SECOND PLACE FINISHES
TRM girls, WSN boys both go 2-1 to finish in second place
The T.R. Miller Lady Tigers and W.S. Neal Eagles placed second in this year’s Escambia County Basketball Tournament held in Atmore. The Flomaton Hurricanes placed first for the girls going 3-0 against competition. The hometown Escambia County Blue Devils placed first for the boys to repeat as champions, the team’s eighth straight title in the tournament.
In overall team placing, the TRM Tigers placed third for the boys with a 1-2 record behind ECHS and WSN. Flomaton placed fourth for the boys after going 0-3. The WSN Lady Eagles placed in fourth after going 0-3, behind Flomaton, TRM and ECHS.
Thurs., Dec. 10
TRM 39, FHS 45 (girls)
Going into the fourth quarter Flomaton led the Lady Tigers by three. With 2:07 left in the fourth, sophomore Morgan Longmire tied the game up for TRM 36-36 with a two-point shot. Flomaton would then go on a 6-0 run before a three-pointer by Mekhia Williams to close the Flomaton lead 39-43. With only 17 seconds remaining, TRM had to foul. Flomaton knocked down both free throws to seal the game.
Leading the Lady Tigers were Mekhia Williams with 16 points, three rebounds and two steals; and Steely Ruzic with eight points, four rebounds and five steals.
TRM 67, WSN 68 (boys)
The game would be a neck and neck battle throughout. With the game tied 57-57, Neal would have possession of the ball with 27 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter. Milking the clock for all its worth, Neal’s Tyshawn Davis looked to score the victory for his team with a three-point shot. The shot would hit off the rim sending the game into overtime.
In overtime Neal would get off to a 4-0 start off a pair of made free throws by Davis. Ahmaud Taylor would stop the run with a bucket for Miller to make the score 61-59 in favor of Neal.
Two made free throws by Miller’s Joshua Jolly tied up the game 63-63. Davis would give Neal the lead again, until two made free throws by Miller’s Chardian Johnson tied the game back up. With a little over a minute left to play Davis drove to the basket for the score to put Neal up 65-63. Neal would add another point after a foul shot by Treylon Watson.
Down by three, Jolly scored on a layup for the Tigers to close within one. Davis would get fouled on the other end and make both free throws giving Neal a 68-65 lead. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Miller would make a shot, courtesy of Taylor, behind the three-point line as time expired.
Cheers from the Miller crowd were halted as referees deliberated whether Taylor’s foot was inside the line. It was confirmed his foot was at the dismay of Miller fans and celebration of Neal’s first victory of the tournament.
Leading WSN were Tyshawn Davis with 29 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, four blocks and two assists; Troy Lewis with 14 points and two rebounds; Treylon Watson with 11 points.
Leading TRM were Ahmaud Taylor with 24 points and Chardian Johnson with 17 points.
ECHS 40, WSN 38 (girls)
In a close and tough battle between the Lady Eagles and Lady Blue Devils it would be two points to decide the victory and give the Lady Eagles their first loss of the tournament.
Leading WSN was Marishia Fraser with 13 points and six rebounds; Keke Floyd with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Alijah Stewart with six points.
Fri., Dec. 11
WSN 29, FHS 53
The Lady Eagles were plagued by turnovers and outrebounded by Flomaton. The result would be a double-digit loss and the Lady Eagles second of the tournament.
Leading WSN was Keke Floyd with 17 points, five rebounds and one steal.
TRM 50, FHS 43 (boys)
It was a tale of two quarters in the third and fourth quarters for the Tigers against the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes outscored the Tigers 20-8 in the third quarter. Miller rebounded by outscoring Flomaton 17-7 on their way to the win.
Leading the Tigers was Ahmaud Taylor with 20 points and Chardian Johnson with 16 points.
ECHS 15, TRM 42 (girls)
The Lady Tigers put on the pressure against ECHS with a full court press forcing turnovers that resulted into points on the offensive end. By the fourth quarter TRM was playing keep away on offense to take time off the clock. TRM would cruise to their largest point victory in the tournament.
Leading TRM were Mekhia Williams with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals; and Steely Ruzic with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals.
ECHS 52, WSN 48 (boys)
The game started of slow for Neal, who had turnovers leading to points on the other end for the Blue Devils. With score 34-32 in favor of ECHS, Neal would go on a 6-0 run off of three layups by Malcolm Hawthorne.
A three by Triston Knott of the Blue Devils stopped the run. Two more three-pointers by Knott would give ECHS 46-42 lead. Neal would go on a 4-2 run after two made buckets by Tyshawn Davis to make the score 48-46.
With 9.5 seconds left to play, Neal had an opportunity to tie or take the lead. With Hawthorne inbounding the ball his pass would be deflected by an ECHS player to what to appear to be out-of-bounds when the ball made contact with a person out-of-bounds.
The ball bounced back into play, unnoticed by any of the referees of the contact with the person out of bounds. ECHS would make two free throws down the stretch to seal the victory and give the Eagles a 1-1 record in the tournament.
Leading WSN were Tyshawn Davis with 17 points and 14 rebounds; Treylon Watson with nine points and four rebounds; and Darius Tolbert and Malcolm Hawthorne with eight points each.
Sat., Dec. 12
WSN 24, TRM 49 (girls)
TRM was propelled to the win over WSN with stellar defense.
Leading TRM were Steely Ruzic with 18 points, two rebounds and three steals; and Mekhia Williams with 18 points, two rebounds and two steals.
Leading WSN was Keke Floyd with 13 points and three rebounds and Marishia Fraser with nine points and three rebounds.
WSN 45, FHS 31 (boys)
Neal was outscored in the first quarter 9-7 by the Hurricanes. It would be the only quarter they would be. The Eagles distanced themselves in the third quarter, outscoring Flomaton 17-4.
Leading WSN was Tyshawn Davis with 17 points and seven rebounds; Dalton Shell with 10 points; and Darius Tolbert with seven points and six rebounds.
The Neal victory gave the Eagles a 2-1 record for the tournament.
ECHS 54, TRM 41 (boys)
ECHS got ahead with a 4-0 start and back-to-back three pointers by Triston Knott to end the first quarter with a 14-10 lead over Miller. The Blue Devils would end the first half on a 7-2 run, making the score 29-20 in favor of ECHS.
Miller was outscored 25-21 in the second half.
Leading the Tigers was Chardian Johnson with 16 points.
After the tournament, the all-tournament teams were announced for the girls and boys.
Making the team for the girls were Keke Floyd for WSN and Steely Ruzic and Mekhia Williams for TRM.
For the boys, were Ahmaud Taylor for TRM and Tyshawn Davis and Darius Tolbert for WSN.
TRM and WSN will face off this Fri., Dec. 18 at TRM. Games will begin at 4:30 p.m. with JV. The girls will play at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30 p.m.