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BUZZER BEATER

EA’s Quimby makes game-winning shot before final horn

Escambia Academy’s Bryant Quimby hit a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to help lift the Cougars to a 63-60 victory over Jay, Fla. on Dec. 20 in Canoe.

The Cougars came back from a 32-24 halftime deficit to cut the game to 45-40 going into the fourth behind a strong offensive effort in the third period.

Both teams traded offensive possessions in the fourth period, and free throws late in the game.

EA’s Tyrese Smith hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining to give the Cougars a 60-58 advantage.

However, Jay’s Tristan Watson got a lay up off an inbound to tie the game at 60-all with less than 40 seconds to go.

With the game tied at 60 apiece, Tiquale “TQ” Taylor drove the ball down the court and ate some time to find an open man. EA head basketball coach James Smith called his play unselfish in the moment.

Smith said the intent was to slow the ball’s progress to be able to attack the basket because the Royals were in the bonus, foul wise.

Taylor found Quimby on the perimeter at the right arch, where his teammate took care of the rest.

“TQ kicked it out to Quimby, and he caught it and shot it,” Smith said. “That’s what we practiced. At least now they understand and it shows that they’re starting to listen a little bit.”

The victory improves EA to 7-4 on the season, a must win after losing two straight, Smith said.

“We wanted to go into the Christmas break with a win,” the coach said. “We don’t like to have those games. It’s something good for the motivation. Starting a new year, we should be able to step up our play. It’ll teach us something going forward.”

Taylor led EA with 38 points, 21 of which were scored in the second half. He led the charged in the third period with 12 points. Smith chipped in nine points.

Watson led the Royals with 24.

EA is back in action for their New Year’s tournament on Jan. 4-5, 2019.