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Dodgers take road trips

December 18, 2007
CHRIS JOHNSON, Assistant Sports Editor
Both Fort Dodge basketball squads are hoping they can carry some momentum into the Christmas Break as they play their final two games of the first half of the season this week.

The Dodgers will travel to Des Moines Hoover tonight and head to Waukee on Friday.

Both games will begin at 6:15 p.m. with the girls and boys will follow at approximately 7:45 p.m.

The Fort Dodge boys (2-3 overall, 0-2 in CIML Iowa Conference) will meet Des Moines Hoover tonight, hoping to rebound after a tough 81-57 loss to Marshalltown.

‘‘We talked about how well Marshalltown shot the ball and how that’s not going to happen every night,’’ said FDSH head coach Bruce Hartley. ‘‘We just have to play solid defense and pick things up a little more.’’

The Dodgers lost a tough 55-51 decision to Hoover (2-2) last season in the Dodger gym, but this season have played close to the same as Fort Dodge.

‘‘They lost to Des Moines Lincoln by about 20, close to the same as us,’’ Hartley said. ‘‘Both these teams are similar to us. Hoover is quick and well coached.

‘‘These are teams we should be able to play close with.’’

The Dodgers enter tonight’s game with three players averaging double figures. Sam Wiss leads the way at 14.2, followed by Julian Dismute (13.6) and Brandon Grady (11.0).

Hartley is hoping that his defense will be able to rise to the occasion.

‘‘We’ve been trying to get in the lanes and open things up inside,’’ Hartley said. ‘‘We need to play solid half court recover defense and force teams to shoot outside.

‘‘We have to continue to push the ball up and think more about shot selection.’’

In Friday night’s contest Waukee (4-1, 1-1) is coming off of its first loss, dropping a 58-55 decision to Valley.

The Warriors are led in scoring by Gabe Knutson. He is averaging 23 points per contest. Adam Bloom (14.8), Ben Deau (14.3) and Jeff Getting (11.3), along with Chad Howard (9.3) are carrying the scoring load for Waukee.

‘‘Waukee just lost to Valley, which is another team we played close with,’’ Hartley said. ‘‘We just need to keep playing together as a team and see what we can do.’’

The Dodger girls (4-3, 1-1) are hoping to continue their momentum ride, coming off of a tight 33-32 victory over Marshalltown.

‘‘These are a couple of critical games going into the break,’’ said FDSH head coach Kim Vaughn. ‘‘We are close to where we wanted to be before Christmas Break.

‘‘With two wins, we can gain momentum going into the second half of the season.’’

The Dodgers are hoping they can start that tonight against Hoover (0-4), who has struggled this season.

‘‘They lost a lot from last year’s team,’’ Vaughn said. ‘‘They’re struggling a little bit, but we don’t want to overlook anybody. We have to stay focused and establish the way we can play.’’

Sisters Baileigh O’Brien (15.9) and Tristan O’Brien (13.4) enter as Fort Dodge’s leading scorers. Ashley Vratny (9.6) is close to a double-digit average as well.

The Dodgers will have a tough task on Friday when they travel to sixth-ranked Waukee (7-0, 2-0).

‘‘We match up well (size wise) against Waukee,’’ Vaughn said. ‘‘They’ve been shooting threes well.

‘‘We both like to run and that’s a plus for us.’’

The Warriors are led in scoring by Andi Waugaman at 14.9 per contest. Staci Gillum is right behind at 12.6.

Contact Chris Johnson at (515) 573-2141 or by e-mail at

Fact Box

Fort Dodge Boys (2-3, 0-2)
G Sam Wiss, 6-1, sr. 14.2
G Logan Scharf, 5-10, sr. 3.6
F Julian Dismute, 6-3, jr. 13.6
F Brandon Grady, 6-4, sr. 11.0
F Tyler Winter, 6-3, sr. 6.8

Fort Dodge Girls (4-3, 1-1)
G Courtney Vaughn, 5-7, sr. 4.0
G Ashley Vratny, 5-7, sr. 9.6
F Kim Harrell, 5-8, sr. 1.3
F Baileigh O’Brien, 6-0, sr. 15.9
F Tristan O’Brien, 5-10, jr. 13.4



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