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Opening win boosts Dodgers' morale

November 21, 2012
By JOSH MEYER - Messenger Sports Writer ( , Messenger News

Head coach Scott Timmerman knew it was only a matter of time before his Fort Dodge girls basketball team finally jumped back into the win column.

Tuesday's 2012-13 season-opener against Des Moines Hoover proved to be the perfect night.

Snapping a frustrating 22-game losing streak, the Dodgers (1-0 overall) earned a 48-36 home triumph inside the FDSH gym.

Article Photos

Messenger photo by Dale Wooten

Lexi Astor of Fort Dodge fights for a rebound on Tuesday night against Des Moines Hoover. For more photos, please visit CU?at

Fort Dodge's previous victory prior to their recent skid also came against the Huskies back on Feb. 16, 2011 in a Class 4A regional opener.

"I was very pleased with our effort (Tuesday)," Timmerman said. "Even though we didn't shoot a great percentage (the Dodgers were just 18-for-53 from the field), we still for the most part got the looks we wanted. I know if we take better care of the basketball and play good defense that our offense will eventually come around."

Lexi Astor, a 5-foot-9 junior, ignited the scrappy Dodgers with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Fact Box


Fort Dodge - Lexi Astor 5-15 4-6 14, Lani Van Zyl 4-10 1-3 10, Mariah Welter 1-3 2-4 4, Ashley Altman 2-10 1-2 5, Mallory Kilian 2-5 0-1 4, Tiana Mericle 1-4 2-6 4, Kari Grindberg 1-3 0-0 2, Rachel Herrington 1-1 0-0 2, Morgan Bowman 1-2 0-0 3. Totals: 18-53 10-22 48.

Des Moines Hoover - Natalie Clark 2-6 1-4 5, Malaysia Duncan 1-9 0-0 2, Mikayla Larson 1-9 2-2 4, Savana Robinson 2-8 0-2 4, Nyakat Diew 3-8 8-13 14, Artorria Jung 2-10 2-3 6, Nakeyih Harris 0-0 1-2 1, Reanna Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-50 14-26 36.

Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 9-5, 23-10, 33-24. Three-point goals: Fort Dodge 2-12 (Astor 0-3, Van Zyl 1-7, Grindberg 0-1, Bowman 1-1). Des Moines Hoover (0-10 Duncan 0-4, Larson 0-3, Diew 0-1, Jung 0-2). Total rebounds: Fort Dodge 39, Des Moines Hoover 25. Turnovers: Fort Dodge 19, Des Moines Hoover 19. Total fouls: Fort Dodge 19, Des Moines Hoover 17. Fouled out: Mericle, Welter.

"Lexi stepped up and was all over the place for us," said Timmerman. "She really showed her athleticism and quickness out (on the court)."

Sophomore point guard Lani Van Zyl added 10 points, six boards and three steals for FDSH. Senior Mariah Welter and junior Ashley Altman grabbed eight and seven rebounds, respectively.

"Lani did exactly what I envisioned her doing with her ability to knock down outside shots and penetrate the lane," Timmerman said. "With (senior) Fatima (Newsome) sidelined (by the flu), we didn't have a backup point guard. Lani knew she wouldn't be able to come out of the game, but she never gets tired and did a good job of staying out of foul trouble."

After an early triple from Van Zyl, the Dodgers never relinquished the lead. Fort Dodge built a 9-5 edge through the first period, while outscoring Hoover by five points in the middle two quarters.

"(The Huskies) had a definite size advantage inside, but our girls just really dug down deep and showed their heart and desire (FDSH outrebounded Hoover 39-25)," Timmerman said. "We looked a lot more comfortable (last evening) than at anytime last year, and we had some nice contributions from different people off the bench, too."

Nyakat Diew supplied a bright spot for Hoover (0-1) with 14 points and eight boards. The Huskies connected on only 22 percent (11-for-50) of their field goal attempts. Both Fort Dodge and Hoover committed 19 turnovers.

"We're going to come back (today) now and keep trying to get better," said Timmerman. "We know we still have plenty room for improvement."

Next action for the Dodgers is Tuesday at Des Moines North (0-1). The Polar Bears were pounded by Marshalltown Tuesday, 67-29.



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