By JOSH FRYE
Escambia Academy closed out regular season play last Friday, January 29, with a 53-27 victory over Atmore Christian School.
EA head coach Willie White said the win helps build confidence for the team as it enters the AISA state tournament this week.
The Cougars will begin their championship quest this week, while ACS will finish out its two final conference games before entering the Panhandle Christian Conference postseason tourney next week.
ACS head coach Tim Battles said this week will help get the team reorganized and healthy before the Rams host their first-round playoff opponent next week.
“We played a hard game against Escambia Academy,” Battles said. “They are a really good team, and we just could not handle the amount of pressure they were throwing at us.”
White said his team’s main goal during last Friday’s game was to try and take away opportunities by creating pressure and applying man-to-man coverage on the Rams’ long-distant offense.
“I had the opportunity to see them play a week before our game,” he said. “They were very good at being able to gain three-point shots. I knew that if we could contain them, that we would have a good chance at being able to walk away with a win.”
Despite the loss, ACS had a slew of players contribute points. Caeden Battles scored 10, Emmett Battles had six, Dexter Smoker contributed five, Gage Gades added four and Reese White gained two.
Malaki Haynes and Daughtry McGhee led the Cougars with 14 points each. Chaston Helton scored nine points, Landon Sims and Bubba Nettles contributed five each, Troy Fountain hit for three and Charlie Sasser added two.
White was proud of the way the Cougars played against their crosstown opponent, although he would have preferred the game been played at the beginning of the season instead of the end.
EA was to face South Choctaw on Tuesday, February 2. A win would put them in the Elite 8 and set up a game against Chambers Academy this Saturday, February 6, at The Metroplex in Montgomery. A loss on Tuesday would mark the end of EA’s season.
The Rams expect to host Aletha next Thursday, February 11, as the third seed in the PCC playoffs.