Dodgers girls advance, push streak to 5
Winning games will boost a team’s confidence.
The Fort Dodge girls are now riding the wave of a rare five-game win streak as the postseason continues.
For the first time since the 2001-2002 season, the Dodger girls (8-9 overall) have taken five straight contests. They also took their first tournament game under third-year head coach Scott Messerly.
The Dodgers used a huge second quarter to roll past Sioux City North by an 80-32 final in a Class 5A regional quarterfinal.
“The girls are really playing well. No matter who you play, winning gives you momentum and an extra step of energy,” Messerly said. “It’s been a while since we’ve gotten past this point, so it’s great to see the girls continue to play well.”
Fort Dodge will now travel to Sioux City East (17-4 overall) on Saturday for a 5A semifinal. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
“Winning at the end of the season has definitely boosted our confidence and we are having fun playing,” said junior guard Tory Bennett. “It’s given us a chance to run our offense better and find the open girls.
“It feels really good to get past this first round of regionals since we’ve never done it before (with this current roster). Being at home and having our support system there cheering us on was a big asset to our confidence.”
The Dodgers (8-9), who have been using a pressure defense during their run, did it again to North (1-21). The Stars were able to fight through it in the first quarter, though, keeping the game to a 17-17 tie.
Fort Dodge regrouped and adjusted, putting the contest out of reach as they turned up the press.
“This is one of the best games we’ve played,” Messerly said. “They came in and were aggressive on our press, and they were knocking down shots. But we adjusted and were able to slow them down.
“We used our 1-2-1-1 and adjusted on our press. We played aggressive on defense. Tristin (Doster) was getting isolated once they adjusted, so we had to move some things around.”
The Dodgers outscored the Stars 36-10 in the second period, due in part to a 27-4 run to end the quarter. It was 53-27 at the intermission.
The third quarter was just as impressive for the Dodgers, earning a 17-4 advantage for a 39-point lead and a running clock for the last 11 minuets of regulation.
Bennett, a junior, led the Dodgers in scoring with 19 points. She finished with four three-pointers, nine rebounds, seven steals and seven assists.
Junior Aleaha Pommer was also in double figures with 15. Pommer had five rebounds and five steals.
“Aleaha had a slow start, but was able to help move the ball around and find some open players before she got into a rhythm,” Messerly said. “Tory just had a great all around game. She got some big steals and was strong on the glass.”
Jalen Adams added nine points on 3 of 5 shooting. The junior was 3-for-4 from the line.
Doster had eight points and seven rebounds for FDSH, which out-rebounded the Stars 32-20.
Fort Dodge had a big night from their bench as well. Sophomore Lainey Maehl, junior Ellie White, sophomore Paytene Hiveley and Taelore Presswood combined for 29 points.
Maehl tied her career-best with 11 points. White contributed eight points and Hiveley tallied seven points to go along with eight rebounds.
“Our inside players (Doster, Maehl and Hiveley) really played well and did a good job defensively,” Messerly said. “They gave us some big points (combining for 25).”
During their five game win streak, the Dodgers have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 232 points.
The victory gives the Dodgers the most wins in a single season since 2016-2017, when they had 10.
FORT DODGE 80, SIOUX CITY NORTH 32
Fort Dodge — Tory Bennett 6-14 4-4 19, Jalen Adams 3-5 3-4 9, Aleaha Pommer 5-13 2-2 15, Tristin Doster 2-3 4-8 9, Haley Wills 0-1 0-0 0, Ellie White 3-4 0-0 8, Lainey Maehl 5-8 1-3 11, Paytene Hiveley 3-6 1-2 7, Taelore Presswood 1-2 0-0 3, Morgan Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Mackenzie McIlrath 0-1 0-0 0, Mackenzie McIlrath 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 29-57 14-23 80.
Sioux City North — Madison Craighead 2-5 2-2 6, Hannah Mogensen 0-6 1-2 1, Sydney Rexius 6-7 0-1 14, Ashlyn Strohbeen 0-0 0-0 0, LJ Woods 3-6 2-4 8, Madalyn Welp 0-1 0-0 0, Gabby Eberly 0-4 0-0 0, Aracely Figueroa 0-0 1-1 1, Olivia Baier 0-4 0-2 0, Emma Gross 0-1 2-5 2, Sidney Chamberlain 0-0 0-1. Totals: 12-35 8-16 32.
Quarter scores: Tied 17-17, FD led 53-27, 70-31. Three-point goals: Fort Dodge 8-21 (Bennett 4-10, White 2-3, Pommer 1-6, Presswood 1-1, Wills 0-1); Sioux City North 2-8 (Rexius 2-2, Craighead 0-1, Mogensen 0-1, Baier 0-2, Eberly 0-2); Total rebounds: Fort Dodge 32, Sioux City North 17; Total fouls: Fort Dodge 17, 15; Total turnovers: Fort Dodge 10, Sioux City North 25.