Lady Eagles#039; chance for back-to-back state titles ends with 15-point loss to Macon-East

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2000

The Lady Eagles fell two wins short of winning their back-to-back AISA Class AAA state titles as Macon-East of Montgomery pulled out a 57-42 upset over FDA.

The FDA seniors closed out their careers with one JV state championship and one varsity state title in 1999.

Reggie Mantooth said the team had a good year but it ended in a tough manner.

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"Everyone was shooting for us this year.

Macon-East simply played better and deserved to win," Mantooth said.

In the game, Macon-East built a double digit lead by halftime.

However, FDA was on the attack early as seniors Jami Barlow and Abbie Gardner scored the first six points.

Gardner led the team with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Up 6-5, FDA lost the lead and Macon-East went on a 12-2 run that carried well into the second quarter.

The FDA drought ended with Meredith Moseley's basket to cut the lead to seven with 3:30 left in the half. The junior scored eight in the game.

On the next possession in the 12-19 game, Barlow scored down low in the paint and the FDA fans got louder with the hope of anticipating more scores before the half. However, Macon-East continued to break the press and find scoring opportunities under the boards.

"They rebounded better than us in the first half and created more scoring opportunities in the process," the coach said. "Macon-East also did a good job of breaking our press and beating us to the boards."

By the end of the first half, FDA was down 27-19.

Key scores by Moseley and senior Melissa Gilbert countered Macon's momentum.

In the third, Macon-East

continued their onslaught and built a 19 point lead by the fourth quarter mark.

In addition, Macon went on a 12-5 run

after the five minute mark in the third.

"Our team couldn't find any rhythm and Macon-East converted on that to win the game," Mantooth said.

In the fourth quarter, FDA looked like they were poised for a comeback of monumental proportions.

"We came out in the fourth and played our best ball of the night," Mantooth


The Lady Eagles went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 47-39.

Gilbert, Gardner, Moseley and sophomore Ashley Paulk played their parts in the run. Paulk's three-pointer got the crowd out of their seats.

After four counter points by Macon, Gardner scored a steal and drew the foul.

Although FDA was a the line, Barlow and Paulk were sitting on the bench. They fouled out in the fourth, but together, they contributed for 14 points.

With 2:08 left, Gilbert missed a layup that would have cut the margin to eight.

After a converted free throw, Macon-East dashed for a game closing 6-0 run.

The run dashed away FDA's chance for a repeat in the process.

"We struggled the entire game and watched our chances fade away," Mantooth said.

The coach said the team had a good year nonetheless.

"I'm proud of their efforts this year and they responded to most of the challenges set before them."

The Lady Eagles closed their

season out at 21-5.