That task will be a tough one, as the Dodgers meet Ankeny and Marshalltown for a pair of home varsity twinbills this week.
Tip-off for head coach Kim Vaughn’s FDSH girls squad (2-3 overall, 0-1 in the CIML Iowa Conference) will be 6:15 both nights, while head coach Bruce Hartley’s Dodger boys (2-2, 0-1) play afterward.
After a disappointing 56-44 loss to the Tigers last Friday on their home court, the FDSH boys are hoping to get back to their winning ways.
‘‘We took a little step back on Friday,’’ said Hartley. ‘‘We didn’t play as well as we had been, and we need to get back on the right track.
“We’ll need to play well together and as a team more like we did against Dowling and North.”
The Ankeny (2-2) and Marshalltown (2-1, 1-0) boys should both provide stern challenges on the Dodgers’ homecourt.
The Hawks are coming off a solid 55-52 win over Johnston at home last Friday. They’re led by three year starters Morris Smeader and Tyler Egli.
“Ankeny is like Ankeny has always been. They have good shooters and are very aggressive defenseively. We will have to be on our game, but we match up with them pretty well. I think we have the advantage down low for the first time and hopefully we can capitalize on that,” Hartley said.
Marshalltown brings back four starters from a year ago in Tyler Peschong, Cole Danielson, Ben Brennecke and Chanse Creekmur. In addition, Michael Appel hit five treys against then-No. 3 Ames last Friday and helped the Bobcats to a 76-68 win inside The Roundhouse.
“Marshalltown is a team that has a lot of experience, good height, and good shooters,” Hartley said. “They just beat Ames and I thought Ames had a chance at running the table this year. That win says it all.”
The Dodgers leading scorers are still senior Sam Wiss (15.3) and junior Julian Dismute (15), but senior power forward Brandon Grady is up to 9.3 points per game.
The FDSH girls are also searching for a bounceback victory after a 51-43 loss at the hands of the Tigers last Friday. It won’t be easy, though, as the Dodgers host seventh-rated Ankeny (4-1) this evening and Marshalltown (2-2, 0-1) on Friday.
Ankeny brings back three returning starters, including 6-foot-4 center Alissa Clapper, who had 28 points last year in a Hawk triumph over the Dodgers.
“Ankeny’s tradition alone is hard to deal with,” said Vaughn. “They have Clapper inside and we’ll do our best against her. They also have nice shooters. We’ll have to step it up defensively and try to contain them.
“They are so disciplined and do everything so well. We just have to be ready to play four quarters at a high level.”
The Bobcats also bring back a couple starters and has picked up a few wins in the early going of the season.
“Marshalltown is playing pretty well. They went on a little winning streak, and any time you do that, it will give you confidence,” Vaughn said. “It’ll be a difficult week. We need to gain some confidence back.”
Sisters Baleigh and Tristan O’Brien continue to lead the way offensively for the Dodgers, as they average 17.8 and 13.2 points, respectively. Senior Ashley Vratny is scoring at a 9.3-points clip.
Contact Eric Niesen at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fact BoxPROBABLE DODGER STARTERS
Fort Dodge Boys (2-2, 0-1)
G Sam Wiss, 6-1, sr. 15.3
G Logan Scharf, 5-10, sr. 4.0
F Julian Dismute, 6-3, jr. 15.0
F Brandon Grady, 6-4, sr. 9.3
F Tyler Winter, 6-3, sr. 8.5
Fort Dodge Girls (3-3, 0-1)
G Courtney Vaughn, 5-7, sr. 4.7
G Ashley Vratny, 5-7, sr. 9.5
F Kim Harrell, 5-8, sr. 1.5
F Baileigh O’Brien, 6-0, sr. 17.8
F Tristan O’Brien, 5-10, jr. 13.2