Fort Dale teams brace for upcoming area opponents

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The varsity basketball programs of Fort Dale Academy split a pair of games on the road against Eastwood Christian as both teams prepare to enter area play.

Despite impressive individual performances from sophomore Luke Taylor and leading scorer Taylor Thomas, the Eagles succumbed to Eastwood 46-42.

Fort Dale head basketball coach Reggie Mantooth said that it wasn’t talent, but drive in the final moments that the Eagles lacked.

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“The boys did some good things early, but did not play with the intensity needed to win,” Mantooth said.

“Our boys are struggling on the defensive end, but are committed to getting better in that phase.”

Taylor led the Eagles with 17 points and Thomas finished with 12 points.

The story was different for the Lady Eagles, however, with a dominant performance from Madison Ann Gaston leading Fort Dale to victory over Eastwood.

Mantooth said that a growing sense of confidence is the biggest contributing factor to the Lady Eagles’ success, as well as an overall improved game speed.

“I thought our girls played better in the second half, and we were able to take control of the game,” Mantooth said.

Gaston’s 21 points bolstered the Lady Eagles to victory in the second half, as well as 10 points from Madison Langford.

A number of tough area games await both Fort Dale varsity teams in 2016, and Mantooth said that his teams will take every opponent seriously.

“Our area is pretty evenly matched, and I believe every game will be tough for the boys,” Mantooth said.

“Pike should be the toughest opponents on the girls side.”

Monday night’s home environment proved a huge boost to both varsity teams as the Eagles and the Lady Eagles prevailed over Hooper.

The boys varsity team defeated the Colts 57-55, and the girls won 48-19.

Taylor Thomas led the boys with 21 points, alongside Austin Vickery’s 12 points.

Madison Ann Gaston once again led the girls with 17 points.

Fort Dale hosted Pike Liberal Arts Tuesday, though results weren’t available at press time.