Blue Devils turn up the pressure, defeat Bullock County 51-42 Feb. 10; advance to south regional

Published 1:43 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

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Escambia County’s Cleo Bolar Jr. scored 20 points and Stephen Williams added a double double to help lead the Blue Devils to a 51-42 victory over Bullock County Feb. 10 in a Class 4A South Sub Regional in Union Springs.

Williams scored 11 points, and added 13 rebounds in the winning effort. Anthony McCants contributed with nine points.

ECHS boys basketball coach Layton Knight said the team started off a bit sluggish, which he expected.

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“It was a new gym and a different atmosphere,” Knight said. “I figured out late in the third that they couldn’t handle ball pressure. So, I turned the press up and created a lot of turnovers in the fourth quarter.”
Knight said he specifically went to a full court press, and Lorenzo Arnold, Bolard, McCants and Ta Henderson put on a lot of pressure to make it easier.

“It just changed the tempo of the game,” he said.

Knight believes the team is finding its niche as it heads deeper in the postseason.

“McCants stepped up big defensively for us,” he said. “Stephen had a double double. For the most part, they’re ready for the road. It was a good road win.”

The Blue Devils will be on the road again next Mon., Feb. 19, in the Class 4A South Regional at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, where they’ll play UMS-Wright at 10:30 a.m.

The last time ECHS met UMS was during last year’s south sub regional. Bolar hit two free throws and the Blue Devils held on late for a 43-41 win.

“I expect them with a mode to put us out,” Knight said. “We’ve just tog to weather the storm. They’re real sound. Coach (Michael) Napp does a good job with them.”