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Valley girls shake off FDSH

21-2 surge finally gives Tigers breathing room

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

A 40-point loss at West Des Moines Valley last month didn’t sit well with the Fort Dodge girls basketball team.

The Dodgers closed the gap and then some for most of Friday’s contest against the Tigers, trailing only 40-36 late in the third quarter. Valley delivered a 21-2 knockout punch late, though, to prevail by a 65-42 final in the FDSH gym.

Softball star Alex Honnold, who hadn’t visited Fort Dodge since her Tigers won the state softball championship last July at Rogers Park, returned to town with a vengeance with a 24-point performance. Honnold, a University of Missouri recruit on the diamond, made 9 of 13 shots from the field in the first three quarters of action alone.

“I thought we did a pretty solid job defensively on (Meredith) Rieker and (Grace) Plummer, but we just couldn’t contain Honnold,” FDSH head coach Scott Messerly said. “We’re still trying to get to the point against some of these good teams where we get a stop or a bucket to swing the momentum back in our favor.

“The last two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter really hurt, because it goes from a four-point game to a 15-point (deficit). And that just carried over into the (early stages of the) fourth (period). The six- or eight-point runs are tough to overcome, but going almost eight minutes with only two points and one (field goal) — you can’t do that against an opponent of Valley’s caliber.”

The Dodgers (6-13 overall, 2-7 in the CIML Iowa Conference) played the Tigers (12-7, 5-4) to a first-period stalemate at 14-14, and were still within striking distance at halftime, down 31-24. Junior Cheyenne Miller-Hameed then drilled a three-pointer and another bucket coming out of the break, and back-to-back Aleaha Pommer field goals made it 40-36 with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Maggie Hall answered with a triple, and consecutive Honnold baskets had Valley on its way for good.

Pommer finished with 12 points for FDSH, while Tory Bennett and Miller-Hameed added 11 each.

The Dodgers misfired on nine of their 10 tries from behind the arc, and were just 3-for-9 at the charity stripe.

“This isn’t an excuse necessarily, but two of our starters, Tristin (Doster) and Haley (Wills), were under the weather,” Messerly said. “They gutted it out, but I think we got kind of worn down in the end. Tory and Chey shot well, and Aleaha had a big first quarter (eight points).

“We gave a good effort and it was a positive to be more competitive than we were down there (in January), but I still think we have it in us to get closer and deeper into a game with a program like Valley.”

The Tigers are now 10-2 since a 2-5 start. They’ve won five in a row.

The Dodgers return to action on Tuesday at Des Moines East.

WDM VALLEY 65, FORT DODGE 42

West Des Moines Valley — Alex Honnold 9-13 5-8 24, Grace Plummer 6-14 0-0 15, Meredith Rieker 3-7 0-0 9, Maggie Hall 1-6 3-6 6, Hayley Chappell 2-5 0-0 5, Megan Weis 1-3 2-2 4, Maddie Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Kate Cairney 0-1 0-0 0, Ana Spaine 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Morrow 0-0 0-0 0, Brynne Katcher 0-0 0-0 0, Elisa Carver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51 10-16 65.

Fort Dodge — Aleaha Pommer 6-9 0-0 12, Tory Bennett 4-8 3-6 11, Cheyenne Miller-Hameed 5-11 0-1 11, Tristin Doster 2-5 0-0 4, Haley Wills 0-0 0-0 0, Ellie White 1-2 0-0 2, Lainey Maehl 1-2 0-1 2, Jalen Adams 0-5 0-0 0, Rachel Sporrer 0-1 0-1 0, Taelore Presswood 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-43 3-9 42.

Quarter scores: Tied 14-14; Valley led 31-24, 51-36. Three-point goals: Valley 9-25 (Plummer 3-7, Rieker 3-7, Chappell 1-2, Honnold 1-3, Hall 1-4, Weis 0-1, Cairney 0-1); Fort Dodge 1-10 (Miller-Hameed 1-5, Bennett 0-3, Adams 0-1, White 0-1). Turnovers: Valley 16, Fort Dodge 19. Total fouls: Valley 16, Fort Dodge 13.