Eagles miss a desperation three-pointer in 34-33 loss against Monroe Academy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2000

The third time was not a charm for the Fort Dale Eagles as Monroe Academy escaped the state semifinals matchup with a one-point win after losing to FDA two times during the regular season.

FDA coach Reggie Mantooth said the teams matched up well last Thursday afternoon.

"Our team and Monroe Academy were equally matched, but we missed some opportunities in the second half that decided the outcome," Mantooth said.

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With only 67 total points scored, Mantooth said Monroe did a good job of dictating the tempo of the game.

"We wanted an up tempo game, but the Volunteers slowed the pace," he said. "That hurt us."

However, at the beginning of the game, the Eagles got off to a quick start as FDA led the Vols 11-4 in the first quarter. Senior forward Charles Mitchell had eight of his ten in the first half including four of FDA's first points. But the Vols went on a 12-0 run as the Eagles were held scoreless until the 1:50 mark in the second.

"We didn't shoot well," Mantooth said.

With a five point deficit before them, Mitchell scored down low to narrow the lead to 16-13 at halftime.

In the second half, the Eagles quickly scored six for a 19-16 lead. Junior point guard Adam Crenshaw nailed a three-pointer to get the fans out of their seats.

Crenshaw had six on the night.

Fellow teammate, Adam Hollis, who is out with an injury, was one of the biggest fans.

Senior forward Mal Winters led the team with 11 points and had seven rebounds in the losing effort.

The lead then went back and forth

as the third quarter ended.

Monroe weathered the FDA storm and claimed a three point edge.

In addition, FDA forward Marshall Watts only scored his two points in the second half.

After being on the opposite end of a 6-2 run in the beginning of the fourth, FDA

narrowed the lead to two as junior guard Bill Cates drained a three from beyond the arc.

As the FDA fans got louder, MA's nerves were shaken and the team had a technical called against them.

However, senior guard Sumpter McGowin missed both of the technical foul shots with 1:09 remaining.

FDA faltered on the next possession and MA responded with a bucket to put them up by five.

On the Eagles' next possession with under a minute left, Crenshaw was fouled.

Down by five, Crenshaw missed the first free throw to send MA's crowd into a frenzy.

Crenshaw silenced them as he netted the second free throw.

On the game, FDA missed on 10 of 16 free throw attemps.

"Both teams had their fair share of missed free throws," Mantooth said.

After a missed free throw by MA, Crenshaw connected on a clutch three-pointer to close the gap to one point with 4.1 seconds remaining.

"That was a clutch shot by Adam," he said.

Crenshaw went 2 for 4 from three-point range.

FDA got the ball back after yet another missed MA free throw.

After the timeout and down by one, FDA had 2.6 seconds to work a miracle.

Watts near halfcourt desperation three-pointer fell short by two feet as the buzzer sounded.

On this night, the third time was the charm for the Vols.

"Although it was a tough loss for us, I'm still proud of these players," Mantooth said. "The seniors have had three great seasons for Fort Dale and they all should be proud of their careers here. I know I couldn't be more grateful for having them."

Mantooth said the program has been fortunate in the last years.

"The Fort Dale basketball program is in great shape.

We have been fortunate to have such talented and hard working players suiting up for the Eagles," the coach said.

Mantooth said he is thankful for the support this season and he anticipates next season.

The Eagles finished at 19-7.