Hopes alive for area tournament
By JOSH FRYE
News Staff Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars boys’ varsity basketball team suffered a tough 2-point loss at the hands of Clarke Prep in last Thursday’s game, January 24.
EA fell to Clarke 47-45, after a hard-fought battle.
“Jayson Helton had a big game for us,” EA head coach James Smith said. “He played fantastic. Helton had tallied 16 points, 13 rebounds and two steals. We made some big turnovers at the end of the game but fell short. It was a tough loss for us,”
As of January 28, the Cougars are 14-6 in area play.
“We have to be patient and try not to rush shots,” Smith said. “We will continue to work in those areas in preparation for the state tournament. The key for us is going to be working smarter and not harder.”
In the game against Clarke Prep, Ty’rese Smith scored 12 points; Tiquale Taylor tallied 11 points; T.J. Riley added 4 points and Caleb Davis added 2.
In their contest against Clarke Prep, the EA JV boys’ walked away with an important 47-29 victory.
“The guys played great,” Smith said. “Hunter Smith had a huge game against Clarke and was able to tally 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.”
Landon Sims had 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Jacob Lee added 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Brady Howell and J.J. Stevens also added another 6 points of scoring.
The JV boys’ also made an appearance in the State Tournament over the weekend at Lowndes Academy in Lowndesboro, Ala.
The Cougars went into the tournament ranked third with a record of 10-2 but fell during the first round to Lowndes, 41-33.
The Cougars were able to match the Lowndes tempo but were not able to come out with a win at the end due to several factors.
Jacob Lee put up 4 points for the Cougars and 4 rebounds. J.J. Stevens had 5 points and 7 rebounds. Brady Howell and Hunter Smith added 4 points each and Landon Stevens led the team in scoring with 16 points and 2 steals.
“I am proud of my kids,” Smith said. “They played tough and it was so unfortunate that they had to play against more than just 5 players on the court. I thought it was a very unfair treatment to kids who love to compete. I couldn’t be prouder of the way that they played and handled themselves. They fought to the very end.”
EA took on Monroe Academy on Monday, Jan. 28. The Cougars had to win by 7 or more points against Monroe Academy to be able to gain a top seed within the area tournament. That game story will be featured in next week’s edition, February 6, of Atmore News.