By JOSH FRYE
News Staff Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars finished their regular season Monday, February 4, on a high note as they defeated Fort Dale at home on senior night, 51-48.
The game was a nail biter from start to end and thrilled Cougar fans. EA took an early 12 to 8 lead over Fort Dale during the first period, setting the tone early in the contest.
Tiquale Taylor scored 7 points in the second period for the Cougars, setting them up for the lead going into the second half of the game.
EA outshot Fort Dale 14 to 12 during the second period and retired for the half with the lead, 26-20.
With Fort Dale on the heels of the Cougars, head coach James Smith led the Cougars back onto the court to finish the job. Fort Dale, however, was not going to let the Cougars get away without a fight.
Fort Dale outshot the Cougars during the third period 13 to 7, to tie the game, 33-33.
The Cougars took the court for the fourth and final period, knowing what had to be done. The Cougars took advantage of every opportunity and took a 51-48 victory over Fort Dale. The win concluded the Cougars’ regular season.
Tyrese Smith had 4 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Tiquale Taylor ended the game with a massive 29 points and 4 rebounds. T.J Riley scored 10 points for the Cougars. Chaston Helton added 3.
“The score was close but it shouldn’t have been a close game,” Smith said. “We have a young team so they have to learn how to keep leads and not to pet off. I am very proud of my guys.”
The Cougars now enter into post-season play as the number 3 seed in the area tournament, facing South Choctaw Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at Choctaw.
If the Cougars find a victory against South Choctaw, they will advance into the title game.