WATERLOO - The Fort Dodge girls basketball team had no answers for 10th-ranked (Class 5A) Waterloo West Tuesday night, dropping a 72-39 decision.
After falling in a 27-9 hole at the end of the first quarter, the Dodgers (3-9 overall) were left playing catch-up the rest of the way.
"Waterloo West is a very good team that created some problems with their size, athleticism and pressure," said FDSH head coach Scott Timmerman. "(The Wahawks) did a real good job of attacking the basket with their length. We kind of made some adjustments in the second half, but we just couldn't overcome a slow start and tough stretch midway through the first half."
Mallory Kilian, a sophomore, paced the Dodgers with nine points and four steals.
Junior Lexi Astor also tallied eight points and six boards for Fort Dodge, while sophomore Lani Van Zyl chipped in seven points and four steals.
"It was good to have Lexi back (Astor missed the previous game against Urbandale due to a choir trip) as another scoring option along with Mallory and Lani," Timmerman said. "(Tiana) Mericle also played with probably her most intensity and effort at the varsity level."
Waterloo West 72, Fort Dodge 39
Waterloo West - Sammie Sproul 6, Haley Puk 15, Kate Letkewicz 22, Jaclyn Spencer 6, Blaire Thomas 11, Hannah Swartzendruber 4, Mikayla Stokes 7, Kaia Jones 1.
Fort Dodge - Lexi Astor 8, Lani Van Zyl 7, Mariah Welter 2, Fatima Newsome 2, Ashley Altman 2, Mallory Kilian 9, Mackenzie Jones 2, Tiana Mericle 5, Rachel Herrington 2.
Quarter scores: WW led 27-9, 43-21, 60-33.
Kate Letkewicz (22), Haley Puk (15) and Blaire Thomas (11) all scored in double figures for West (10-4 overall), which prevailed for the sixth time in its past seven outings.
"West definitely showed why it's a Top-10 team," said Timmerman. "I think they'll be right in the mix (for a state title) at tournament time."
Fort Dodge will look to rebound Friday at CIC Northern Division foe Ames (7-6).