Escambia County tops No. 2 Andalusia 50-46

Published 10:29 pm Friday, January 13, 2017


Escambia County’s Lue Williams led the Blue Devils with 17 points tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Escambia County handed Andalusia its first loss of the season Friday night as the Blue Devils edged the Bulldogs 50-46 in area action at Cornell Torrence Gymnasium.

In a game where two teams played stellar defense, the offense put on quite a show. Tied 23-23 at halftime, both teams traded jabs in the third period and AHS led 38-34 going into the fourth. ECHS, utilizing its speed and defensive play on the glass, fought back from the small deficit to take a small lead with more than 4 minutes left in the contest — a lead the Blue Devils rode to the house despite a never-give-up Bulldog team.

In the end, ECHS head basketball coach Erin Straughn said the Blue Devils stepped up and played hard.

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“For the most part, tonight we played mostly consistent,” Straughn said. “Other times we played in spurts. There were times where we were out of sync.

“For most of the game, we stayed consistent and in the game plan,” he said.

Bulldogs basketball coach Anthony Clark said the boys were off kilter a little.

“We didn’t keep our composure at the end,” Clark said. “I feel like we were out of rhythm all night long, and we couldn’t find any balance. They’ve got a good team.

“We didn’t finish at the rim, especially the last two minutes of the ball game,” he said.

Trailing by 4 points going into the final period of play, the Blue Devils needed a spark.

That spark came in the form of freshman Lue Williams.

Williams found senior Devin Robinson for a lay in to start the fourth, which turned into an 8-minute shootout.

After Andalusia’s Trey Wilkerson got a block on the defensive end — and when every possession was key — the Bulldogs increased their lead with an and-1 from B.J. Anderson to make it 41-36.

Robinson and Malik Brown made a pair of free throws to cut it to 41-40, and Williams got a rebound and finished on the other end to take a 42-41 lead.

Williams then took a drive to the paint store and increased the Blue Devils lead at 44-41 with 4:04 to go, forcing AHS to call a timeout to regroup.

RJ Drish drained a pair of free shots a short time after the timeout to cut it to 1 point.

ECHS defended the glass well and got a key rebound before calling timeout with 2:42 left.

Out of the timeout, Brown waited patiently at the top of the key before finding Williams in the paint for an easy bucket and a 46-43 advantage.

Straughn said defense was key for the Blue Devils.

“Defensively, tonight we just wanted to switch up our defense a little bit with some minor tweaks, giving them a different look,” he said.

After an Anderson made free throw, Williams dodged and weaved like Muhammad Ali for a field goal to increase Atmore’s lead to 48-44 with 1:20 left on the clock.

In the stretch, Brown drained two free throws with 13.9 to go, and Andalusia’s Ke’Shun Townsend missed a 3-pointer with time running out.

Nicholas Davison started out the third period with a trey, and Townsend followed with a paint drive and layou.

Drish then got a couple of layups and AHS led 29-26 with 6:03 on the clock.

Brown and Anderson traded layups. Robinson then made the first of two free shots, which was followed up with a rebound and put back from Davison to tie the game at 31-all.

Wilkerson then got a rebound and put back, and Adam Peek drained a 3-pointer with 1:06 until the final period to give the second-ranked Bulldogs (15-1) a 36-32 lead.

Robinson wrestled his way for a layup, and Wilkerson dished in a shot with less than 1 second left in the third.

During the second period, Wilkerson went up for a dunk and fell hard on his face. He sat out the game for a bit.

Anderson shot a 4-point spurt to give the Bulldogs a 23-21 lead, however.

Williams then added a pair of free shots with 19.6 seconds left in the first half to tie the game.

ECHS got off to a good start in the first with a pair of 3-pointers from Triston Knott, but AHS went on a 7-0 run to take a 15-11 lead.

Williams drained a trey to cut it to one, and Brown got a steal and lay up to give the Blue Devils a 18-15 lead after the first.

This was the longest Clark’s team was undefeated in his coaching career.

Williams led ECHS with 17 points. Robinson chipped in 13.

Anderson led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Drish and Wilkerson had 8 points each.

In girls action, the Lady Blue Devils won 42-37.

Ja’Quanda Webster led ECHS with 25 points. Jacala Nickson had 9 points.

Andalusia’s Shalisa Thomas led with 11 points, and Alex Crittenden chipped in 8.

The Bulldogs’ JV boys won 43-36.

On Thursday, the Blue Devils beat Monroe County 56-55 to finish the week 11-5 overall, and 3-0 in Class 4A, Area 2.