EA falls at state

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Escambia Academy couldn’t get in the flow of the game as the Cougars fell 72-61 to Autauga Academy in the quarterfinals of the AISA Class 2A Elite 8 Tournament in Montgomery.

“We just didn’t execute and do the things we do to be a good team,” EA coach Hugh Fountain said. “I thought we rebounded fairly well. They hurt us on the inside.”

The Cougars fell behind 12-2 in the first period, and played catch up for the rest of the game. At times, EA made a come back with short runs late in the first and third periods, however, the Generals had the hot hand from the floor.

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“We just never did get into the flow of the game,” Fountain said. “We were struggling to hold on, and not struggling to win. They pretty much beat us.”

Trailing 21-10 in the first period, EA’s Kris Brown started a 9-0 run going into the second. After Brown’s layup, Gary Campbell got a steal at half court and converted, and a short time later, Fred Flavors dished in a rebound.

Following an AA timeout, Trae Lee drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 21-19.

The closest the Cougars got to taking their first lead of the game came in the second period.

Lee found Flavors in the paint to tie it at 21-21, but AA answered to go ahead.

Autauga’s Tanner Payton then proceeded to hit two 3-pointers, drain an old-fashioned three point play and got a layup to complete a 11-0 run to help the Generals take a 36-23 lead.

During the third period, EA’s Thomas Knight hit two jumpers to keep the Generals honest.

In the same period, Patrick McGhee managed a rebound and putback, was fouled. Brown then got the rebound and McGhee was fouled, where he made one of two.

The Cougars ended the third on a 7-0 run.

AA’s Chance Dicus and Jordan McCallum made 3-pointers to put the game out of reach in the fourth period.

Fountain said a few other reasons for the loss were the turnovers.

Dicus and Jordon Parks led AA with 20 points each. Payton chipped in 14 points.

Campbell led EA with 16 points. Flavors had 14, and Lee chipped in with 8.

EA finished its season 18-3.

“We’re proud of the season we had,” Fountain said. “You never take a good season for granted.

“We ran into a team that wanted it more,” he said.