FDA Eagles begin quest for third title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2005

For the Fort Dale Eagles, this season has been a roller coaster, with its peaks and valleys. That can easily be displayed just by looking at their 13-11 record. Saturday in Selma at the Area tournament, the Eagles were knocked out in the first round by Hooper Christian Academy.

To say that the loss was an upset would be an understatement.

"We didn't play with any heart and we weren't prepared," said David Moore. "They were much better prepared and ready to play than we were.

Prior to that game, the Eagles had only lost one time in the area and that was to Monroe Academy.

Conversely, the Colts had only won four games all season, most of which were against smaller sized and classed schools.

"We just did not play one of our better games Friday," said Reggie Mantooth, coach of the Fort Dale Eagles. "I think it's a team that we've beaten twice earlier in the season and we didn't have the focus we needed to play them a third time. As a result we got beat."

Despite the loss, the defending AAA AISA state champion Eagles have a berth into the "Elite 8" tournament. They will enter as a No. 2 seed and will face Edgewood Academy (22-2) this afternoon at 1:30.

The Eagles, who are searching for their third consecutive state title, and the Wildcats are no strangers. They met once during the regular season with the Wildcats picking up the victory and earning a rare win in Greenville.

"We played them earlier this year and they are a very good team," said Mantooth. "They only have losses. I expect Saturday's game to very tough game, and we have to be ready to play."

Even though the Eagles had a season in which they seemed battle-weary at points, the players weren't surprised when they won the area championship and the right to play in the state tournament.

Their tournament road puts them face to face with Edgewood Academy, a team that beat the Eagles in their first and only meeting of the season.

But, when asked who they would like to face following Edgewood, both David and Adam Moore responded: "Cottage Hill."

Tipoff for Saturday's game against Edgewood is set for 1:30 p.m. and will be played on the campus of Faulkner University.