Blue Devils rout T.R. Miller on senior night; Williams reaches 1K-point milestone

Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

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Three Escambia County Blue Devils finished in double figures to help lead Atmore to a 63-33 area victory over T.R. Miller Tuesday on senior night.

Seniors Lorenzo Arnold Jr. and Stephen Williams scored 11 and 13 points, respectively, and sophomore Cleo Bolar Jr. led with 20 points. Williams also reached the 1,000-point milestone after scoring his first field goal of the night with 6:47 left in the first period.

ECHS basketball coach Layton Knight said he basically started his seniors in the game.

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“A couple of the players that weren’t usually in that rotation started the game, and I knew in the first quarter we were going to have a slow start,” Knight said. “I knew we were going to get the ball rolling.”
Late in the first period, TRM and ECHS were notched a 9-all.

Knight said the boys did well defensively, holding the Tigers to 33 points.

“Cleo Bolar and Stephen played well on the block,” Knight said. “Lorenzo Arnold played well, and Michael French played well defensively.”

With the victory, the Blue Devils improved to 13-7 overall, and 4-1 in Class 4A, Area 2. ECHS plays Jackson this Friday night on the road. The Blue Devils fell to the Aggies 48-44 on Jan. 19.

Knight said he changed the offense up for the rest of Tuesday night’s game, making the Tigers move more instead of sitting there in the double steal.

Williams added 12 rebounds; Bolar had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals; and French added five points and rebounds each.

On the game last Friday against Jackson, Knight said the team missed a lot of free throws, especially ones late.

“We got out rebounded,” he said. “We’ve got to really work on boxing out.

“Basketball is a game of runs,” he added. “They made a run and it was back and forth for the lead. We missed a chance (free throw) to tie it up at 43-all.”

On the milestone Williams reached, Knight said he’s a special talent.

“It’s hard to guard him,” Knight said. “When he’s on the floor, he changes the whole dynamic of anybody’s defense. The only way to cancel him out is to have someone just like him.”

Knight said Williams’ progression has been good.

“He’s gotten stronger since the state runner up championship team (2022),” he said. “He’s become more of a scorer, and we know he was going to rebound well. He grew a lot. He’s a big part of our success.”

Additionally, Knight earned his 100th career win after the Blue Devils’ area victory over Satsuma last week.

In girls action, TRM beat ECHS 53-24.