ANKENY - Any worries that Tom Daniel had about the way his team would play after a long layoff were quickly erased here Friday night.
The Fort Dodge boys jumped out to a double-digit halftime advantage and never looked back, posting a 73-60 victory over Ankeny to remain unbeaten on the road.
"There's always a concern when you don't have a school day and you have to play - especially after a long break,'' said Fort Dodge head coach Tom Daniel. "We responded well and got off to a good start, which was a huge key for us.
"This might have been our best all-around performance so far.''
The inside-outside tandem of Blake Wilder and JC Hatcher turned in strong performances for the Dodgers (5-2 overall). Wilder had a game-high 19 points and was 9-for-10 from the field. The senior power forward also pulled down nine rebounds.
Hatcher scored 15 points and was 5 of 11 from the field, including two triples. He had seven rebounds as well.
FORT DODGE 73, ANKENY 60
Fort Dodge - Marquan Clayton 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Ahlers 0-0 0-0 0, Krunal Thakor 2-5 4-5 8, Cody Ellis 0-0 0-0 0, JC Hatcher 5-11 3-3 15, Alex Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Stover 3-4 1-1 7, Sam Kolacia 4-5 0-2 10, Kyle Beisch 2-3 0-1 4, Kyle Hanson 0-1 0-0 0, Blake Wilder 9-10 0-0 19, Thomas Hartley 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Martinson 5-11 0-0 10, Cody Rivers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 30-51 8-11 73.
Ankeny - Zach Morrissey 3, Jacob Figley 0, Vince Walker 9, Tanner Rinker 3, Ethan Hanna 0, Cole Whitaker 9, Connor Riordan 16, Carson Walljasper 5, Ryan Doubleday 0, Logan Stiles 0, Riley McCoy 7, Skylar Scott 4, Adam Neal 0, Jordan Saddoris 4.
Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 16-12, 39-27, 56-41. Three-pointers: Hatcher 2, Kolacia 2, Wilder 1.
As a team, Fort Dodge made 30 of 51 shots from the floor - including 68 percent of their two-point attempts.
"They gave us a great inside-outside combination,'' Daniel said. "Blake had a nice interior game and to have those guys go for 19 and 15 is huge.
"JC, along with (Andrew) Stover, guarded their best guy (Vince Walker) and held him to nine points (Walker averages 13.3).''
Daniel also praised the performance of Krunal Thakor and Sam Kolacia. Thakor, a senior, played well from the floor with eight points, nine assists and five rebounds.
"Krunal had a phenomenal all-around game,'' Daniel said. "He really helped set the tempo.''
Kolacia, a sophomore, came off the bench to score 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting. Senior Zach Martinson also reached double figures with 10 points.
The Dodgers did damage on the boards as well, pulling down 39 rebounds. They also collectively dished out 19 assists.
"We were struggling with their zone and Sam came in and got us started,'' Daniel said. "He hit a couple of threes and that forced them to change their defense.
"I'm very happy with the team effort and the bench responded as well. We did the little things we needed to be successful. We just have to wake up (Saturday)?and turn the page.''
The Dodgers are back in action on Tuesday when they host Johnston in a girl/boy doubleheader. Boys action is set to tip at approximately 7:45 p.m.