EPC wins district title
The EPC Warriors and Riverside Rebels played for the Class 2A-3 district title last Thursday at Marmaduke. EPC led from start to finish as they posted a 71-61 win.
Jammar Sturdivant got the scoring started as he got inside for a basket and a 2-0 EPC lead. The teams traded the lead or were tied over the next four minutes. Paul Pilgrim hit one of two free throws and got inside score as Byron Scales nailed a three to make it 8-7 Warriors. Riverside took the lead at 10-8 before EPC went on a 10-0 run take back the lead and would not relinquish it the rest of the game. Byron Scales hit is second three of the period to start the run. Clay Malone was fouled attempting a three-pointer and hit two of three free throws to make the score 13-10. Sturdivant had back to back three's, one from the left wing and the second the conventional way as he was fouled making a lay up off a steal and pass from Chris Whitfield. Sturdivant's free throw made it 19-10 with 1:09 left. The first period ended with EPC leading 19-11.
The Rebels cut the lead to three before Byron Scales drilled another three-pointer from the left corner to push the lead back to six at 22-16. The teams swapped scores before Sturdivant hit a three from the right wing and Byron Scales got inside for a score to make it 29-20 EPC. Malik Monk, setting most of the first half in foul trouble, hit a three from the left wing for his first points at 2:39 to make it a 32-22 Warriors lead. EPC stretched the lead to 37-24 as Sturdivant canned another three-pointer and Quinn Young scored down low with eight seconds left in the half. EPC took a 37-26 lead into the half.
Riverside outscored EPC 6-3 in the first couple minutes of the third period to cut the lead to 40-32. Malik Monk responded with back to back slams, with the first coming off an alley-oop pass from Sturdivant, give EPC a 44-32 lead. Sturdivant drilled another three to make it a 47-36 game with 3:38 left. The teams traded scores the rest of period with Sturdivant hitting two free throws, Monk canning a three-pointer and Sturdivant getting a score inside. Riverside hit two three-pointers late in the period to make it 54-46 heading into the final period.
The fourth was much like the third with the teams trading points with neither team getting a run going. Strudivant and Monk took control in the period as they combined for all points scored by the Warriors. Strudivant stretched the lead to 10 with a score off an offensive rebound to make it 56-46 EPC. Monk sank two free throws after a Rebel three-pointer making it 58-49. Riverside cut the lead to 58-53 before Sturdivant got back to back baskets to put the EPC lead back to 62-53. Strudivant scored inside to make it 64-57. Monk scored the final points for EPC as he hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute giving EPC the 71-61 win.
"I thought we played good tonight," EPC coach Josh Hill said after the game. "Mookie had a huge game for us, seemed anytime we need a basket or a rebound he got it for us." Hill added.
Sturdivant led EPC with 34 points on the night. Monk netted 19 points and Byron Scales finished with 11 for EPC.
EPC will open play in the Class 2A North Regional against Salem on Wednesday, February 21 at Sloan-Hendrix.