Escambia County dominates TRM to avenge earlier defeat
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The final score was probably enough explanation in itself.
Yet T.R. Miller Tigers coach Rob Atkinson had his own words to descibe his team's 60-28 loss to the Escambia County Blue Devils in Thursday's opening round of the Escambia County Tournament held at W.S. Neal.
"We just got outplayed," Atkinson said.
Actually, there was a little bit more to the explanation than just that.
"We didn't play with any intensity. Nobody stepped up," Atkinson said. "Escambia County got the pace of the game a lot faster than what it was the first time we played and that went in their favor."
T.R. Miller had beaten the Blue Devils 49-43 at Brewton back on November 25, but Thursday's rematch bared little resemblance to that contest.
The Tigers, who suffered their
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first loss, had just one lead in the game. Greg Bogan's three-pointer a minute into the contest gave T.R. Miller a 3-2 edge.
Bogan hit two additional treys in the first quarter, but the Tigers got just three other points from the rest of the team for the remainder of the first half.
Meanwhile Escambia County had plenty of perimeter firepower of its own. Treys by Loren Arnold, Phillip Sharp and Jeremy McCants helped put the Blue Devils on top 14-11 by the end of the first quarter.
T.R. Miller endured a disastrous second quarter where it missed all four of its field goal attempts and committed seven turnovers. Only Damien Jackson's free throw prevented the Tigers from a second quarter shutout on the scoreboard.
Led by a pair of field goals by Arnold and McCants, Escambia County ended the first half with an 11-0 run and a 25-12 lead.
"We just weren't very aggressive. We only took 11 shots in the first half," Atkinson said.
That changed briefly at the start of the third quarter when a bucket by Bogan and a pair of hoops by Trey Paul narrowed Escambia County's lead to 25-18.
A three-pointer by Arnold and a three-point play by Willie Knight helped the Blue Devils get their lead back into double figures where it would remain the rest of the way.
Escambia County led 35-24 after three quarters before the bottom completely dropped out on the Tigers in fourth quarter.
Escambia County scored the first 16 points of the final period that knocked its advantage up to 51-24. During that span the Blue Devils hit four three-pointers, two of which came from Arnold.
Bogan's three-pointer five minutes into the fourth quarter was the only field goal T.R. Miller made over the last 11 minutes.
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 11 1 12 4 – 28
Escambia Co. 14 11 10 25 – 60
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Bogan 1-4-0-14; Paul 3-0-1-7; D. Jackson 0-0-2-2; Walker 0-0-2-2; Lucas 1-0-0-2; Bougard 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 5-4-6-28)
ESCAMBIA COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Arnold 4-5-1-24; McCants 2-3-0-13; P. Sharp 4-0-0-8; Martin 3-0-0-6; W. Knight 2-0-0-4; L. Sharp 0-1-0-3; H. Knight 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 16-9-7-60)