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PFHS edges Escambia Co. 62-60

Not doing the little things can make a difference.

That was the sentiment Escambia County boys basketball coach Erin Straughn stressed Friday night as the Blue Devils took a 62-60 loss to Pine Forest, Fla. in their final game at home this year.

The Blue Devils got behind early and often to the Eagles, who rebounded the ball on both ends and made plenty of second and third chance shots.

“They got to do the little things, like defending and ball pressure,” Straughn said. “The big thing for us is always going to be boxing out — boxing out and playing at a high intensity level for four quarters of the game.”

With this loss, the No. 10 Blue Devils fall to 16-8 on the season with the Class 4A, Area 2 tournament coming up next week. ECHS meets No. 5 Andalusia in the semifinals on Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.

During the fourth period, ECHS went on a 7-0 run after Triston Knott notched a 3-pointer and Dimitri Wiggins followed with a rebound and putback. Devon Robinson answered with a pair to help the Blue Devils take one of its few leads at 52-50 with 5:07 to go.

Pine Forest answered quickly afterward with some free shots, and made a bucket to go for a 55-52 advantage soon afterward.

Malik Brown converted a one-and-one to tie it up, and the game went back and forth until the 1:06 mark, when the Pensacola team took a lead it wouldn’t give up at 61-59.

Knott cut the lead to 61-60, and PFHS made the front-end of a one-and-one with 2.3 seconds left.

ECHS took a timeout after PFHS missed the second shot off of Robinson’s rebound with 1.6 seconds to go.

Once out of the timeout, ECHS lost the ball on the offensive end.

“We had a miscommunication to our foul situation, and that goes back to our basketball IQ,” Straughn said. “We had a melt down, and it was probably sort of due to youth. We’ll have to come back with the right frame of mind on Monday.

They understand that it’s not over yet,” he said. “We have some chances. It’s a one-game season.”

Knott led the Blue Devils with 22 points, including five 3-pointers; Robinson chipped in with 16 points; and Brown added 12 points.

PFHS led 17-16 after the first period, and 36-29 at the break.

In the third period, ECHS cut it to three after Robinson drained a pair and converting on transition.

Robinson added a free throw with 10.9 seconds to make it 47-45 PFHS going into the fourth.