Blue Devils’ UMS game was quite good

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Passing, rebounding and shooting — those three elements are working well right now for Escambia County’s boys basketball team.

Last week, the Blue Devils defeated W.S. Neal in a blow out on Thursday, two days after dispatching of UMS-Wright 66-65 at home.

Over the past season, I’ve tried to make it to all area basketball games, including ECHS, Escambia Academy and Northview, among others.

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I’m fortunate because this season, I’ve been to all of the county schools games so far.

In Atmore, basketball is an important sport, just like football, baseball and the others offered at the school.

To play a game at ECHS, a team needs to come prepared for a loud and jubilant atmosphere.

Take the UMS game on Jan. 22, the Blue Devils trailed by two late in the fourth period, and Lue Williams hit a 3 that would eventually be the game winner.

The crowd erupted when Williams hit the game-winning shot. As they should have.

With these latest victories, ECHS improved to 17-5 overall. Last week, the Blue Devils rose two spots in the ASWA Class 4A poll. I expect them to maybe raise one notch higher this week.

In the UMS game, the Blue Devils played an interesting first period as they put up four 3-pointers during the opener, but trailed 19-12. UMS pounded the basket and made some outside shots to take the lead, and took control early.

The game stayed interesting in the second period as both were tied at 32-all at halftime.

Good defense in the third period allotted the Blue Devils enough room to stay in the game with the Mobile team.

Allen Patterson got a floater to go, Williams made a field goal off of an offensive rebound and Jordaun Patterson dished it to Williams to give ECHS its third lead of the game.

Williams and Jordaun Patterson traded drives to the basket, but Bonham drained a 3 at the end of the third to give UMS a 49-48 lead.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 55-49 after a 3-pointer, but the Blue Devils kept up its defensive pressure, forcing turnovers to points.

Virgil Peoples drained a pair after fighting underneath, and Jordaun Patterson made a 3 with 4:22 left in the game for another lead.

Peoples added another layup, and Woodyard then tied it at 63-all with a rebound and a put back.

The Blue Devils then called a timeout with 1:24 to go, ate some clock, hit the eventual game winner and Woodyard missed two free throws with 7.8 seconds left.

It was a great game to watch, and I expect more to come from this bunch.