Dodgers set to face Roosevelt

The Fort Dodge boys and girls basketball teams will start 2013 at home, hosting Des Moines Roosevelt this evening.

Action starts with the girls contest at 6:15 p.m. The boys tip at approximately 7:45 p.m.

The Fort Dodge boys and head coach Tom Daniel are hoping the extended break between games has allowed his team a chance to heal up and become more accustom to one another.

“We were pretty basic at the beginning of the year, but the longer practices have given us a chance to work on some new things,” Daniel said. “We’ve come a long way as a team and shown growth – now we need to get on the court and see where we are at.”

The Dodgers (2-5 overall) split their final two before the holiday, defeating Mason City before falling to No. 9 (Class 4A) Ankeny.

JC Hatcher leads FDSH in scoring, posting 14.3 per game. Zach Martinson is averaging 10.8 since returning to the court four games ago.

Roosevelt (6-1) has won six straight since opening the year with a loss to Dowling. The Roughriders are paced by senior Chris Bennett, who is posting 20 points and grabbing 8.6 boards a night.

Tate Larsen, another senior, is averaging 13.1, as Roosevelt is scoring 61.4 points per game and hitting 50-percent of its shots from the field.

“Bennett and Larsen are a tough duo,” Daniel said. “Bennett killed us last year (when Roosevelt eliminated Fort Dodge from the postseason). He is the more well-known of the two, but Larsen has a tremendous knack for getting to the basket.

“Roosevelt is a tremendous rebounding team and we are going to have to box out and limit their second chances. If we don’t, it’s going to be a long night.”

The Dodger girls (2-6) have dropped six consecutive since posting back-to-back victories. Lani Van Zyl leads them in scoring at 9.1, while Ashley Altman, Lexi Astor and Mallory Killian are all averaging six per.

Roosevelt (4-4) has picked up two straight wins and three of its last four. Sophomore Meredith Burkhall, a 6-foot-4 post player, is averaging just under 15 points on 67-percent shooting from the floor.