Heartbreak: Blue Devils end season
ECHS falls 54-47 to Clarke County in sub regional
One can’t hide a broken heart.
Escambia County lost 54-47 to a scrappy Clarke County team tonight in a Class 4A sub regional game at the Cornell Torrence Gymnasium in Atmore.
The Blue Devils trailed the majority of the second half against a Bulldog squad that seemed to have an answer for every enigma ECHS threw at them.
“Clarke County is a really good team,” ECHS coach Rodney Jackson said after the game. “They’re a scrappy team. We played the third and fourth period — we played hard.”
Jackson said the team was trying hard to get a lead because as previous games have dictated, the Blue Devils would’ve run away with the contest.
“Clarke County stuck to their guns, and they played hard,” he said.
Trailing 49-47 with 6.1 seconds left in the game, ECHS called a timeout to talk about the play.
On the inbound, senior standout Lue Williams got the ball and drove right, but lost the ball due to a CC defender. In the melee, CC’s Gemanuel Jackson was fouled, and picked up a technical foul call for four chances at the line. He made three to essentially ice the game with 2 seconds left.
Jackson said the plan was a drive and kick play in the last possession.
“Lue got fouled, and the referee didn’t call the foul,” he said. “Clarke County got the ball, and it was over.”
Quite a lot happened in the fourth period as the Blue Devils entered the decider trailing 39-33.
Williams nailed a 3 to cut it to five, and later got a block-foul on the defensive end. Jabari Gregory made his two and CC led 43-36.
Jordaun Patterson then drained two free shots a short time later, and Malik Brown answered with a drive to the basket with 3:35 to go. ECHS trailed 45-40.
Williams helped his team cut it to two with a rebound, which was followed up by two free throws.
However, the Bulldogs answered with a Markel Cheeseboro bucket off an inbound pass.
- Patterson later added two free shots to cut it to 49-47 with 41.5 seconds left, and ECHS had possession after a Brown steal, but a turnover gave CC the ball back.
The Blue Devils managed to get the ball back 1.2 seconds later.
Earlier in the third period, Virgil Peoples got a bucket, and Allen Patterson made a long jumper to cut it to 29-26.
Quandre Burroughs later made the back-end of a pair to make it 35-30 with 2:43 left in the third for CC.
Deante Clark made a one-and-one to get it to 39-33 at the end of the third.
Jackson said the shots needed didn’t fall for ECHS in the second half.
“Clarke County was a better team tonight,” he said. “Nine times out of 10, we’re the better team. Just one game, and they were better.”
The Bulldogs led 14-12 after the first period, and 27-21 at halftime.
- Patterson led ECHS with 15 points; Williams followed with 9 points; and Brown had 8 points.
Gregory and Clark led CC with 12 points each.
ECHS ended its season 19-7.