Fort Dale varsity boys fall to Glenwood Tuesday

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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Fort Dale Academy varsity boys ended their season Tuesday passing the Alabama Independent School Association Final Four win to Glenwood Academy, 54-36.

The Gators defeated the Eagles in Greenville, gaining the win to advance to the championship game Friday.

Fort Dale varsity boys coach Marshall Watts said facing Glenwood was a testament to the hard work the Eagles accomplished during their season.

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“We are so much better today than we were on day one,” Marshall said. “It’s a testament to the players and the hard work they bring every day.”

Fort Dale opened play in the game, but Glenwood grasped the lead early, holding it throughout the game.

The first period ended with Glenwood at a 15-11 advantage over the Eagles. By the end of the second period, Fort Dale closed the gap to 19-18, just behind Glenwood at halftime.

“We didn’t play great,” Marshall said. “The first half was okay, and we matched their intensity.”

At the end of period three, the Eagles remained close behind Glenwood and the score rested at 38-32.

Glenwood varsity boys coach Dusty Perdue noted the Eagles game was off in the first half and while the team maintained the lead, offense could have been stronger.

“We played great the second half, but we didn’t play well the first half,” Perdue said. “We missed too many free throws and too many shots at the goal. But we made more free throws in the second half and played a lot better together in the second half.”

In the fourth period, Fort Dale failed to rally. The Gators widened their advantage, and the Eagles could not recover.

“In the second half, we just weren’t great,” Marshall said. “We let some easy drives go to the basket. No one stopped the ball. Of course, they’ve got a really good player, but one player shouldn’t be able to beat five of us. We stayed strong with them there for a long time.”

Marshall said Fort Dale seniors, Brody Stringer, number 22, and Grant McGriff, number 24, were instrumental in bringing the Eagles to the semi-final playoffs.

“Those are two seniors we’re going to miss dearly,” Marshall said.  “They’ve done it right around here for six years and I was glad for them to have some success this year.”

“When you play a better team, you’ve got to do all the little things right,” Marshall said. “We didn’t do the small things right, for sure.”

Perdue said number 10 Gator, Lucas Holman led the team all year and in the game against Fort Dale.

“Lucas Holman has led us all year,” Perdue said. “He’s our senior leader. He’s a leader of our team and our leading scorer. He took over in the second half.”

Glenwood will face Lee-Scott Academy for the state championship. Tipoff starts in Cramton Bowl at 7 p.m.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us, but at least we’re getting to go,” Perdue said.