Eagles falter under Cottage Hill#039;s press

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Fort Dale Academy boys managed to battle the Alabama Independent School Association's No. 2-ranked Cottage Hill Warriors for a half, but could not handle the Warriors' full-court press in the second half.

Cottage Hill (15-2) turned Eagle turnovers into easy baskets and outscored Fort Dale 41-23 to cruise to an easy 71-48 victory Saturday night.

After posting back-to-back wins for the first time all season, the Eagles dropped their second in a row on Saturday. Fort Dale had its win streak snapped on Friday when visiting Hooper Academy downed the Eagles, 56-44.

&#8220I would have to say that (Cottage Hill) is the best team in the state, and we were able to play with them for at least a half,” Fort Dale coach Reggie Mantooth said. &#8220But their pressure in the second half really bothered us. We just need to learn to be more patient when we are pressed.”

After battling to a 30-25 margin in the first half, Cottage Hill began to turn up the pressure to open the second half. The Warriors outscored Fort Dale 26-11 in the third period and cruised the rest of the way.

&#8220We turned the ball over three or four times in a row and they converted each time, and that just hurt us,” Mantooth said.

Will Currie was one of three Cottage Hill players to finish in double figures. Currie led all scorers with 27 points. Chris Wyatt and Sean McLaughlin added 10 points each.

Casey Weston led Fort Dale with 18 points. Bobby Martin chipped in nine, and Davis Watts had eight.

The Eagles dropped its first game in a week on Friday when Hooper Academy outscored host Fort Dale 19-10 to close out a 56-44 victory.

The Eagles opened the game with a 12-7 lead after the first period, but could not keep up the pace. Hooper rebounded in the second stanza to outscore Fort Dale 17-11 to take the lead for good.

Lane Dodson was one of three Hooper players to finish with double figures. Dodson led the Colts with 19 points. Tanner Casey added 16, while Ryan Bozeman had 11.

Weston led the Eagles with 21 points, and Martin chipped in 10.