ECHS wins on senior night

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

With their 67-56 win Tuesday night against J.F. Shields the Escambia County High School Blue Devils’ basketball team finished the season on an 11-2 streak after starting 5-5.

“It’s been everybody getting on the same page, myself included,” coach Earlando Courtney said. “It’s learning what guys can do, what their capabilities are.”

Key players have stepped up late in the season, including junior forward Desmond Williams’ “emergence as a primetime player,” Courtney said.

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The play of junior guard Tony McAroy has been a lift for the team as well, he said.

“He’s averaging 10 points a game in the second half of the year,” Courtney said.

In addition increased production by junior guard Darius McCarthy and senior guard Albert Dortch from off the bench has also helped.

“More guys are getting involved,” Courtney said.

Tuesday night four Blue Devils were in double figures, led by senior guard Tyrell Ford, who scored 14 points in the win. Senior guard Fred Knight added 13 points, McCarthy chipped in 11 and senior forward De’Andreas Johnson had 10.

Williams didn’t play in the regular season finale due to a dinged ankle, but he will be “fine,” Courtney said.

“He could’ve played,” he said. “If it had been a playoff or area game he would’ve played.”

Everybody else got to play in the game, Courtney said, even though the game was tight.

“We were down four to six points in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t shoot well from the field.”

It was the Blue Devils defense that lifted the team, Courtney said.

“We got some steals and some turnovers,” he said. “The defense won us the game. We focused on getting stops.”

The Blue Devils will host the area tournament, starting Friday, Feb. 8. ECHS will take on Thomasville at 7 p.m.