Final Four bound

Published 5:42 pm Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fort Dale Lady Eagles are heading back to familiar place — the AISA Final Four.

The Eagles rolled over Kingwood 50-33 in the Elite Eight matchup last Friday night.

The game started off as a defensive struggle, and neither team scored until four minutes into the match.

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However, the Eagles woke up and led by as much as 18-6 as the second quarter pulled to a close.

At halftime, FDA led 20-10, but the Lady Lions weren’t going down without a fight.

Kingwood came out firing in the second half and pulled to within four points at 26-22 with 3:19 left in the third period.

Just like the Lions lit it up in the third quarter, Fort Dale withstood the run and put up some points of their own.

The Eagles switched to a full court press and a half-court trap, making the Lions give up the ball.

“We knew that if we could do the press right, we could force them into some turnovers,” said head coach William Johnson.

By the time the barrage was over, FDA led 41-22.

Kingwood made a small run at the end of the game against the Fort Dale bench, but the Eagles kept the game out of reach.

“We played hard in the fourth quarter, but it took until then before we realized how hard we had to play,” Johnson said.

Johnson said one thing his team needs to work on is three-point shooting — the Eagles went 0-13 from beyond the arc.

“We’ve got to hit our outside shots,” Johnson said.

Abbey Martin was the leading scorer for the Eagles with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Lori Fail had 13 points.

Next up for the Eagles is a familiar opponent: Taylor Road Academy.

The two teams have met twice during the season, with Fort Dale claiming both games.

However, they were both very close contests.

“We had a three-point game and a two-point game,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he expects nothing less out of the third matchup.

“It’s going to be a great game,” he said. “They’re a very talented team, and it’s going to be an all-out battle.”

The Eagles and the Tigers will face off this Friday at 11 a.m. at Huntingdon College.