Mr. 500

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When Fort Dale head coach Reggie Mantooth's 28 varsity players hit the court Monday night, they weren't just playing in the last game of the regular season and for momentum heading into the area tournament, they were playing for their coach.

And it showed.

With wins in the varsity girl's game and boy's game over Escambia Academy, Mantooth secured his 499th and 500th wins of his career, a huge milestone in the Alabama Independent Schools Association.

Efforts are being made by the AISA to gather information from all member schools so that an accurate record book can be made, but according to AISA Athletic Director Darrell Self, Mantooth is one of only a few coaches who have reached such a milestone.

&#8220That puts Reggie in a unique category,” Self said.

Because Mantooth coaches both the girls and boys teams, he has been able to reach the 500 mark in just his 13th year of coaching.

&#8220It takes a strong character to do that,” Self said of Mantooth coaching both teams. &#8220You don't see that much anymore.”

Mantooth has coached both the varsity teams during every year of his career except for the first year, and he admits it isn't easy.

&#8220It's difficult, and getting more so with age,” Mantooth said with a laugh.

But he loves it nonetheless.

After winning five state championships, three with the girls and two with the boys, he should.

And that shouldn't change.

&#8220I don't see any reason to change,” Mantooth said of his future coaching both teams.

Following the boys' win in the final game, Mantooth was presented with a plaque at mid-court marking his 500th win and received a standing ovation.

He said he started suspecting something early in the night as the victories finally appeared to be in hand, but he did not know what was going to happen until he was finally called out after the games.

&#8220It's a big honor to be associated with winning 500 games and just to have the opportunity to be at Fort Dale,” Mantooth said.

Varsity boys

Fort Dale 82, Escambia Aca. 57

For the first time in three years, the Fort Dale boy's varsity Eagles scored more than 80 points in a game as they put away the Escambia Academy Cougars for head coach Reggie Mantooth's 500th victory Monday on Senior Night, 82-57.

In what started out as a sloppy game where both teams were in the bonus at the end of the first period, the Eagles blew open the one-point first period lead into a 20-point lead by halftime and never looked back.

Senior Ty Newton got the crowd on their feet with a three-point buzzer beater at the end of the third period, sealing the deal for the Eagles.

Newton finished with team-high 19 points for Fort Dale, while also pulling down six rebounds and swiping steals.

Junior Bobby Martin threw in a double-double for the Eagles with 15 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Sanders Hancock also had an impressive night with 15 points and five rebounds.

Sophomore Kendall Gibson stepped in big on the post with nine points followed by junior Davis Watts with seven points, senior Cory Johnson with five points and Andrew Jones with four.

For Escambia, Andrew Lambeth had a game-high 25 points while teammate Joe Drew had eight in the loss.

The Eagles will take on Hooper at 5 p.m. Friday in the area tournament being held at Hooper. The championship game will be held Saturday at 3 p.m.

In previous games:

No.8 Faith 50, Fort Dale 28

The Faith Academy Rams blew open a 14-point halftime lead Saturday night as they cruised to victory over the Fort Dale Eagles, 50-28.

Junior Davis Watts was the leading scorer for the Eagles with seven points and he also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

Senior Ty Newton had five points and teammate Steven Lee also had five points while also pulling down six rebounds.

Junior Bobby Martin and senior Cory Johnson each had four points with Johnson also pulling down seven rebounds.

Hunter Lee had a game-high 14 points to lead the Rams and teammate Sidney Madise finished with 11 in the win.

Fort Dale 42, Morgan 36

Senior Ty Newton had a huge game Friday night to help pace the Fort Dale Eagles past the Morgan Academy Senators, 42-36.

The Eagles and Senators traded the lead back-and-forth throughout the game but Fort Dale was able to break the 29-29 third period tie to seal the win.

Davis Watts was the next leading scorer for the Eagles with six points, followed by Bobby Martin with five points, Sanders Hancock with four points, Kendall Gibson with three points and Cory Causey, Cory Johnson and Ben Bates each with two points.

Weston Mason was the leading scorer for the Senators with 16 points followed by Umang Patel with six in the loss.

Varsity girls

No. 3 Fort Dale 49, Escambia 39

Casey Hicks, Lauren Maraman, Skylar Sherrell and Jennifer and Morgan Pouncey were all recognized as the five Fort Dale Lady Eagle seniors prior to Saturday night's game against Escambia Academy and all five represented well as the Lady Eagles (21-2) toppled the Lady Cougars, 49-39.

The Lady Eagles held only an eight-point lead at the end of the first period and the Lady Cougars cut that to just five at the half, but a strong shooting performance by the Pouncey's brought the Eagles back in the second half as they cruised to the 10-point win.

Morgan Pouncey was the leading scorer for the Eagles with a game-high 18 points and she also finished with seven rebounds.

Jennifer Pouncey had 14 points and eight rebounds, followed by Michelle Hulick with six points and nine rebounds, Hicks with four points and seven steals and Abbey Martin, Ulli Sandstrom and Sherrell each with two points.

Heather White was the leading scorer for the Lady Cougars with 12 points and Clare Jones finished with 11 points in the loss.

The Lady Eagles will take on Taylor Road Academy in the area tournament at Hooper Academy Friday at 6:30 p.m. The championship game will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.

In previous games:

No. 3 Fort Dale 52, No. 2 Faith 47

The No. 3 Fort Dale Lady Eagles secured head coach Reggie Mantooth's 499th victory Saturday night with a win over the No. 2 ranked team in the state, the Faith Academy Rams, 52-47.

Jennifer Pouncey was the leading scorer for the Eagles with a game-high 19 points, including 5-of-5 from the free-throw line, while also pulling down seven rebounds.

Ulli Sandstrom was next for the Eagles with eight points, followed by Morgan Pouncey with seven points and six rebounds, Casey Hicks with four points and seven rebounds and Michelle Hulick with four points and five rebounds.

Morgan Crawford had a team-high 16 points for the Rams while teammate Aisha Hudson had 10 points in the loss.

Fort Dale 48, Morgan 34

The Pouncey's, Jennifer and Morgan, had 13 points apiece Friday night as the Fort Dale Lady Eagles took the win from the Morgan Academy Senators, 48-34.

Senior Casey Hicks also had a big night for the Eagles, finishing with six points, and teammates Michelle Hulick and Tyler Manning each had five points in the win.

For the Senators, Jayelyn Lawrence had a team-high 10 points, followed by Jamie Rilcher with nine points and Cursey Oaks with seven points.

Junior varsity boys

Fort Dale 36, Escambia 25

The 2007 AISA Class AAA State Champion Fort Dale Eagles added to its honors Monday night with the 20th win of the season as the Eagles took care of the Escambia Academy Cougars, 36-25.

With just a two-point lead after the first period and first half, the Eagles got their second wind in the second half and held on for the 11-point win in what was sort of an exhibition game.

Todd Burkett was the leading scorer for the Eagles with nine points and the freshman also swiped three steals.

Shanks Simmons was next with seven points, four steals and five assists, followed by Stuart Matthews with six points, Luke Hutcheson with four points and three steals, Hunter Armstrong with four points and Matthew Burkett with four points apiece and Dustin Till with two points, four rebounds and four steals.

For Escambia, Austin Lee had a team-high eight points and teammate Jon Dean had six in the loss.

In previous games:

Fort Dale 38, Morgan 27

Following the state championship victory last weekend, the Fort Dale Academy junior varsity could have suffered a letdown, but they didn't.

The Eagles took the court in Selma against the Morgan Academy Senators and proved their championship true Friday night as they took the 11-point win, 39-27.

Nine Eagle players scored in the game, led by Dustin Till with eight points and eight rebounds.

Shanks Simmons had seven points and three steals, followed by Todd Burkett with six points and five steals, Stuart Matthews with five points and three steals, Hunter Armstrong with four points, Luke Hutcheson with three points, four rebounds and three steals, Stephen Till and Matthew Burkett with two points apiece and Cory Folds with one.

Junior varsity girls

Fort Dale 25, Escambia 16

The Fort Dale Academy junior varsity girls closed out the 2007 season Monday night with their 15th win of the season as they took the victory over the Escambia Academy Cougars, 25-16.

The JV Lady Eagles held the Cougars to just 18.4 percent shooting from the field and out rebounded Escambia 30-22.

Emily Boulware was the leading scorer for the Eagles with a game-high seven points and five rebounds, followed by Peyton Norrell with six points, Abbey Martin with four points and six steals, Murphy Middleton with three points and seven rebounds and Brittany Huckaba and Karli Boulware with two points apiece. Huckaba also pulled down five rebounds.

In previous games:

Fort Dale 32, Morgan 12

Two players scored in double digits Friday as the Fort Dale junior varsity Lady Eagles took the 20-point win over the Morgan Academy Senators, 32-12.

Abbey Martin, who finished with a double-double, had a game-high 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles while teammate Jessie Langford had 10 points in the win.

Anne Carol Branum was next for the Eagles with three points followed by Wyn Boan, Emily Boulware, Karli Boulware and Katie Wilson with two points apiece.

Pee wee boys

White 26, Green 22

Chip Taylor had a game-high 16 points, 11 in the final half, to lead the white team past the green team Saturday, 26-22.

Hudson Branum was next for the white team with six points and teammate James Burkett finished with four points in the win.

Harper Vinson was the leading scorer for the green team with eight points, followed closely by John Coleman Poole with seven points and Clint Harrison with six points. Curt Davis also had one point for the green team.

Blue 18, Red 16

The blue team hit nine free throws in the final period Saturday to secure the victory over the red team, 18-16.

Daniel Hall Autrey was the leading scorer for the blue team with seven points, all of which came in the final period. Five of those points came from the free-throw line.

Hill Dunklin and Keaton Flemming each had four points for the blue team and teammate Clem Cole finished with three in the win.

Austin Vickory was the leading scorer for the red team with seven points, followed by Cole Davis with four points, McKinley Lee with three points and Deaton Owens with two points.

Pee wee girls

Gray 28, Blue 5

Mary Sanford Purdue had a game-high 10 points Saturday to help lift the gray team over the blue team, 28-5.

Laura Sellers Purdue was next for the gray team with eight points, followed by Caitlyn Brooks and Marie Claire Carlton with two points apiece.

Lexie Barganier was the lone scorer for the blue team, accounting for all five points.

Orange 20, Red 4

Hayden Robinson and Whitney Boswell scored nine points apiece Saturday morning to guide the orange team past the red team, 20-4.

Caitlyn Thompson also had two points for the gray team.

For the red team, Haley Williams and Mollie Boutwell each had two points.