Eagles take three of four from Tornados in last regular season matchup

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2000

Greenville Academy and Fort Dale Academy clashed once again for town bragging rights.

With the game serving as the last regular season match of the year, the pressure was building at GA's gym.

As the pressure mounted, the Eagles scored three of four wins in the Tornados' house.

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Both varsity Eagle teams downed their arch-rivals on last Tuesday night.

However, the Tornado fans enjoyed Senior Night as the host team scored the first win on the evening.

The GA junior varsity girls downed FDA's team 35-25.

In the varsity boys' game, the Eagles jumped on top early as they outscored GA 22-6 in the first quarter.

When all was said and done, the Eagles won 73-48 over their rivals.

FDA sophomore guard Josh Till broke out for 10 points and eight rebounds in the game.

Junior point guard Adam Crenshaw also dropped in 10 while stealing three Tornado possessions. Senior Mal Winters led the team with 16 points, including a six of 11 shooting performance.

FDA varsity coach Reggie Mantooth commended the team's defensive effort.

"It was a good win for us and our defense did its

job," Mantooth said.

After going into half with a 45-18 advantage, FDA traded buckets with GA in the second half.

During halftime, the Tornado seniors were honored on the court.

In the midst of the celebration, James Turner was recognized as the best in the state. Turner captured the 169-pound state wrestling title at Macon-East in late January.

The crowd on both sides continued to make noise as both teams ran the court in the second half.

In the second half, the Tornados outscored the Eagles 30-28. GA varsity boy's coach Steve Whittington said the team picked it up in the second half. Senior Tornado Josh Beverly led the team in scoring on Senior Night.

"We found ourselves down early on but our guys never gave up," Whittington said. "I'm proud of them and we cannot help but get better with time."

The Lady Eagles also downed their varsity rivals in a 68-32 game.

"It was an important win for the girls," Mantooth said.

In the game, FDA senior guard Melissa Gilbert scored a team high 20 points and dished out five assists against the Nados.

After a 17-7 advantage in the first quarter, FDA extended the lead to 20. During that time, GA missed shots under the boards.

Although they had good looks at the basket, the Tornados found it hard to convert.

GA varsity girls' coach Gary Wayne Bowen said the team had its chances.

"We missed a few opportunities on offense," Bowen said. "However, we came out there and gave it our best shot."

Eagle senior forward Abbie Gardner and junior Meredith Moseley each scored 10 in the win. Gardner's 10 points and 10 rebounds gave her another double-double on the year. FDA's Jami Barlow added nine points and seven rebounds.

n In JV action, the Tornados defeated their cross-town counterparts 35-25.

According to GA JV girls' coach Walker, the difference was the press.

"This time, their press didn't hurt us," Walker said. "We were able to break it and move the ball upcourt and crate some good looks at the basket."

GA's Ashley Weldon was recognized for her accurate passing of the ball. Ginger May led the Tornados with 18 points.

GA's Ashley Whittington added eight points in the win.

"She (Weldon) passed the ball well and helped us score the win." the coach said.

In the beginning of the game, the score was tight until the Tornados went on one of two runs. The second run helped the Nados build a 10 point lead with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

"We wanted to finish on a positive note and we did just that," Walker said. "This team has done a great job this season and I'm proud of the girls' effort."

Besides winning a tournament and making the semi-finals of the JV state tournament, Walker expressed his satisfaction with the team's improvement.

"Any time you see a team improve over a course of a season, it feels great," Walker said.

The team finished 15-9 on the season.

n The Eagles won

their JV boy's contest by the score of 52-20.

Scoring runs of 13-7 and 21-2 helped the FDA score another win against GA.

FDA's Justin Pierce led all scorers with 15 points and teammate David Johnson added six points and nine rebounds in the win.

Fort Dale JV coach Steven Kilcrease said the team played well.

During the season, the JV Eagles went 2-0 against their rivals.