FD boys roll in finale
The Fort Dodge boys earned more than just a mark in the win column here Friday night.
Behind a trio of double-figure scorers, the Dodgers picked up a 69-61 victory over Southeast Polk in their regular season finale inside the FDSH gym.
Zach Martinson came off the bench to score 19 points, while JC Hatcher added 18 and Blake Wilder scored 14 as Fort Dodge (8-13 overall) shot 25 of 33 from the free throw line in avenging an earlier season loss to the Rams (9-12).
“I think that’s got to be a team-best since I started coaching here in terms of free throw shooting,” FDSH head coach Tom Daniel said. “We played one of the best first halves of the year, and while we struggled a bit in the second half, I was proud of the way our kids battled and hung tough.”
The Dodgers hit on 83-percent of their shots in the second quarter, building a 41-25 lead. Martinson scored 14 in the opening 16 minutes, while Hatcher added 15.
“We did a lot of great things there in the first half. Zach came off the bench and hit some big shots, JC had his typical strong offensive game, and our perimeter defense forced (Southeast Polk) to take several contested shots,” Daniel said. “The Rams continued to apply pressure with their three-point shooting, but our kids made their free throws and stepped up.”
Fort Dodge closed the third quarter on a 10-0 run, pushing its lead to 55-39. Southeast Polk would get no closer than six the rest of the way, as the Dodgers knocked in 12 of 20 from the charity stripe.
The Rams, who missed 13 free throws of their own, did knock down 12 three-pointers. They entered the game second in Class 4A with 448 made triples.
Tucker Kamman scored a game-high 27 points for Southeast Polk, while Nick Arnold added 18.
Andrew Stover swiped six steals, and Wilder grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Lone senior Tyler Vaughn, who was honored before the game, scored seven points and had three steals.
“We are now entering the postseason, and we are going to need to continue to do all the little things right in order to advance,” Daniel said. “(Friday) was a building block that we can use over these next few days to get ready for Johnston.”
The Dodgers host a Class 4A substate quarterfinal vs. the Dragons inside the FDSH gym Monday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Earlier this year, Fort Dodge defeated Johnson (9-12) by a 46-31 count on the road. The winner heads to Des Moines Roosevelt on Friday, Feb. 22, for a game against the Roughriders (16-5).