Cougars knock off South Choctaw, Chambers; set sights on Edgewood
By JOSH FRYE
Despite a slow start this season, Escambia Academy’s basketball team finds itself just one game away from a shot at the AISA Class AA state championship after defeating South Choctaw Academy, 70-35, on February 2 and Chambers Academy, 59-52, in Montgomery last Saturday, February 11.
Red-hot shooting from the floor paved the way to the win over South Choctaw, while steady defense helped lead to the win over Chambers.
“We played really well against Choctaw,” EA head coach Willie White said of his team, which connected on 30 of 54 shots from the floor. “We were able to complete shots and move the ball like we should have.”
Four Cougars scored in double figures in that game. Malaki Haynes scored 17 points to lead the way, while Daughtry McGhee hit for 14, Landon Sims put 13 in the book and Bubba Nettles contributed 10. Chaston Helton and Caleb Davis just missed double figures with eight points each.
With that win, the Cougars advanced into the tournament’s Elite Eight for a showdown with Chambers Academy, a team that had only dropped one game this season and a school that had wrestled the state football championship from EA in November.
The gridiron setback was avenged, and now only EA, Edgewood Academy, Autauga Academy and Macon-East Montgomery Academy remain in the state title hunt. The Cougars will go up against Edgewood at 4 p.m. this Thursday, February 11, at Montgomery’s Multiplex.
“We had to make sure that we prepared well for this encounter,” White said. “Our basic game strategy was to limit their best player. He only gained nine shots and fouled out the last period, so our plan worked well.”
The Cougars led the entire game, as Sims paved the way with 17 points. Helton notched 12, Haynes and McGhee contributed 11 each, and Nettles added five.
A win over Edgewood would put the Cougars in next week’s championship game, against the winner of Autauga and Macon East.