Dodgers pull away, reach 14 wins for first time since 2006

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Malcolm Clayton drives to score for Fort Dodge Tuesday against Des Moines East in a Class 4A substate quarterfinal in the Dodger gym.

On Tuesday, the Fort Dodge basketball team found itself in the same place and same situation they were a year ago.

This time around, the Dodgers were ready.

After Des Moines East shocked Fort Dodge in the Dodger gym to open tournament play last season, head coach Tom Daniel’s squad again found itself at a crossroads here last night. The Dodgers rallied the troops late, though, and pulled out a 59-47 victory to advance.

“They were in the game in the third quarter and we knew we had to keep fighting,” senior guard Malcolm Clayton said. “I just kept telling our guys, ‘don’t panic, just stay in the game. We can get this.'”

With six minutes left in regulation, the Dodgers (14-8 overall) trailed the Scarlets (0-22), 39-38. Fort Dodge then turned to a trapping full-court defense and flustered East into seven fourth-quarter turnovers.

“The first one is always the toughest to get, especially after last season,” said Daniel, who is now 98-124 in his 10-year career. “We were devastated after last season, and they were in the same situation … they had nothing to lose. We have a few things to clean up. We’re not using any excuses — we’re just happy to be moving on.

“It’s nice to get 14 wins for the first time in a while (since qualifying for state in 2006) and first time since I’ve been here. The biggest thing was in the locker room, nobody was hanging their heads. They realized that it was a tough victory and we’re moving on.”

Fort Dodge went on a 21-8 run to finish the contest and advanced to a 4A semifinals at seventh-ranked Johnston against the Dragons on Friday. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

“Last year was very disappointing,” Clayton said. “We knew this time we had to keep fighting. We were struggling for a little bit, but Trey (Mosley) was getting rebounds and made some big free throws (late).

“It was a huge game to get, and now we have Johnston. We’re looking forward to this game. We lost by four (there) and it was a big loss here. So we want another chance.”

Clayton came up big for the Dodgers in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of his team-high 19 points. He was 3-for-5 in the period from the floor, and 2 of 2 at the line.

Clayton finished with a double-double, pulling down 10 rebounds. He also moved into third on Dodgers all-time scoring charts with 1,060 points, passing two-time first team all-stater Mitch Eslick (1,057).

Clayton is behind only second place Wade Lookingbill (1,270) and leader Thomas Clark (1,309).

The Scarlets had a good gameplan coming in, working the ball down low to 6-foot-4 Bagat Anyang and kicking it back out to sophomore Davion Turner.

The Dodgers had a tough time with Anyang inside, as he had 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting. Turner added 16 points with three triples.

“We had a tough time in the post with Anyang, and then Turner hit some shots,” Daniel said. “(Anyang) is a nice player, and he was tough to defend.

“We were down with six minutes to go, but we had no sense of panic. This time, we finished the game out.”

Mosley struggled in the first three quarters, but came up big controlling the ball and knocking down three foul shots. Mosley also had six rebounds.

Junior Jordan Jackson reached double digits with 16 points. He was 6 of 11 from the field.

Junior Jace Peterson had 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

“Jordan did a great job attacking the basket, and Jace hit some huge shots,” Daniel said. “We did a good job against their 2-3 zone and not settling for threes.

“Our guys have put in a lot of work and fought through adversity. We struggled with a six point third quarter, but the 21 in the fourth was the difference.”


Fort Dodge — Trey Mosley 1-8 3-4 6, Malcolm Clayton 8-15 2-2 19, Jace Peterson 6-7 0-0 14, Tysen Kershaw 2-4 0-0 4, Jordan Jackson 6-11 4-7 16, Aaron Porter 0-2 0-0 0, Malikhk Lockman 0-0 0-0 0, Rodney Tilawen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-67 9-13 59.

Des Moines East – Scott Cooper 0-2 0-1 0, Isaiah Dameron 1-3 0-0 2, Davion Turner 6-13 1-4, Taryn Anderson 0-6 0-0 0, Bagat Anyang 10-11 1-3 21, TK Dabner 3-8 0-0 8, Katrell Graham 0-1 0-0 0, James Jefferson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-44, 2-8 47.

Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 12-11, 29-28, DM East led 37-35. Three-point goals: Fort Dodge 4-13 (Peterson 2-3, Mosley 1-4, Clayton 1-4, Kershaw 0-1, Jackson 0-1); Des Moines East 5-15 (Turner 3-8, Dabner 2-4, Dameron 0-1, Anderson 0-2); Total rebounds: Fort Dodge 23,Des Moines East 23; Turnovers: Fort Dodge 7, Des Moines East 17; Total fouls: Fort Dodge 13, Des Moines East 12.