Mosley beats buzzer
As the entire gym turned their attention to veteran Fort Dodge standout Malcolm Clayton in the waning seconds of a tie game here on Friday, long-time friend and senior backcourt mate Trey Mosley saw an entirely different storyline developing.
Almost everyone expected the Dodgers to sink or swim with Clayton on the final play of regulation. Instead it was Mosley who found himself with a last-second shot to try and help his team finally shake off Des Moines Lincoln.
The unflappable guard didn’t disappoint. His three-point basket as time expired gave Fort Dodge a 56-53 victory over the Railsplitters in a tense CIML boys basketball affair.
As expected, Clayton attracted the concentration of Lincoln’s defense with regulation winding down and the ball in his hands. Instead of attempting a contested buzzer-beater, he kicked the ball to Mosley for an open look that swished through the net and sent the Dodger crowd into a frenzy.
Most were surprised by Clayton’s decision to give the ball up. Mosley anticipated it without any plan or even verbal communication.
”I could see it in his eyes,” the three-year varsity regular said. ”I knew it was coming to me. Before he even (started to drive), he gave me that look so I was ready for it.
”We’ve been playing together and close for a long time — since about fifth grade. That’s just the chemistry and trust we have with each other; I was kind of upset at first that he was passing up the chance to win it, but if he’s going to get it to me, I was going to make the most of (the opportunity).”
Even though Fort Dodge (1-1 overall) never trailed in the second half, Lincoln (0-2) refused to go away. The Rails had back-to-back buckets to knot the score for the first time late, and the Dodgers held for the final 61 seconds to take their chances on either prevailing at the end or going to overtime.
Clayton had the ball in his hands for the vast majority of that stretch. But as the time to make a last move arrived, the responsibility switched to Mosley.
”That’s just two unselfish seniors who have played over 100 varsity games (combined) doing whatever it takes to get the job done,” FDSH head coach Tom Daniel said. ”They’re both great leaders, along with (fellow captain) Jimmy (Jordan Jackson). They set the tone for this team, and the message they’re sending is that individual stats and recognition don’t matter.
”No one is happier for Trey than Malcolm and his teammates. And if Malcolm had hit the shot, Trey and all the others would’ve felt the same way.”
Mosley delivered the clutch heroics, but Daniel said the Dodgers ”wouldn’t have been in that position” without the earlier efforts of other role players.
”(Sophomore) Tysen Kershaw was huge on the boards in the first half. And (senior) Kaleb Jondle really did some dynamic things and created by taking his man off the dribble. We got good minutes and positive production from a lot of guys.
”We weren’t perfect by any means, but we’re never going to take a CIML victory for granted. Lincoln was tough and gritty and really competitive.”
Fort Dodge struggled to contain Will Feller, the Rails’ lone senior and leading scorer from a year ago. The 6-foot-4 Feller had a game-high 23 points, which included a 15-point second half that saw him only miss one shot despite being double- and even triple-teamed.
”We didn’t really have an answer for him defensively, and it wasn’t for lack of trying,” Daniel said. ”We threw quite a few looks at him, but we’re not a big team. His versatility and length really caused us problems.”
After trailing 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, Lincoln went on a 9-0 run for a five-point advantage in the second period. Jace Peterson’s traditional three-point play right before the first half ended put the Dodgers up 34-31 at the break.
Fort Dodge didn’t fall behind the rest of the way, but never led by more than six points, either.
Clayton finished with 15 points despite making only 7 of 19 shots from the floor. Mosley added 11, while the fiery Jondle — a transfer from Southeast Valley — provided a spark in a reserve role with nine points and six assists.
Jackson contributed eight points, while Kershaw had six. The duo led the way in rebounding.
Feller’s younger brother, Nate, added 15 points for the Railsplitters, who started three sophomores and a junior and brought four more juniors off the bench.
Lincoln was also bolstered by a raucous fanbase that turned the environment into a playoff-like atmosphere despite it being just the first day of December.
”That was good for us. Their crowd was really into it, and the close nature of the ballgame was the kind of test we need,” Daniel said. ”They were going back and forth with our fans, and it really ramped up the intensity even though we’re only in the first week of the year.”
Mosley, who found himself in the middle of a celebration at center court after sealing the deal, added, ”it’s great to see this kind of support for our program. You see (fellow students) from all different sports and activities coming together — that’s what it’s all about. It means a lot to us.”
The Dodgers hit the road for a two-game stretch next week, visiting Des Moines Hoover on Tuesday and Marshalltown on Friday.
FORT DODGE 56, DM LINCOLN 53
Fort Dodge — Malcolm Clayton 7-19 0-2 15, Trey Mosley 4-7 2-2 11, Jordan Jackson 4-9 0-0 8, Tysen Kershaw 2-5 2-2 6, Jace Peterson 1-1 1-1 3, Kaleb Jondle 3-5 3-6 9, Aaron Porter 1-2 2-2 4, Edker Foy 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Barber 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-50 10-15 56.
Des Moines Lincoln — Will Feller 9-14 4-4 23, Nate Feller 5-9 3-3 15, Ben Badger 0-3 2-2 2, Jack McGlothlen 1-4 0-2 2, Logan Sharp 1-2 0-0 2, Josiah Conkrite 2-8 1-1 7, Ben Knoebel 1-2 0-0 3, Latrell Taggart 0-1 0-0 0, Felix Gallagher 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-43 10-12 53.
Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 16-12, 34-31, 47-41. Three-point goals: Fort Dodge 2-7 (Mosley 1-3, Clayton 1-3, Jondle 0-1); Lincoln 6-13 (N. Feller 2-5, Conkrite 2-4, Knoebel 1-2, W. Feller 1-1, McGlothlen 0-1). Turnovers: Fort Dodge 6, Lincoln 8. Total fouls: Fort Dodge 18, Lincoln 10.