Fort Dale defense

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

stymies Cougars

By Dennis Palmer

After a tight first half where visiting Escambia Academy utilized a full court press to harass Fort Dale, the Lady Eagles used a 19-6 run in the third quarter and pulled away for Cougars to post their sixth win of the season.

&#8220We knew it would be a tough, physical game,” said Lady Eagles' head coach Reggie Mantooth, whose defense held the Lady Cougars to just 18-points in the second half. &#8220Lacey (Norrell) did a good job covering Lori Bonds.”

Bonds led the Lady Cougars (4-5) with 14-points on the night, well off her season average.

Lady Eagles' senior Maryann Hancock said the win was important and thinks it will help the team get out of the &#8220rut” they've been in.

&#8220Teams we should have beaten we've let them stick with us,” she said. &#8220We just need to keep it together and work as a team.”

Lady Cougars' head coach Heath Gibson was pleased with his girl's effort, but said the full court press they utilized during the game and the unforgiving rims were their downfall.

&#8220We played hard, but we just couldn't get our shots to fall,” he said. &#8220We did wear out a little bit in the second half. We press from the time we get in the gym until we go home. (Fort Dale) made some adjustments at the half and was able to get ahead of us.”

Hancock said her squad expected the press, and was ready for it.

&#8220We put in a new team fast break to help deal with it,” she said.

The Lady Eagles travel to Faith Academy Friday where they will play in the Faith Christmas Tournament. The Lady Eagles will open play in the tournament against Faith, who beat them in the championship game of the Fort Dale Thanksgiving Classic last month.

In the rematch, the Lady Eagles will have to find a way to stop Faith's top scorer, Christian Shelter, who led her team with 26-points in the win.