Fort Dale girls top No. 6 Warriors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fort Dale Academy girls coach Reggie Mantooth told his team that it was now time to step up the playing intensity.

The Lady Eagles won their last five games in a row over teams that either had a .500 winning percentage or below.

But Fort Dale (12-3) was about to get its first real test in almost a month Saturday when the fifth-ranked Lady Eagles played host to sixth-ranked Cottage Hill.

Fort Dale power forward MaryAnne Hancock stepped up to dominate inside and pour in 21 points to lead the Lady Eagles to a 53-41 victory for their sixth win in a row.

&#8220Coach Mantooth told us that we needed to step up the intensity,” Hancock said. &#8220It's always fun to play a Top 10 team to see how we stand. And with this win, we now know where we stand.”

By pounding the ball inside, Fort Dale also spent most of the night at the free throw line. The Lady Eagles converted 20-of-34 free throw attempts, while Cottage Hill (11-4) visited the charity stripe just 13 times for the game.

&#8220I guess tonight makes up for all the free throws we shoot in practice,” said Hancock, who was one of three Fort Dale players to post double figures.

Frances Watts led the Lady Eagles with a team-high 22 points, while Jennifer Pouncey chipped in 10.

Fort Dale jumped out to a 14-8 lead after the first period and didn't look back. The Lady Eagles reached a stalemate with Cottage Hill for the next two periods and then put the game away in the final stanza by outscoring the Lady Warriors 19-14 for the double-digit win.

&#8220This was a good win for us,” Mantooth said. &#8220We are getting into the meat of our schedule, and we need to keep getting better as the season goes along.”

Judith Currie scored a game-high 23 points to pace Cottage Hill.

Fort Dale added to its win total on Friday, as well, with an easy 51-30 victory over visiting Hooper Academy.

The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 13-2 lead after the opening period and cruised the rest of the way.

Pouncey was one of three players to finish in double figures for Fort Dale. She poured in 17 points, while Watts had 15. Hancock chipped in 12.

Haley Mathews led Hooper with 10.