J-Hawks up next for Dodgers

Another challenging test awaits the Fort Dodge boys basketball team here tonight.

Looking to snap a mini-two game slide, the Dodgers (2-6 overall) welcome sixth-ranked (Class 4A) Urbandale.

Tip will follow the girls contest at around 7:45 p.m.

“Urbandale is one of the best teams in the state this year, and their ranking proves it,” FDSH head coach Tom Daniel said. “(The J-Hawks) have all the ingredients you need to be great. This is another opportunity for us to see where we stand.”

In its last outing on Friday, Fort Dodge saw a late rally fall short in a 56-51 home setback to Des Moines Roosevelt. Zach Martinson, a 6-foot-4 junior, delivered 14 points for the Dodgers, while classmate Blake Wilder added 12.

“After going back and looking at the film, I wasn’t real happy with how we performed (Friday),” said Daniel. “It looked better score-wise, though, which tells me we’re close and can compete. We’ve been working hard to correct our focus and avenge that loss (to the Roughriders).”

Junior JC Hatcher (13.6), Martinson (11.4) and junior Andrew Stover (8.6) are the offensive focal points for the Dodgers, whose victories this season came against Webster City (59-47) and CIC Northern Division foe Mason City (64-49). As a team, FDSH has gone just 41-for-86 from the charity stripe compared to 103 of 157 for the J-Hawks.

Since suffering its lone setback to Johnston, surging Urbandale (9-1) has reeled off six straight wins, including a 48-43 road triumph over Southeast Polk on Tuesday.

Austin Shappell (12.4), Nick Noah (11.4), Iowa State football recruit Allen Lazard (10.8) and Denny Agic (10.6) all score in double figures for the J-Hawks. Lazard also leads the team in total rebounds (85), assists (43) and steals (30).

Fort Dodge’s six losses this season have come against opponents with a combined 35-22 overall record.

Last winter, the Dodgers dropped a 71-62 decision at Urbandale despite a career-high 29 points from Martinson.