Curtain comes down on Eagles season
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
It was hardly the way W.S. Neal Blue Eagles coach David McCollum envisioned how his first season would end.
The curtain came down on W.S. Neal's campaign Friday when the Blue Eagles were drilled by the top-seeded Clarke County Bulldogs 71-38 in the opening round of the Class 3A Area 1 Tournament held at Grove Hill.
Despite how the season finished, McCollum felt his program had taken some steps in the right direction since the season began.
The Blue Eagles (5-22) committed 34 turnovers in their season finale, 21 of those came in the first half when Clarke County (15-10) raced out to a 26-point halftime lead.
The Blue Eagles had 10 of those giveaways in the first quarter and fell behind by as much as 16-3 after a steal and layup by Brad Morris.
Despite the sluggish start, W.S. Neal ended the frame on a strong note. B.J. McMillian drained a shot from the wing, Drew Hester scored from inside
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and Cecil Thomas buried a three-pointer at the buzzer that trimmed the Bulldogs' lead to 16-10.
It quickly went downhill for the Blue Eagles after that.
In the first three minutes of the second quarter, Clarke County got three-pointers from Morris, DeWayne Owens and Marcus Cotton that sparked a 13-1 run and pushed the Bulldogs' lead up to 29-11.
W.S. Neal managed just two field goals and a free throw by Jared Cooper in the quarter. Meanwhile Clarke County also ended the quarter with another good run, this one 10-0, that put its halftime lead up to 41-15.
It only got worse for W.S. Neal in the third quarter. Clarke County began the half with a bucket and two free throws by Morris, a three-point play by Ben Burroughs and a charity toss by Brandon Powell that put the Bulldogs in even more firm control with a 49-17 lead.
At Clarke County
W.S. Neal 10 5 8 15 – 38
Clarke County 16 25 13 17 – 71
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McMillian 4-0-1-9; Green 4-0-0-8; Cooper 3-0-1-7; Thomas 1-1-0-5; Hester 1-1-0-5; Ron. Travis 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 15-2-2-38)
CLARKE COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Morris 6-1-4-19; Taite 5-1-0-13; Burroughs 6-0-1-13; Owens 1-2-0-8; Packer 2-0-0-4; Kimbrough 2-0-0-4; Cotton 0-1-1-4; Armstead 0-1-0-3; Horn 1-0-0-2; Powell 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 23-6-7-71)