Varsity Eagles' win streak ends

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By By Adam Robinson – sports editor
After posting a six game win streak, the W.S. Neal Eagles saw that run come to an end Friday night in the first game against Atmore in the Escambia County tournament.
The W.S. Neal Eagles dropped to 8-4 as they suffered a 59-57 loss to the host Blue Devils.
In a game that was marred by some calls and fouls on the court the whole night, Eagle basketball coach Blaine Hathcock said he was proud of his team.
Escambia County led 11-10 after the first quarter and outscored W.S. Neal 16-11 in the second quarter to hold a six-point lead at the half, 27-21.
In the second half, Escambia County held a 23-22 scoring advantage in the quarter to hold a 50-43 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, W.S. Neal held a 14-9 advantage but fell by two points, 59-57.
W.S. Neal started the game on fire against the Blue Devils as they ran out to an opening 7-0 lead in the quarter at the 5:40 mark.
Jeremy Nicholson had four points in the run followed by two from Sam Ewing and one from Kendrick Floyd.
Chris Payne led W.S. Neal with 17 points in the loss. Bob Elliott finished with 11 and Ewing finished with nine points.
Nicholson and Floyd both had eight in the loss and Rashad Crook had four.
After the 7-0 run for the Eagles, Atmore went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 7-5 at the 3:22 mark in the first quarter.
W.S. Neal held a 10-5 lead, but a run to end the quarter for the Blue Devils gave Atmore an 11-10 lead at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Blue Devils stayed on their run and made it a 15-0 run as they held a 20-10 lead at the 5:18 mark before the half.
W.S. Neal cut the lead to 20-17 at the 2:36 mark after a bucket from Floyd but trailed 27-21 at the half.
In the second half, Atmore took a 29-23 lead, but the Eagles cut the lead to 29-27 at the 6:02 mark.
With 5:02 left in the quarter, Escambia County held a 39-29 lead, but a 6-0 run for the Eagles cut the lead to 41-38 with 3:38 left in the third quarter. After the Eagles cut the lead to 43-45, Atmore went on a 5-0 run to end the quarter with a 50-43 lead.
In the fourth and final quarter, Atmore built a 10-point lead at 55-45 with 5:15 left in the game, but the Eagles cut the lead to 57-52 with just over two minutes left to play after a 3-pointer from Payne.
Atmore went 2-for-9 shooting free throws the remainder of the game and Elliott and Floyd added dunks for the Eagles and a late 3-pointer from Payne was as close as W.S. Neal could get as they fell 59-57.
W.S. Neal 67, McKenzie 34
After winning only five games in their last three seasons, the W.S. Neal varsity Eagle team has now won six straight games this season and have improved to 8-3 as they defeated McKenzie Monday night at home by 33 points, 67-34.
The Eagles outscored McKenzie in all four quarters including a 22-7 drubbing in the first quarter and 24-11 in the fourth quarter.
In the second and third quarters, W.S. Neal outscored McKenzie 10-7 and 11-9 respectively.
Chris Payne led W.S. Neal with 13 points and Bob Elliott added 11 points.
Sam Ewing added the final double figure scoring for the Eagles with 10 points in the win.
Six of Elliott's points came on three monstrous dunks in the game that fired up the Eagle fans and players.
In the game Monday, W.S. Neal used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to claim a 22-7 lead in the first quarter and then used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to hold a 32-14 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Elliott's first dunk helped W.S. Neal to a 39-18 lead in the quarter and they held a 43-23 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Elliott added two more dunks in the quarter and W.S. Neal went on an 8-0 run in the quarter while outscoring McKenzie 24-11 for the win.

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