Eagles survive OT thriller

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

For a moment it looked like No. 9 Fort Dale Academy would cruise to a win against area-rival Hooper Academy Tuesday night in Hope Hull.

Then things got interesting.

With Fort Dale leading by 13 at the end of the third period, the Colts stormed back to tie the game 54-54 at the end of regulation on a put back at the buzzer that forced an extra period. With 33 seconds remaining in overtime, Fort Dale’s Cam Norman sank a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 63-61 advantage. A free throw by Chip Taylor with eight seconds left to play sealed the 64-61 Fort Dale win.

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“I was proud of our guys for fighting back to win the game in overtime,” Fort Dale head coach Reggie Mantooth said. “After letting them come back and send it to overtime, we were able to show some toughness and character to win the game in overtime.”

Fort Dale committed 25 turnovers in the contest, many of which came late in the game and helped fuel the Colts’ comeback.

“We had about a 10-point lead with three minutes to go, and we made some bad turnovers and missed free throws to allow them to send the game to overtime,” Mantooth said. “Hopefully we can learn from it, and learn how to finish games.”

With the win, the Eagles (13-4, 4-0) move into sole possession of first place in Class AAA, Region 1, Area 2 by dealing Hooper its first area loss.

Taylor led the Eagles with 17 points and nine rebounds. Norman finished with 11 and Tyler Millo added 12 points.

Fort Dale will be back in action Friday when it hits the road for a showdown with No. 2 Macon-East Academy.

The Knights topped the Eagles 51-28 in the teams’ first meeting of the season on Dec. 6.

Junior varsity action will begin at 4 p.m. with varsity action scheduled to follow.