Fort Dale picks up first win in almost a month
AUBURN - Fort Dale Academy point guard Brady Newton is tired of excuses.
Coming into the season, expectations for this Eagle basketball team weren't as high as in prior years. Newton is the lone senior on a team that starts four sophomores, but at the midway point of the season, that's an excuse that Newton doesn't want to hear again.
Fort Dale had been on a losing skid as of late, but managed to stop the slide Friday afternoon to notch its first win in almost a month with a 49-46 decision over host Lee-Scott in the Lee-Scott Holiday Tournament.
“I know people have said that we are young, but we don't look at it that way,” Newton said. “We think we can win and go deep in the playoffs. Š This win means a lot to put us back on a winning track,” Newton said. “I hope we can keep it up as the season goes along.”
The Eagles (4-8) saw its largest lead of the game at 12 points, quickly get shaved to three heading into the final eight minutes of Friday's consolation game with the Warriors.
Lee-Scott had taken away Fort Dale's inside game and forced the Reggie Mantooth's squad to win the game from the outside.
When that didn't work, Mantooth countered by running a motion offense that the homestanding Warriors (5-7) had no answer for.
“We struggled there in the third period and couldn't get anything rolling until we got into a motion offense,” Mantooth said. “Then our guys became more patient with the ball and eventually got some good looks.”
Davis Watts scored eight of 13 points in the fourth period, including two free throws with 13.7 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the Eagles.
Casey Weston led all scorers with 18 points, which all but two were scored in the first half.
“We definitely needed a win to give our confidence a boost,” Mantooth said. “I think we grew up during this tournament and played our most complete game of the season against Lee-Scott. Š This was a big win for us for so many reasons.”
J.B. Edgar led the Warriors with 16 points, while Aaron Bethune chipped in 14.
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