Cold shooting from floor, free throw line cost Fort Dale

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

In the end Fort Dale Academy's game with Escambia came down to desire and coaching; something Eagles' head coach Reggie Mantooth thinks may be in short supply.

&#8220Our boys are not very good and not very well coached,” said a frustrated Mantooth after the Eagles failed to pull out a close game against visiting Escambia, 63-59. &#8220Either our boys don't understand, or they don't care.”

Obviously Mantooth is not used to losing, especially after leading the Eagles to back-to-back Alabama Independent School Association Class AAA championships in 2003 and 2004.

But even though the Eagles (3-5) are in a rebuilding year, Mantooth says his team needs to step up and show some heart, especially after his bunch let a win slip away at the end against the visiting Cougars.

&#8220We had the lead and had every opportunity to take the game, we just didn't play very smart at the end,” he said. &#8220We've just got to get it together defensively and make a commitment to make it tough for people to score. We also need to start the game with more intensity instead of waiting until we get down to play harder.”

After trailing at the half by five, the Eagles trailed by two points to start the fourth quarter and briefly took the lead with a three-point shooting binge led by sophomore Casey Weston. But down the stretch the Eagles went cold at the charity stripe missing the front end of two one-and-one opportunities with less than a minute remaining. For the game the Eagles shot only 57 percent from the free throw line and 36 percent from the floor.

&#8220We came in with nothing to lose and our guys just played their hearts out,” said Cougars' head coach Kevin Woods. &#8220This is best we've played all year off the boards.”

Andrew Lambeth led the Cougars (3-6) with 27 points, while Cody Newton posted 11 points and Matt Ash 8 points.

Weston led the Eagles with 27-points and 12-rebounds followed by Davis Watts

who chipped in 12-points and had seven rebounds.

Brady Newton added 11 points.

The Eagles travel to Faith Academy Friday for the Faith Christmas Tournament. Faith beat Fort Dale 52-44 last month in the championship game of the Fort Dale Thanksgiving Classic.