By JOSH FRYE
After falling short of another AISA football championship, Escambia Academy’s boys have wasted no time getting back to winning ways, as the stars of the football field have swapped helmets for basketball shorts.
The Cougars hosted the first home basketball games of the year against Jackson Academy on Monday, December 2.
In varsity action, the Cougars manhandled Jackson Academy 74-37 as four Cougars recorded double digits.
Landon Sims and Tiquale Taylor led the way with 18 points each, while LiTerrance McCants scored 11 and Ty’rese Smith netted 10.
Bryant Quimby chipped in eight points, Chaston Helton scored six, Hunter Smith added two, and T.J. Riley recorded one point on a free throw.
Jason “Jabo” Davis, Orlando Medina and Jayson Helton provided the Cougars with solid defense during the game.
“I am proud of the guys,” EA head coach James Smith said. “They played really well, but above all, they played for each other. You can tell that these guys really like playing together and they listen when information is passed.”
JV boys win
The EA junior varsity boys kicked off the night’s action with a 43-30 win over the Eagles.
EA’s Devin Kelly led the Cougars in scoring with 13 points. Jacob Lee followed up Kelly’s performance, putting up a solid 11 points, and Maliki Haynes added 10. Tyler Ragan and Cameron Ball recorded three points each.
Girls now 1-0
In the first girls’ varsity game of the season, EA’s girls recorded their first win of the season, knocking out the Lady Eagles, 39-30, in their season opener.
LaKrystal Turner had a solid performance for the Lady Cougars, putting up 11 points during the game. Kelly Polletta and Jamison Janes recorded eight points each, while Abby Wiggins added six, Kaliegh Jay scored four and Leah Odom added two points.
“The girls put up a great effort,” girls coach Mike Sims said. “It is great to be able to start the season at 1-0. They played relentlessly and we will only get better as the season goes along.”
In addition to defeating Jackson Academy earlier this week, EA’s boys also made a solid showing during the Northside Thanksgiving Tournament held last Monday and Tuesday, November 25 and 26, at Northside Methodist Academy in Dothan.
During the tournament the Cougars defeated Patula, 73-20, and Bethlehem, 37-36, but fell in the championship game to Sherwood, 57-47.
EA senior Tiquale Taylor and junior T.J. Riley were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
“We went into the tournament with only one day of practice,” Smith said. “They played well for someone who had just played for a state (football) championship two nights before. I could tell at that point that this is going to be a great season.”
The Cougars will host Lead Academy on Friday, December 6.