Lady Eagles impeach Lady Senators

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Heart and a home court advantage weren't enough for the Morgan Academy Lady Senators as they fell in the AISA Class 3A, Area 4 championship to Fort Dale Academy, 65-33, Saturday. Evenly matched for most of the first quarter, both teams struggled for rebounds and open shots. Fort Dale held a slim 3-2 lead before taking control of the game.

The game was a hard-fought, physical contest, as the girls bumped and pushed each other while looking to control the boards.

The edge late in the first quarter went to Fort Dale as it moved out to a 15-3 lead. Man-to-man coverage and a full-court press forced Morgan to turn the ball over. The Eagles capitalized on the mistakes.

Morgan struggled throughout the remainder of the first half and allowed Fort Dale to go on a 17-6 run that put the Eagles ahead 32-9 at halftime. Elizabeth Elliot, who led Morgan with 12 points, lit a spark of hope in the Morgan faithful. Elliott put seven points on the board in the third period, aided by Candice Ward's five points and eight rebounds.

But Fort Dale's aggressive play and unerring accuracy answered Morgan basket for basket, as well as foul for foul, and the third quarter ended with the Lady Eagles leading, 54-24. Trailing by as much as 30 points, Morgan still did not give up. Laura Cameron Mott scored five of her seven points in the last quarter.

With three players scoring in double digits, Fort Dale outplayed Morgan in every category, dominating the rebounds and finding the basket on almost every shot. A key factor in Morgan's loss was the Lady Eagles' ability to effectively shut out the Senators' Katie Taylor.

Because of an injury in the semifinal game Thursday night, Taylor sat out the last part of the second quarter and the opening minutes of the third.

"It was just one of those days where everything that could go wrong did go wrong," Morgan Academy coach Robert Gartman said. "But the sun will still come up tomorrow."

Taylor and Elliot were named to the All-Tournament team.