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Blue Eagles suffer early loss as ECHS pulls away

By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
In a November 22 meeting at home against the highly-regarded Escambia County Blue Devils, the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles hung tough for two quarters before a second-half Blue Devil explosion allowed the visitors to return home with a 54-42 win.
With the loss, the Blue Eagles dropped to 0-2 on the season.
Escambia County entered the contest with the reputation of being a high-scoring unit that took no prisoners. But, the Blue Eagles began the game forcing the Blue Devils to work hard for every point they scored. At the end of the first quarter, Escambia County led by only three, 9-6.
In the second stanza, the Blue Eagles continued the same hard-nosed defensive effort established in the opening period. By contesting each shot and out-hustling the high-scoring Blue Devils, Neal continued trailing by three, 19-16, at intermission.
As the third quarter evolved, the Blue Eagles were unable to get going on the offensive end of the floor. Escambia County took advantage of the cold shooting and a decisive rebounding advantage to open a 37-22 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
The Blue Eagles continued playing with heart in the final period, but Escambia County was in control of the action the remainder of the contest and put the wraps on a 12-point win.
Nick Benjamin led the Blue Eagles' offense with 22 points.