By JOSH FRYE
Escambia Academy’s Cougars captured a second-place finish in the 2019 Christmas Jam Basketball Tournament, played at Oak Park Christian School in Mobile December 19 and 20.
In just 24 hours, the Cougars faced four schools. At the end, the tournament championship came down to the contest between Lighthouse Christian and the Cougars, who fell 82-62.
Bryant Quimby led EA with 21 points in the title game. Tiquale Taylor was close behind, scoring 17 points, while Tyrese Smith had 11, Jayson Helton got 7 and T.J. Riley added 4.
During the tournament the Cougars defeated New Life Christian School, 62-39, Oak Park White, 61-44, and Patrician, 61-22.
“My kids are tough,” EA head coach James Smith said. “To play that many games in one day and come out with a second-place finish was an accomplishment. We let some fundamentals go during the tournament, and it cost us. The better team won (Lighthouse), and our hats go off to them.”
Smith stressed during an interview earlier last week that Quimby, Taylor and Smith are great senior leadership for the Cougars.
“These guys are all just three important pieces of an 11-man puzzle. I’m proud of each of my players. Coaches, referees, players and parents all complimented our team during the tournament, which meant a great deal to us. Our guys do a great job in representing our school, on and off the court.”
After enjoying a brief but much-needed break, the Cougars will return to action when they host the Escambia New Year’s Classic Tournament on Friday and Saturday, January 2-3.