Lady Eagles close out season with 15-straight victories

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

Fort Dale Academy's Lady Eagles closed out the regular season on Monday with their 15th win in a row after posting a 45-34 victory over 10th-ranked Sparta Academy.

Fort Dale, which has not lost a game since mid-December to top-ranked Faith Academy, opens the area tournament on Thursday as the top seed and is guaranteed a spot in the state tournament next week at Faulkner University in Montgomery.

The Lady Eagles (21-3) jumped out to a 13-4 lead and looked to cruise to another easy win, but senior forward Maryanne Hancock and Frances Watts got into early foul trouble. Sparta (16-6) then began to chip away at Fort Dale's lead in the fourth period and drew as close as two points with 6:09 left to play before Jennifer Pouncey drained a huge 3-point basket to knock all of the air out of the Lady Warriors' sails.

Pouncey led the Lady Eagles with 14 points, while Watts added 13.

&#8220This game should help us get ready for the playoffs,” Fort Dale coach Reggie Mantooth said. &#8220I was glad to see our girls on the bench step up with Frances and Maryanne in foul trouble.”

Ashton Gainer paced Sparta with 14 points, while Kara Layton added 10.

The Lady Eagles notched their 20th win of the season on Saturday with a 39-30 victory over Lee-Scott.

The visiting Lady Warriors managed to stay within range of third-ranked Fort Dale through the first period, but the Lady Eagles managed to pull ahead and keep Lee-Scott at bay.

After earning a 16-13 lead after the first eight minutes of play, Fort Dale extended its lead in the second period to take a 27-18 advantage into the second half.

Watts led all scorers with 22 points, while Jane Smith and Amanda Beazley paced Lee-Scott with eight points each.

Fort Dale clinched a perfect area record and the regular-season area title on Friday by handing Morgan Academy a 20-point defeat.

The Lady Eagles quickly built a 20-point advantage by the two minute mark of the first half and cruised the rest of the way to victory.

Watts led Fort Dale with 14 points, while Pouncey added 13.

Fort Dale will face Hooper at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the area tournament in Greenville.