Dodgers ousted by Hoover
DES MOINES — The Des Moines Hoover boys turned to an unassuming leader to spearhead their Class 4A substate quarterfinal victory over Fort Dodge here on Monday night.
Jaden Loveless scored 12 points — triple his season average — and the Huskies won for the fifth consecutive time, ousting the Dodgers by a final of 60-40.
Sophomore Elijah Vos (16 points) and senior Manny Austin (13) both performed at or below their season averages. It was Loveless who burned Fort Dodge at critical times and wound up establishing separation for Hoover (13-4 overall).
“They had a balanced scoring attack, and shot the ball really well,” FDSH head coach Tom Daniel said. “They shot us out of our zone. Their offense typically runs through (Chase) Henderson and Vos, with Austin being the third piece. But Loveless got some big baskets and we just couldn’t overcome their depth.
“Our guys played hard. We were fighting right up until the end of the first half, but they hit a three-pointer to give them some momentum going into the break (up 26-14).
“This was a tough matchup for us. Hoover is obviously a talented ballclub, and they play hard.”
Senior Averey Martin again paced the Dodgers with 15 points. Junior Bradley Vodraska added seven points, three rebounds and three assists.
Martin was the lone senior on the Dodgers’ roster.
“Averey represented the school and our program well,” Daniel said. “He scored in double digits most nights (averaging 13.5 points for the year). He put in the work and stayed committed in a day and age where that isn’t always the ‘cool’ thing to do.
“He didn’t take the easy way out, despite being the only senior on a (junior-dominated team).”
Daniel, who completed his 13th year at the helm, added there’s “a lot we need to put into this coming offseason.”
“It’s big for our program. We’ll really benefit from a full summer. The pandemic put a lot of pressure on us to mesh and find a way to build chemistry when we didn’t have that time together in June, July and August.
“We have to work on team chemistry and building the continuity we lacked this season.”
DM HOOVER 60, FORT DODGE 40
DM Hoover — Elijah Vos 16, Manny Austin 13, Jaden Loveless 12.
Fort Dodge — Averey Martin 15, Bradley Vodraska 7, Carson Peterson 6, Triston Bockoven 5, Drake Callon 3, Alex Underwood 2, Jon Astor 1, Javion Jondle 1.
Quarter scores: Hoover led 9-6, 26-14, 42-25.