Dodger boys pull away from Mason City

MASON CITY – The Fort Dodge boys basketball team will be heading into the holiday break on a high note.

Behind a stingy defensive effort, the Dodgers (4-2 overall, 2-0 in the CIC Northern Division) posted a decisive 65-48 victory over rival Mason City here on Friday night.

“One of the main keys to the game was getting off to a great start (FDSH built a 12-3 lead out of the gate),” said Fort Dodge head coach Tom Daniel. “We ended up losing our lead in the second half when we got a little sloppy, but then we held (the Mohawks) scoreless for seven minutes.

“Our defense really picked us up and gave us a nice cushion.”

Senior Blake Wilder had a double-double for the Dodgers with 19 points and 12 rebounds. JC Hatcher (15) and Krunal Thakor (13) were the other top offensive performers for FDSH. Hatcher was also a perfect 9 of 9 at the free throw line with five assists, while Zach Martinson grabbed 10 boards.

After trailing 33-32 with 5:13 left in the third quarter, the Dodgers reeled off the next 14 points.

“We had three guys score in double figures, which always makes it tough for teams to stop,” Daniel said. “Alex Jackson had a great game off the bench with four assists, and (Andrew) Stover did a good job of guarding (Matt) Meyer.

“It was nice to get a win and build a lot of positive energy before Christmas.”

Meyer finished with 22 points for Mason City (2-3, 0-2), while Austin Hemmen added 13.

Hatcher now ranks 10th on Fort Dodge’s all-time scoring list with 698 points.

Next outing for the Dodgers is Jan. 3 at Ankeny (1-5). The Hawks suffered a lopsided 84-47 setback to No. 5 (Class 4A) Ankeny Centennial on Friday.