Third-period surge powers FDA to win

Published 10:14 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

A 20-point third period propelled No. 8 Fort Dale Academy to a 65-47 win over Morgan Academy Tuesday night in Greenville.

The Eagles (15-5, 4-1 Class AAA, Region 2, Area 1) led by just eight points at the intermission, but outpaced the Senators 20-8 in the third period to seize control of the game.

A change in strategy during halftime proved to be the difference in the contest.

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Coming out of the break, the Eagles switched from playing man-to-man to a zone defense, which limited the Senators’ opportunities to score from outside.

“They shoot the ball really well from the outside,” Fort Dale head coach Reggie Mantooth said. “It was hard for some of our guys to matchup. So we tried to zone them and really play high and wide in the zone on their shooters.”

The move paid off.

The Senators were unable to keep pace with the Eagles, who also found an advantage inside with center Jack Bates.

Bates recorded a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

“We didn’t feel like they could match up with Jack inside and we were able to get him the ball and he was able to score,” Mantooth said.

The Eagles also turned long rebounds and Morgan turnovers into easy baskets.

Taylor Windham tallied six steals and three rebounds, which he turned into 12 points.

Chip Taylor led the Eagles’ offense with 22 points.

“Chip and Taylor did a good job of getting some steals and driving the ball to the basket,” Mantooth said. “Even though we didn’t get a lot of scoring from (the rest of the team) I thought it was a great team effort, especially on the defensive end.”

Ryan Burkett scored six points, Wesley Scott added five and John Coleman Poole chipped in one point. No other Eagle scored in the win.

Fort Dale will play Escambia Academy on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Eagles will travel to Tuscaloosa Saturday to take on Tuscaloosa Academy in their regular-season finale. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.