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Lady Eagles repel invading Lady Rebels

Madison Ann Gaston stopped for a pull-up jumper in Fort Dale Academy’s Friday-night shootout with the visiting Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels.

Madison Ann Gaston stopped for a pull-up jumper in Fort Dale Academy’s Friday-night shootout with the visiting Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels.

Home games for the Fort Dale Academy Lady Eagles have proven to be consistently thrilling affairs, and Friday night’s matchup with Lowndes Academy was no exception.

Though the visiting Lady Rebels came to play, a clutch pair of free throws from Anjoy Castleberry sealed the deal for Fort Dale as the Lady Eagles held on to a 38-35 win.

The game ended as it began, however, with Castleberry setting the pace offensively from the free throw line and scoring the Lady Eagles’ first four points.

Those free throws were Fort Dale’s first—and also only—points, thanks to a stiff Lowndes Academy defense that limited the Lady Eagles to zero field goal percentage in the first quarter of play.

The impenetrable Lady Rebels defense finally cracked with 5:39 remaining in the second quarter, however, with Castleberry laying in the first Fort Dale field goal of the night, though a Lowndes Academy 3-pointer iced the crowd almost immediately afterward.

Unfortunately for the Lady Rebels, early foul trouble had begun to rear its ugly head, leading to several trips to the charity strike to even the odds.

Anna Blake Langford sank a pair of free throws to cut the Fort Dale deficit to just 1, and a steal (and subsequent fast break layup) from Castleberry gave the Lady Eagles their first lead of the night.

Another Castleberry steal and dish to Anna Blake Langford secured a 3-point lead and all of the momentum heading into the locker rooms at the half.

The Lady Eagles’ momentum continued well into the third, with Madison Ann Gaston opening the second half with a putback that extended Fort Dale’s lead to 5, though a defensive meltdown and the quick hands of the Lady Rebels’ backcourt trimmed it back to one halfway through the third quarter.

And though Lowndes eventually regained the lead, it was a short-lived one thanks to a rebound and putback from Marion Lightfoot.

Another great assist from Castleberry to Gaston allowed the Lady Eagles to close the third quarter as it began—with all momentum on the Fort Dale side of the court.

But foul trouble threatened Fort Dale’s sizeable cushion in the fourth, putting the Lady Rebels in the double bonus relatively early.

Unfortunately, the Lady Rebels’ struggles extended to the free throw line, and the Lady Eagles’ lead extended in turn to double digits.

Then, just as suddenly as it ended, Abby Ray reignited the Lowndes bench and stands a baseline bank shot, and a steal followed by another quick bucket to cut the lead to 5 with 2:34 remaining.

Another bucket from Ray trimmed the lead to 3 with 1:20 remaining, and Sarah Allen McIntosh sank a well-contested shot with 20 seconds left on the clock to cut the lead to just 1 point.

However, a safe Fort Dale inbound pass to Castleberry—who had proven clutch at the line all evening—all but secured the win as the Lady Eagles held on to a 3-point lead and the win.

Fort Dale will host Monroe Academy Friday.