A day after ending their three-game losing streak, the Fort Dodge boys ran into the stifling defense of Des Moines Hoover and dropped a 50-37 decision in the Dodger gym Tuesday night.
The ninth-ranked (4A) Huskies, now 17-2, held Fort Dodge to just 38 offensive possessions, one offensive rebound and just 10 buckets from the field to win for the eighth straight time.
"That's typical Hoover basketball," said Dodger Coach Tom Daniel. "That's what they do. They hold the ball and run their offense and everyone knows their role. If they hold you to just 38 possessions, you better execute on offense. We just struggled to score and they played good defense."
The Dodgers (7-12) were just 10 of 36 from the field (27 percent). Hoover wasn't that much better, hitting just 12 of 29 shots for 41 percent, but the Huskies made 22 of 26 free throws, including 17 straight during the third and fourth quarters.
"They did a good job of executing their offense and getting to the line," said Daniel, whose team was 14 of 19 from the stripe. "That was the difference in the game."
Chris King led the Huskies with 19 points, including three-point baskets to open the scoring in the first, second and third periods. He was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Gatlat Toang added 13 points, also going 5-of-6 from the line. Hoover made 18 of 20 free throws in the second half alone, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
HOOVER 50, FORT DODGE 37
Hoover Khalid Edwards 1-8 6-6 8, Alijah Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Chris King 5-10 5-6 19, Malachi Canada 1-2 6-6 8, Gatlat Toang 4-7 5-6 13, Dorian Houston 1-1 0-2 2. Totals: 12-29 22-26 50.
Fort Dodge Marquan Clayton 1-1 2-2 4, JC Hatcher 3-11 3-5 9, Tyler Vaughn 2-8 2-4 7, Andrew Stover 0-2 4-4 4, Blake Wilder 1-5 0-0 2, Krunal Thakor 0-0 2-2 2, Jake Porter 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Martinson 3-9 1-2 9. Totals: 10-36 14-19 37.
Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 11-7, Hoover led 21-19, 32-26. Three-point shots: Hoover 4-12 (Edwards 0-2, King 4-9, Thomas 0-1). Fort Dodge 3-12 (Hatcher 0-3, Vaughn 1-5, Martinson 2-5). Total fouls: Hoover 14, Fort Dodge 19. Fouled out: Thomas.
JC Hatcher and Zach Martinson led the Dodgers with nine points each. Tyler Vaughn added seven.
"You could tell (Hoover's) physical play bothered us. They were up in our face all night," said Daniel. "It's a good lesson for us. That's a good team and it's good to learn something from this going into the playoffs."
Fort Dodge scored the final six points of the first period to grab an 11-7 lead. But after getting a three-pointer from Vaughn with 1:50 left in the half to lead 19-17, the Dodgers didn't score again until 3:27 was left in the third period and by then Hoover had a 28-21 lead.
The Dodgers cut it to 30-26 with 1:15 in the third period, but Hoover pushed it to 10 at 36-26 with 6:32 remaining in the game and the lead never was less than eight in the rest of the way.
The Dodgers finished with just nine total rebounds, but had just four turnovers against the Huskies' defense. However, they were 15 points below their offensive average.
"Nine rebounds and just one offense rebound are bad," said Daniel. "But on the bright side, we didn't turn the ball over against a good defense. But we just got caught up in not finishing on the offense end."
The Dodgers close out the regular season Friday night, again at home, against Southeast Polk. The Rams were 8-11 going into last night's game with Des Moines Lincoln. Friday's game is a rematch of the contest that Southeast Polk won 61-52 on Feb. 4 in Runnells.