By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars fell 65-50 to South Choctaw on February 7, a game that was not a very pleasant one for the EA boys.
South Choctaw flew out ahead of the Cougars during the first period, but Tiquale Taylor scored 10 points, including two 3-point shots, in the second period as the EAs boys fought back.
The Cougars stayed neck and neck with the rebels during a wild second period that left EA head coach James Smith steaming, and with a technical foul.
The incident occurred when EA’s, Bryant Quimby drew a foul for a play that he wasn’t even a part of.
“If any of my players drew a foul on that play, it would have been Jayson Helton because both players had the ball,” Smith said. “Instead, the call was against my player who wasn’t even part of the play. It was an unfair call by any means of the imagination. After the call was made, I turned to tell one of my bench players to go in for Quimby.
“Quimby had three fouls called on him in the middle of the second quarter and it was unfair. I was handed a technical foul about 15 seconds after that. There was no reason for me to draw a technical foul. I wasn’t speaking to the official or raising my voice in any way.”
The madness continued into the third quarter. The Rebels outshot the Cougars 17 to 8, but EA refused to lay down. The Cougars fired on all cylinders and outshot South Choctaw 20 to 15 in the final period but could not gain the win, ending their season on a note that they had rather not ended on.
“The game was called unfair; we were the better team,” said Smith. “It was a shame to be part of a game that was called so unfairly and one-sided. There was no benefit gained from the officials calling the game in that manner. Instead of letting the kids play and decide the fate of the game, the refs decided it.
“It’s sad when they take the game from kids who love to play and play their hearts out. I am extremely proud of this outstanding group of young men. They gave everything they had, only to be mistreated and deflated. They are winners in my book. We always let ‘the best team win’ by playing a fair game. If we lose, we tip our hats to the opposing team and tell them that they were the better team tonight.”