FDA girls fall at last second, boys win big

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Fort Dale girls’ matchup against No. 2-ranked Glenwood on Saturday wasn’t decided until literally the final second, and the Gators escaped with a 32-31 win.

Down 29-27 with two minutes to play, Fort Dale pulled even with a steal and a layup from Karli Boulware.

The game was still tied at 31 as Glenwood held the ball for the final shot, which they missed, but a foul was called on the rebound with less than a second to play.

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One second was put on the clock, and the Gators hit a free throw to claim the win.

“We just ran out of gas,” said head coach William Johnson. “We’ve had some illness on the team, and Elizabeth Dunklin isn’t with us because of Junior Miss. Those things have hurt us from a depth standpoint and leadership standpoint.”

“We were just running on empty for most of the second half,” he added.

Boulware and Murphy Middleton were the leading scorers with nine points each.

The girls did pick up a 50-42 win over Hooper on Friday.

Jessie Langford was the leading scorer for that game with 14 points and Abbey Martin had 13.

The boys’ game against Glenwood wasn’t quite as dramatic as the girls’ game, and the boys had a convincing 61-44 win over the Gators.

Fort Dale led 9-6 at end of the first quarter, but then started lighting it up in the second quarter.

At halftime, the score was 27-9.

“We maintained our intensity for the first time all year,” Johnson said. “We shot well, and we played very well on defense. That may have been our best game on defense. They had very few second chance points, and not many points in the paint.”

Shanks Simmons had 16 points, and Steven Lee added 11.

The boys also had a win against Hooper on Friday night.

Fort Dale led 30-18 after three quarters, but Hooper made a comeback in the fourth to make the final margin 41-36.

“We missed three straight one-and-ones and they hit three straight three-pointers,” Johnson said. “We played well until the last two minutes.”

Lee was the leading scorer with 13.

Fort Dale has several tough games coming up, including big matchups at Taylor Road, at Lee-Scott and at Pike Lib.

“This is a crucial stretch for us,” Johnson said. “We’ll be sitting much better in the region if we can come away with some wins.”