Region title up for grabs
By By Chandler Myers
A late push in the fourth quarter combined with a strong press allowed the Escambia Academy Lady Cougars to rally and defeat the Patrician Lady Saints 55-54 in the semifinals of the region tournament Friday morning at Marion Military Institute.
The Lady Cougars (20-5, 9-3) fell down during the second half, but were able to force the Lady Saints into mistakes to pick up the win.
Lady Cougars head coach Heath Gibson said his team played strong when it was “gut-check time.”
After controlling the majority of the first half, the Lady Cougars lead diminished as the team’s went into halftime tied.
After the break, the Lady Saints found some momentum and pushed their way ahead of Escambia Academy taking an 11-point advantage into the beginning of the final period.
The Lady Cougars tightened up in their press defense and turned turnovers into points as they took the lead with just more than a minute to play in the game.
Gibson said the pressure his team applied proved to be the difference in the win.
Lady Cougars’ senior Jordan Jaye and junior Amber Huskey each scored 16 points in the win. Senior guard Kay Leigh Miller added eight points in the victory.
The Cougars will play the winner of the Pickens/Marego game today for the region championship.
Gibson said fatigue and defense will be the top factors in the game.
Lady Cougars 56
Lady Trojans 41
Early foul trouble plagued the Lady Cougars of Canoe, but adjustments at halftime allowed them to ease into the second round of the region tournament with a 56-41 win over the Meadowview Lady Trojans Thursday at Marion Military Institute.
With a tie at the end of the third quarter, the Lady Cougars pushed their way back into the lead to keep their run at a state championship alive.
Lady Cougars Head Coach Heath Gibson said conditioning proved to be a deciding factor.
Most of the game the two teams stayed fairly close.
In the first quarter Meadowview would only trail by one thanks to seven points from Katie MacIntyre, who finished with a game-high 20.
The first half proved troublesome for the Lady Cougars as fouls held them back.
Gibson said his team had to readjust to keep themselves from falling behind.
In the second and third quarters the two teams traded points back and forth, with neither gaining an edge and at the end of third the score was deadlocked at 32-32.
However, the fourth quarter would be the difference.
Jordan Jaye and Amber Husky used their height advantage and combined for 16 points for the Cougars as they pulled away from the Trojans in route to the win.
Husky led the Cougars with 19 points and Jaye chipped in with another 16.
Kayla Kaldor had seven points for the Lady Trojans and Shelby Irwin chipped in with another 5.
Chris Wasson of the Selma Times-Journal contributed to this story.