Dodger girls fall to DM Roosevelt

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Nicole Guerin of Fort Dodge shoots around Roosevelt Grace Cumming on Tuesday

Before the Fort Dodge girls are able to put together complete games against the CIML’s more talented programs, the Dodgers must first prove they are capable of remaining competitive for sustained stretches of time.

Head coach Scott Messerly’s squad took a positive step foward after an ominous start Tuesday, matching Des Moines Roosevelt point for point and then some in the second half of a 61-35 Roughrider victory.

The scoreboard indicated FDSH was on the receiving end of another lopsided setback. Given the 35-8 Dodger deficit with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter, though, Messerly was pleased that his team showed some resilience and tenacity against a Roosevelt ballclub that has now won five in a row.

“We challenged the girls at halftime about doing the little things, like rebounding, defense and hustling, that could at least keep us in the game. And to their credit, they responded,” Messerly said. “They’re learning. When you’ve struggled the way we have, a slow start like that can really affect your attitude and body language. But we didn’t quit, and played relatively well the rest of the way. It’s just a matter of cleaning things up and not having so many empty possessions (due to) correctable mistakes and turnovers we make.”

Fort Dodge had five of the final seven points in the second period, thanks to a Tory Bennett bucket and a Jalen Adams three-pointer right before the horn. The Dodgers (0-12) then maintained that momentum for the entire second half, out-scoring Roosevelt (6-5) by a 24-22 margin.

Adams, a freshman, had nine points to lead FDSH, while fellow starters Bennett and Aleaha Pommer added six points each.

All six of senior reserve Juliet Thompson’s points came after the break. Thompson, who has dealt with a number of injuries throughout her basketball career, gave the Dodgers “the kind of tough minutes we need,” according to Messerly.

“She was a spark, and that energy spread,” Messerly said. “It’s important for all basketball teams to have those players who show some fight and are willing to play with an edge. It was very encouraging to see Juliet embrace that role.”

Freshman Amaya Davidson led the Roughriders with 16 points, while senior Sanaa Smith added 13. Junior Asantee Tillman contributed 11 off the bench for Roosevelt, which has now defeated Des Moines East, Des Moines Hoover, Des Moines Lincoln, Des Moines North and the Dodgers in consecutive fashion.

“Their size gave us some issues, and they shot the ball really well, especially in that first half,” Messerly said. “We’re improving in some aspects, but we have to start making strides in others, too.”

Fort Dodge faces second-ranked (Class 4A) Mason City at home on Friday at 6:15 p.m.


Des Moines Roosevelt — Amaya Davidson 6-11 4-6 16, Sanaa Smith 4-12 4-4 13, Grace Cumming 3-12 1-3 7, Alesha Henderson 2-3 0-0 4, Troyisha Merrett 1-3 0-0 2, Asantee Tillman 5-6 1-5 11, Mya Williams 2-4 0-0 4, Karisma Wright 1-1 0-0 2, Hailey Crozier 1-1 0-0 2, Ziaire Ewing 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-54 11-21 61.

Fort Dodge — Jalen Adams 4-7 0-1 9. Aleaha Pommer 1-6 4-8 6, Tory Bennett 3-15 0-0 6, Tristin Doster 1-3 1-1 3, Cheyenne Miller-Hameed 0-8 2-2 2, Juliet Thompson 1-1 4-6 6, Nicole Guerin 1-2 0-2 2, Tatum Lundberg 0-0 1-2 1, Ellie White 0-1 0-0 0, Ebonee Altman 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Sporrer 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Wills 0-0 0-0 0.

Quarter scores: Roosevelt led 17-5, 37-13, 51-22. Three-point goals: Roosevelt 1-5 (Smith 1-3, Davidson 0-1, Merrett 0-1); Fort Dodge 1-7 (Adams 1-3, Bennett 0-4). Turnovers: Roosevelt 13, Fort Dodge 15. Total fouls: Roosevelt 21, Fort Dodge 18.