Tigers pull away from Dodger boys

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge’s Jaheim Clayton puts up a shot against West Des Moines Valley’s Garang Deng on Friday in the Dodger gym. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net

The Fort Dodge boys basketball team has gone through varying stages of frustration this season.

For a while, the Dodgers simply weren’t competitive enough to throw a serious scare into their CIML opponents. Now, head coach Tom Daniel’s squad is disappointed they can’t get over the hump at crunch time.

Fort Dodge continued its much more aggressive recent style of play Friday night, as the Dodgers were tied with West Des Moines Valley heading into the fourth quarter. The Tigers pulled away with a near-perfect final period, though, missing only one shot and turning a deadlocked game into a deceptively-comfortable 67-47 victory.

Valley (12-5 overall, 7-2 in the CIML Iowa Conference) made eight of its nine field goal attempts down the stretch in winning its fifth consecutive contest. The Tigers outscored FDSH (1-17, 0-9) by a 24-4 count in that last frame as the Dodgers hit a wall and went ice cold.

“We just really struggled to make shots late,” Daniel said. “Effort wasn’t a problem. We worked. We played hard. But when we needed to stop the bleeding (in the fourth quarter), we didn’t get a stop defensively and had too many turnovers.

“Our execution wasn’t consistent enough. They extended their defense and we weren’t able to answer (the on-ball pressure).”

After falling behind 5-0 almost immediately, the Dodgers responded with a 15-2 burst as senior Jaheim Clayton tallied 10 first-quarter points. The Tigers erased that deficit and took a five-point lead into halftime, but Fort Dodge counter-punched with four treys in the third period to knot the score at 43-all.

“We were strong early, then after a lull (in the second quarter), we made a nice push and put ourselves in position. That’s what we need to continue to do,” Daniel said. “Jaheim gave us great minutes and energy. Dayson (Clayton) played well. So did Tysen (Kershaw). I think we did a good job defensively through the first three quarters, too. But it’s tough to win when you turn the ball over like we did (in the fourth period) and teams are able to work from (the comfort zone) of an 8-10 point cushion.”

Jaheim Clayton had a career-high 18 points, making 7 of 11 shots from the field and four triples. Kershaw added 11 and Dayson Clayton contributed 10.

Ty Walker finished with 20 points for the Tigers, sinking 7 of 10 field goal tries and four three-point baskets of his own. Jake Auer chipped in 13.

Fort Dodge returns to action on Tuesday at Des Moines East.


West Des Moines Valley — Ty Walker 7-10 2-2 20, Jake Auer 4-8 3-3 13, Trajen Thornton 2-5 2-2 7, Eli Raridon 3-7 0-1 6, Drew Jirak 2-7 0-0 4, Grant Rieker 3-6 0-0 8, Garang Deng 2-2 1-2 5, Truman Morse 1-4 2-2 4, Colby Christensen 0-0 0-0 0, Mason Morrow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-49 10-12 67.

Fort Dodge — Jaheim Clayton 7-11 0-0 18, Tysen Kershaw 2-4 6-6 11, Dayson Clayton 3-7 1-2 10, Carson Peterson 1-5 3-4 5, Drake Callon 1-3 1-2 3, Nolan Daniel 0-3 0-0 0, Monterius Altman-Abrams 0-3 0-0 0 , Asle Thorson 0-1 0-1 0, Brycen Bell 0-0 0-0 0, Ashton Hage 0-1 0-0 0, James Daniel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-38 11-15 47.

Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 18-12; Valley led 29-24; Tied 43-43. Three-point goals: Valley 9-19 (Walker 4-6, Auer 2-6, Rieker 2-3, Thornton 1-3, Morse 0-1); Fort Dodge 8-18 (J. Clayton 4-7, D. Clayton 3-6, Kershaw 1-1, Altman-Abrams 0-2, N. Daniel 0-1, Peterson 0-1). Turnovers: Valley 7, Fort Dodge 13. Total fouls: Valley 16, Fort Dodge 17.


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