Blue Devil seniors leading team

Published 6:25 pm Saturday, January 5, 2013

ECHS seniors Fred Knight, left, and Tyrell Ford lead the Blue Devil team.

The Escambia County Blue Devils are peaking at the right time.

After a slow start, the ECHS boys’ basketball team has won four straight games and a county tournament title to improve to 7-5, but the month of January might decide their season with all six area games yet to be played.

The team’s leading scorer, senior guard Fred Knight, has noticed a turnaround and credits it to players learning the system of first year coach Earlando Courtney.

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“We started out a little sluggish,” said Knight, who’s averaging 18 points a game. “Now we’ve gotten used to the system.”

Knight and backcourt mate Tyrell Ford are the only two senior starters for the Blue Devils this year. The two are motivated to leave the slow start in the past.

Execution is the focus for the Blue Devils as the calendar changes to 2013, Knight said.

“We have to leave everything to last year,” he said. “In a couple of months we’ll be gone and we can’t get it again.”
For that reason, the team and Courtney have worked hard for one goal, a state title.

“We work hard,” Knight said. “We try to and if we don’t coach gets on us and we run.”

That even applies during holidays, Knight said of his coach.

“If he didn’t have kids we would’ve practiced on Christmas,” he said.

The Blue Devils have games remaining against Thomasville, UMS-Wright and Clarke County to decide tournament seating.

“We have four quality teams in the area that are loaded with talent,” Courtney said. “It’s one of these areas that even if you win the area, any night you could be eliminated.”

The Blue Devils will take on Hillcrest-Evergreen at 4:30 p.m. today in Evergreen. In their second area game, ECHS will take on Clarke County at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Grove Hill.

The Blue Devils traveled to Thomasville Friday, but scores were not available as of press time.