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FDA basketball teams debut on road at Sparta

The Fort Dale Academy varsity basketball teams opened the season on the road against a non-conference opponent, the Sparta Academy Warriors, to mixed results.

The boys varsity club succumbed to the Warriors as a defensive collapse allowed Sparta Academy to outscore the Eagles 10-5 in overtime, winning 64-59.

The flat defensive performance post regulation betrayed an otherwise neck-and-neck contest as the Eagles and Warriors traded leads throughout regulation.

Returning FDA senior and leading scorer Taylor Thomas buoyed the Eagles offense with a 20-point performance.

Luke Taylor and Cody Parker added 12 points and 11 points respectively to the Eagles’ total.

FDA head football coach Reggie Mantooth said that the tough loss could prove a lesson for the season ahead.

“It was a typical first game with many mistakes,” Mantooth said.

“We did a poor job of guarding Sparta, and we will need to get better defensively going forward.  I feel like we can learn from this game and continue to get better.”

The Fort Dale Academy Lady Eagles fared better, however, as the team soared to a 37-30 win over the Sparta Academy Lady Warriors.

The Lady Eagles’ swarming defense held the Lady Warriors to a field goal of percentage of just 28 percent and a 2-point first quarter, giving Fort Dale a comfortable 9-point lead.

Though the Lady Warriors won the second quarter to cut the halftime deficit to just two, solid shooting performances from Fort Dale’s Madison Ann Gaston and Anjoy Castleberry kept the Lady Eagles aloft of the competition in the second half.

Mantooth contributed the win to effort.

“I thought our girls played hard, and did enough to win,” Mantooth said.

“There are a lot of areas they can improve in, but it was a good victory.”

Gaston led the Lady Eagles with 11 points and 15 rebounds, and Castleberry added 10 points.

Fort Dale will host Hooper on Tuesday, Dec. 1 beginning at 4 p.m.