Dodgers stay hot as ’Cats start cold

PHOTO BY BRITT KUDLA/FORT DODGE MESSENGER

FORT DODGE — The Dodgers have proven their mettle eight games into the season, and a staunch first-quarter performance was all the proof the Bobcats needed on Friday night.

The Fort Dodge boys’ basketball team jumped all over Marshalltown in their CIML Iowa Conference rematch, taking a 14-0 lead through the opening quarter en route to a 75-36 triumph.

It marked the sixth win in seven games for the Dodgers, whose only losses are to ranked Waukee and West Des Moines Valley squads. Fort Dodge’s defense ranks third in Class 4A, allowing only 43.6 points per game, and it improved upon that mark thanks to a fast start and the Bobcats’ cold shooting early.

“We had a lid on that thing,” MHS coach Scott Smith said of the basket in the early going. “The kids have shot so well in practice and in warm-ups, but give Fort Dodge credit, that’s the second game in a row they’ve held an opponent to less than 20 points in a half.

“We battled back as I knew we would, but that’s such a tall hill to climb.”

PHOTO BY BRITT KUDLA/FORT DODGE MESSENGER

Luke Appel scored a game-high 18 points for the Bobcats (1-8, 0-4), but he was the only MHS player to reach double-figures. Josh Melde made a pair of 3-pointers on his way to eight points, and Dayton Slifer added a triple.

Malcolm Clayton led Fort Dodge with 15 points, while Jordan Jackson tallied 10 points. Brady Read and Solomon Clayton added eight points apiece.

The Dodgers also forced MHS into 12 turnovers while committing just five themselves.

“A lot of times when you play a team more athletic and quicker than you, you try to do things more rapidly than we need to,” Smith said. “We were hurrying tonight, just really were unsettled. We just never got on track.”

The Bobcats are back at home for two games next week, hosting Des Moines East on Tuesday and Dowling Catholic on Friday.

Fort Dodge 75, Marshalltown 36

FORT DODGE (6-2, 4-0) — Malcolm Clayton 5-9 4-4 15, Jordan Jackson 5-10 0-0 10, Solomon Clayton 3-6 2-2 8, Brady Read 4-6 0-0 8, Trey Mosley 2-6 0-0 5, Austin Gehlhausen 2-3 0-0 6, Marco Fumagalli 2-2 2-2 6, Damion Chavez 3-4 0-0 6, Edker Foy 1-4 3-4 5, Silas Naylor 1-3 0-0 2, Joe Artis 1-2 0-0 2, Jace Peterson 1-2 0-0 2, Edward Crawford 0-3 0-0 0. TOTALS 30-63 11-12 75.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-8, 0-4) — Luke Appel 7-20 2-5 18, Josh Melde 2-8 2-4 8, Dayton Slifer 1-4 0-0 3, Austin Tullis 1-5 0-2 2, Blake Linsenmeyer 0-3 0-0 0, Marquis Haynes 0-0 2-2 2, Jacob Smith 1-4 0-2 2, Reid Nenning 0-0 1-2 1, Conner Beaty 0-3 0-0 0, Ryan Bates 0-1 0-0 0, Tyrell Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Sean McWilliams 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12-48 7-17 36.

MHS 0 10 18 8 — 36

FORT DODGE 14 15 20 26 — 75

3-Point Goals — Marshalltown 5-22 (Melde 2-4, Appel 2-9, Slifer 1-4, Beaty 0-3, Smith 0-1, Davis 0-1).