Cougars rout Trinity 43-18 in Final 4, advance to AISA Class 1A state championship

Published 2:28 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

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MONTGOMERY – After a slow start, Escambia Academy started rolling and beat Trinity 43-18 today in the AISA Class 1A Final 4 at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex.

With the victory, the Cougars advance to the state championship, which will be played tomorrow, Fri., Feb. 9, at 11 a.m. against Banks Academy.

Defensively, both teams put together a stellar effort. EA led 3-2 after the first period, and then 15-5 at the break.

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EA basketball coach Jerome Webster said Trinity played a defensive first half, and they had to make some adjustments.

“We had to do several different defenses to break the ice,” Webster said. “Once we got on track, we went on ahead and pulled it out.

“We’re going to have to have a better start tomorrow if we’re going to pull this thing out,” he said.

EA standout Quinton Odom led the Cougars with 21 points in the effort. He scored 11 of his total in the second period, one where the Canoe School pulled away for good. Ronta Watson contributed with eight points, and Luke Bell added six in the win. Back from suffering a foot injury, Charlie Sasser added three points.

Tomorrow’s state championship appearance marks EA’s second in four years.

During the second period of today’s contest, the Cougars built themselves a good 7-2 lead thanks to an Odom to Watson conversion in the paint, and a dunk by Odom.

Trinity then took a timeout, and Nate Riddle added a drive up on the lane to keep the game honest at that point.

Odom then added another layup, later got a rebound and putback; made two free throws and cashed in a steal for a dunk to complete a 8-0 run.

Sasser hit a field goal to start the third, and tried for an old fashioned three. He made a free throw later with 3:50 left to put EA up 23-7.

Riddle added a drive and a three-point play with 2:44 left, and added a baseline drive later for Trinity.

Bell added a pair, and Odom chipped in a dunk to put the Cougars ahead 29-12 at the end of the third period.

EA’s Ty McCants got a mid-range jumper to go to start the fourth, and Bell added a rebound and putback to put the game way out of reach.

Later in the fourth, Watson scored on a runner and after a steal for a 39-18 advantage.

Tydarrius Mcneal added a free throw, and Cameron Bryant scored on a rebound late for the Cougars.

Webster said he implemented a lot of changes in the second half, and Trinity’s shots just went cold from the perimeter.

“Normally, they went and make those threes,” he said.

When asked about Riddle and his play, Webster said the plan was to move him out of his normal shooting spot.

Riddle led Trinity with nine points.