Cougars shutout FDA in 2nd, win 56-43

Published 9:56 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Escambia Academy's Kainoa Gumapac drives the ball at the perimeter earlier tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Escambia Academy’s Kainoa Gumapac drives the ball at the perimeter earlier tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Escambia Academy shut out Fort Dale in the second period and the Cougars went on to beat the Eagles 56-43 in area action earlier tonight.

EA coach Hugh Fountain said the boys played good defense after dolling out a meager first period.

“We had a poor offensive quarter in the first — really in the first half,” he said. “We just tried to ratched it up in the second quarter.”

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Fountain said not fouling as much in the second period also contributed in the performance. EA had 10 fouls in the first period.

“We made them turn the ball over and got after them,” he said.

After only putting up five points in the first period, the Cougars outscored the Eagles 12-0 in the second, thanks to Gary Campbell, who scored four of his eight points of the night in the deciding period.

Defensively, the Cougars did a good job of containing FDA and keeping the game from getting out of reach.

Fountain said all year, the defense has translated well into EA’s fast-break offense.

The Canoe school got a big boost to start the second half as Louie Turner, who hasn’t played a game since Dec. 7 because of a heart condition, started the third period for the Cougars.

Turner put up some good shots, but none went in during the third. However, he did get in some good passes, one to Tyler Sells that put EA up 25-17 near the mid-way point. A little earlier, Fred Flavors got a rebound and putback to make it 23-15.

Kainoa Gumapac found Trae Lee for an easy pair, Brad Quimby drained a 3-pointer and Bradley Geck got in a turnaround jumper to build a 29-20 lead.

To end the third, HT Fountain drained a trey for a 34-25 edge.

With a healthy 13-point lead in the fourth period, the Cougars ratcheted it up on offense, scoring at will and often.

Turner scored all of his six points in the final period of play.

Geck led EA with 14 points, and Sells had 12.

EA (12-6, 4-1 in AISA Class 3A, Area 2) visits Pike Liberal Arts on Friday night, and the contest will likely decide who wins the area championship and gets a first-round bye in the regional tournament.

In junior varsity boys action, the Cougars topped FDA 46-22.

Bryant Quimby led EA with 11 points, and Jabe Dawe had 10 points. Patrick McGhee had nine points.

Over the weekend, EA beat Glenwood 55-38 and lost 34-20 to Tuscaloosa Academy in the JV state tournament.

In varsity girls action, the Lady Cougars also played a shutout performance, this time in the third as EA beat the Lady Eagles 37-29.

EA coach Cale Thompson said the girls played well.

“I told them I was so proud of the defensive intensity,” Thompson said. “They played outstanding.”

The key for the Lady Cougars was trying a different zone look on defense, Thompson said.

“We executed really well,” he said. “The defensive intensity was what I felt won the game.”

Like the varsity boys, EA’s girls found themselves in a 11-6 hole after the first period.

However, the Lady Cougars went on a short 5-0 run to start the second to tie it at 11-all.

Mikayla Spruill got a late steal and gave it up to Alia Snow, who got a buzzer beater 3-pointer to give EA a 22-19 at the break.

Bailey Lancaster drained a 3-pointer and Victoria Sawyer found Cassidy Murphy under the rim for an easy bucket as EA led 32-19 going into the fourth.

Spruill got a jumper in the fourth for a 35-25 advantage.

Snow led EA with 14 points. Lancaster had seven points, Murphy had six and Spruill chipped in five.