back into the picture late in the game.
Cougars junior forward Keaton Maher led the winning team with 16 points, while Atmore Christian’s Casey Freeman led both teams with 20.
In the first quarter, the Academy jumped out to huge lead outscoring the Rams 15-2 with strong defensive pressure.
The Rams made the game a little closer in the second period by applying more pressure to the Cougars offense, which allowed the Rams to open their game and outscore the Academy 8-6. At halftime, the Cougars led 21-10.
After the break, the Rams continued to chip away at the Cougars’ lead by outscoring them again 8-7 in the third period.
In the final period, the Rams gave it all they had pulling to within two points of the Cougars outscoring them 14-12 in the quarter, but strong defense by the Academy allowed them to extend their lead again and walk away 40-32 victory.
Cougars that recorded points in the win included forward Darron McGhee who recorded nine points, guard James White who posted seven points and center Nate Smith with six points.
Brandon Goddard and Tanner Kirk each scored one point for the Cougars.
For the Rams, Austin Heller scored eight points, while Chase Jaye and Travis Pruitt scored two apiece in the loss.
The Cougars next game is today against Rocky Bayou. Tipoff is at 1 p.m.
The Rams next contest is Jan. 7 at Pensacola Christian with a 6 p.m. tipoff.