Fort Dodge squares off with No. 7 WDM Valley at home

Fort Dodge jumps right into the deep end of the 2021-22 girls basketball season on Tuesday night at home against seventh-ranked (Class 5A) West Des Moines Valley.

Head coach Scott Messerly’s Dodgers return four starters and seven regulars from last season’s rotation. Fort Dodge was 8-10 a year ago.

The Tigers were 10-7 last winter, and like the Dodgers, have four of their top five scorers back. Senior Meredith Rieker averaged 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds, with sophomores Sophia Hope (9.9 points per game), Elise Jaeger (6.7) and Jayci Loecke (5.9) also in the mix again.

Loecke also grabbed 7.3 rebounds last winter, with Hope hauling in 5.6 boards.

Valley has size FDSH may struggle to neutralize, as Jaeger (6-foot-1), Rieker (5-10) and Hope (5-10) are three of six athletes on the roster listed at 5-10 or taller.

The Tigers advanced to a 5A regional final last February, bowing out against Cedar Falls.

Fort Dodge welcomes back four-year regulars and seniors Tory Bennett (11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.2 steals); Aleaha Pommer (12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds); Jalen Adams (6.1 points); and Haley Wills, as well as junior forwards Lainey Maehl and Paytene Hiveley and senior Taelore Presswood. Sophomore Mackenzie McIlrath is also expected to be in the rotation.


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