FD boys win big in return home

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Malcolm Clayton of Fort Dodge shoots around Southeast Polk Dominic Caggiano on Tuesday

The homesick Fort Dodge boys played like a team that couldn’t wait to get back on their own court here Tuesday.

In their final appearance before the Christmas break, the Dodgers showed plenty of holiday spirit by scoring 39 of the game’s first 47 points on their way to a 56-40 CIML cross-conference victory over Southeast Polk.

Senior Trey Mosley knocked down four first-half three-point baskets on his way to a 17-point performance, while classmate Malcolm Clayton added 11 to move into the program’s Top-10 list for career scoring.

Trailing 6-2 early, Fort Dodge (3-4 overall) exploded for 23 consecutive points to overwhelm the Rams (3-4). After a Southeast Polk bucket finally stopped the bleeding, the Dodgers went on another run — this time 14-0 — to build an impressive 39-8 advantage.

”Our guys were really excited to get back in our gym and feed off the energy of our fans again,” FDSH head coach Tom Daniel said. ”It’s been a long stretch (four consecutive contests spanning 18 days) since our last (appearance) here, and I think that anticipation really gave us an extra burst of energy during the first half.

”We still have a long way to go and a lot of things to work on, but I always tell our kids you never take a win in the CIML for granted. Southeast Polk (came in as a) 3-3 team that just won at Ankeny. We’re still learning a lot about ourselves, how to handle success and how to protect leads. It’s kind of an anomaly to be up by over 30 points, and we had some different rotations and subbed pretty liberally after that, but it’s good to get our bench guys minutes in the middle of a game rather than just at the end.”

Fort Dodge had struggled from beyond the arc through the first month of the year, shooting only 28 percent from distance. The Dodgers busted Southeast Polk’s zone early and often on Tuesday, though, with Mosley leading the way.

Mosley and Clayton combined for 25 first-half points, and junior Jace Peterson added six off the bench before the intermission. FDSH was 15 of 24 from the field — 63 percent — and 6 of 13 from three-point land in taking a 41-20 advantage into the locker room.

Although the Dodgers managed only 15 points the rest of the way, they still finished above 50 percent on their field goal attempts.

”We cooled off, but our defensive effort was solid pretty much all the way through,” Daniel said. ”We made some careless mistakes with the basketball (Fort Dodge turned the ball over 16 times) and our rebounding wasn’t very good, but I’m not going to sit here and pick apart a win.

”I’m really proud of the effort and intensity our guys are showing, and they’re really playing for each other. We just have to get to a point where we’re not surprised to have a big lead. We earned that (31-point advantage) because our kids played well. We’re showing signs and going through stretches of success where we’re proving we can be a good basketball team.”

Clayton (780 points) passed Julian Dismute (771) for 10th on the Dodgers’ all-time scoring charts. Fittingly, it came on a night where Clayton attempted only seven shots and finished with six assists.

”Malcolm is a double-digit scorer, but he’s always going to look for the open man and often turns good looks into great ones with an extra pass,” Daniel said. ”He also played very solid defense and kind of set the tone there. I appreciate his unselfishness, which rubs off everyone else. I don’t have to worry about him complaining that he’s not getting enough shots. He wants to make his teammates better first.”

Daniel also noted the minutes of sophomore Tysen Kershaw and junior Rodney Tilawen.

”Tysen has done a lot of things really well,” Daniel said. ”He’s steady defensively, he rebounds the ball, and his length (Kershaw is 6-foot-3) has been an asset. He brings a lot to the table. I’ve been impressed by his consistency so far as just a sophomore.

”Rodney is working hard in practice, and he’s earned his (increase in) minutes. I’ve always said it’s more about the quality of minutes than quantity. It’s great to see him take advantage of that and help build our depth. We need that. We need (senior) Aaron Porter and (juniors) Jordan Jackson, Jace and Grant Barber to stay on the right track, and they all did a lot of positive things (Tuesday). Once we get the guys settling into the rotation and giving us each what we need based on their own strengths, we can and will keep taking positive steps forward.”

The Rams were without leading scorer Willie Tunks, who was sidelined due to concussion protocol.

Fort Dodge is now off for the next 12 days. The Dodgers return to action on Jan. 2 at Mason City.


Fort Dodge — Trey Mosley 6-10 0-0 17, Malcolm Clayton 4-7 3-4 11, Jordan Jackson 5-8 0-0 10, Tysen Kershaw 2-3 0-0 4, Kaleb Jondle 1-4 1-2 4, Jace Peterson 2-5 1-2 6, Aaron Porter 2-3 0-0 4, Edward Crawford 0-2 0-0 0, Isaiah Alvarez 0-0 0-1 0, Grant Barber 0-0 0-0 0, Rodney Tilawen 0-0 0-0 0, Malihk Lockman 0-0 0-0 0, Asle Thorson 0-0 0-0 0, Brycen Bell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-42 5-11 56.

Southeast Polk — Dominic Caggiano 5-8 0-0 13, Caleb Winecke 2-2 1-2 5, Grant Arnold 2-9 0-0 4, Luke Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Daniel Hackbarth 0-3 0-2 0, Grant Carter 3-4 1-2 8, Payson VanKooten 1-2 0-0 3, Josiah Cole 1-2 0-0 2, Ethan Amensen 1-2 0-0 2, Eli Christiansen 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 16-35 3-8 40.

Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 23-6, 41-20, 48-27. Three-point goals: Fort Dodge 7-18 (Mosley 5-8, Jondle 1-4, Peterson 1-3, Kershaw 0-1, Porter 0-1); Southeast Polk 6-13 (Caggiano 3-4, Carter 1-2, Van Kooten 1-1, Cole 0-1, Amensen 0-1, Arnold 0-2, Hackbarth 0-1). Turnovers: Fort Dodge 16, Southeast Polk 17. Total fouls: Fort Dodge 13, Southeast Polk 12.