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Dodger girls fall to West

The Waterloo West girls were relentless in both their full-court defense and shooting on Saturday night, and Fort Dodge simply couldn’t keep up in a 70-35 loss to the 14th-ranked (Class 5A) Wahawks in the Dodger gym.

West forced 32 turnovers and fired up 31 three-point attempts in a dizzying pace that had head coach Scott Messerly’s squad gasping for air. Fort Dodge, meanwhile, managed just 30 tries total from the field in dropping its fourth consecutive contest — all to ranked opponents.

“It became kind of a simple concept: at halftime, we talked about just being able to get more looks,” Messerly said. “The first quarter, in particular, was rough. Those slow starts take us out of the game before we even have a chance to try and settle in.”

The Dodgers (1-5 overall) turned the ball over 13 times in the opening period alone, as the Wahawks (5-1) darted ahead 23-4. It was 30-6 in favor of West before Fort Dodge finally caught its breath and reeled off 10 of the next 12 points.

Trailing by 20 points at halftime, the Dodgers had attempted just 10 field goals — compared to 42 total shots from West.

“We did a better job in the second quarter of being aggressive and at least getting to the free throw line (Fort Dodge was 10-for-13 at the charity stripe in the period),” Messerly said. “Their pressure was obviously a factor, but we also struggled with a lot of basic stuff and got in our own way too much with so many of those turnovers.

“They sped us up and we panicked.”

The Wahawks’ frontcourt of Sahara Williams, Brooklynn Smith and Gabrielle Moore had its way with the Dodgers on the low blocks and the boards. Williams is 5-foot-11, Smith is 6-3, and Moore is 5-10. The trio combined for 35 points.

West has now won four games by at least 17 points in the early stages of the year. The Wahawks drilled No. 5 Cedar Falls on Friday, 60-43.

Fort Dodge’s five setbacks have come against sixth-rated Urbandale, No. 9 Ames, eighth-ranked Waukee, No. 14 West and Ankeny — programs with a combined record so far of 22-7.

“It’s been a tough stretch, no doubt,” Messerly said. “But we have control over how much energy we show and how much we communicate. We just aren’t consistent enough with either right now. So hopefully we get things figured out and turned around a little this week.”

Sophomore Aleaha Pommer led the Dodgers with 10 points, including a 6-for-7 effort at the foul line. Classmate Tory Bennett added eight points, and junior Cheyenne Miller-Hameed contributed six.

Four West players finished in double figures: Williams (15 points), Lauren Conrey (15), Halli Poock (13) and Smith (12).

Fort Dodge faces Des Moines Hoover (0-6) at home and Marshalltown (1-5) on the road this week on Tuesday and Friday, respectively.

WATERLOO WEST 70,

FORT DODGE 35

Waterloo West — Sahara Williams 6-14 1-2 15, Lauren Conrey 5-16 1-2 15, Halli Poock 6-11 1-1 13, Brooklynn Smith 5-8 2-5 12, Gabrielle Moore 3-14 2-2 8, Ashley Nystrom 2-3 0-0 5, Sierra Burt 1-5 0-0 2, Ajla Dzelic 0-0 0-2 0, Brianna McPoland 0-0 0-0 0, Jaide Domatob 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-71 7-14 70.

Fort Dodge — Aleaha Pommer 2-5 6-7 10, Tory Bennett 3-7 2-2 8, Cheyenne Miller-Hameed 1-4 4-6 6, Jalen Adams 1-4 0-0 3, Tristin Doster 0-1 2-6 2, Nicole Guerin 1-1 0-0 2, Rachel Sporrer 1-1 0-0 2, Lainey Maehl 1-3 0-1 2, Taelore Presswood 0-2 0-0 0, Paytene Hiveley 0-1 0-0 0, Jacy Daniel 0-1 0-0 0, Haley Wills 0-0 0-0 0, Ellie White 0-0 0-0 0, Jebreauna Clark 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-30 14-22 35.

Quarter scores: West led 23-4, 38-18, 59-27. Three-point goals: West 7-31 (Conrey 4-11, Williams 2-6, Nystrom 1-2, Moore 0-5, Poock 0-4, Burt 0-3); Fort Dodge 1-9 (Adams 1-4, Bennett 0-2, Presswood 0-2, Daniel 0-1). Turnovers: Fort Dodge 32, West 14. Total fouls: Fort Dodge 14, West 18.