BY KATHY PICKENS
The Greenville Standard
The Fort Dale basketball teams wound down their regular season and began post-season play last week.
Early in the week, the varsity girls ended their regular season play with back-to-back region victories over the Morgan Senators at home (55-23) and the Monroe Vols on the road (46-24).
Senior forward Lily Van Dyke had 17 points and 10 rebounds versus Morgan.
Sophomore guard Anna Claire Thomas led in assists with four and in steals with five.
Sophomore guard Brinkley Long put up 16 points against the Vols while junior guard Madison Freeman led with 11 rebounds and four assists.
Freeman was also given the task of locking down Monroe’s best shooter who was held to only seven points.
With these two wins, the Lady Eagles were ranked first in their region and awarded the right to host the AISA Region 2 AAA tournament for both the boys and girls with the results to determine seeding for the Elite Eight rounds.
The girls had a bye in the first regional round and beat the Bessemer Rebels in the semi-final before falling to the Clarke Prep Gators in the final game.
In their Thursday night 64-34 win over Bessemer, Van Dyke shot 13 for 15 from the floor to tally up 23 points and pull down ten rebounds.
Thomas led in steals with six, and Long had four assists. Van Dyke’s early foul troubles kept her out of much of the game in Friday’s loss to the Gators.
Long scored the game high of 14, and senior forward Maire Scott led on the boards with 12 rebounds.
Scott and Van Dyke were both named to the all-tournament team.
Placing second in the tournament set up the Lady Eagles to host the Region 1 third seed on Monday, Feb. 6, with the winner advancing to the final four (Feb. 8) and possibly the championship (Feb. 10) rounds at the Crampton Bowl Multiplex in Montgomery.
Head coach Regina Parker will make her third appearance at state in her three years at the varsity girls’ helm.