Blue Devils top Monroe County 65-53 [with gallery]

Published 9:17 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

ECHS to play in 4A, Area 2 championship Saturday

ANDALUSIA — Third time’s the charm for Escambia County.

The Blue Devils avenged their 0-2 area stretch against Monroe County tonight in a 65-53 victory over the Tigers in the semifinals of the Class 4A, Area 2 tournament on Richard Robertson’s Court in Andalusia.

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“We made free throws, and defensively, we were good,” ECHS basketball coach Rodney Jackson said. “We attacked the basket on the offensive end, and we played well together.”
With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 20-8 on the season, and will face Andalusia in the area championship Saturday night. AHS beat W.S. Neal tonight 68-52.

Lue Williams led ECHS with 16 points; Nicholas Davison contributed with 14; Malik Brown had nine; and Xavier Lyman and Virgil Peoples chipped in with eight points each.

The Blue Devils led throughout the game and took a 22-19 lead into the third period.

Davison got things going with two 3-pointers to start the second half to help ECHS get ahead 28-19.

From there, the Blue Devils put the game on cruise control as they rebounded well on both the offensive and defensive ends.

ECHS led 36-28 at the end of the third.

A big key to the victory for the Blue Devils was their allowing MCHS to come to them on the defensive end.

“We sat back and won the game,” Jackson said. “We wanted them to take the outside shot. We blocked out and rebounded the ball.

“Monroe is pretty good on their drives to the basket, and we cut off the driving lanes,” he said.

Jackson said they kept rotating defenses throughout the second half.

“My kids played well,” he said. “They listened to the game plan. My players executed.”

Peoples started the scoring spree in the fourth with an attack to the basket. Williams then found Brown for an easy bucket and a 40-28 lead.

Monroe County kept pace with ECHS during the fourth, but the Blue Devils countered with free throws and a big 3-pointer by Lyman.

MCHS kept fighting, but couldn’t catch up to Escambia County’s lead.

Williams hit a 3-point play with 58.5 seconds left to seal the deal.

Bryson Green led the Tigers with 13 points; and Tyler Stallworth contributed with 12 points.