BY CHUCK VANDENBERG – EDITOR
PEN CITY CURRENT
The Fort Madison varsity girls basketball team has a simple game plan. Win inside. And that game plan kept the Van Buren Warriors at bay all night as the ‘Hounds came away with a 48-43 win.
Senior sisters Mercedes and Mariah Trimble had their way in the paint most of the night for Fort Madison. Physical play inside usually leads to free throw attempts and the Trimbles were a perfect 11-11 at the free throw line with Mercedes going 8 for 8.
“Mercedes and Miriah stepped up big with free throws in the end,” said interim Head Coach Kent Bailey, whose Hounds had opened up a 9 point lead to start the fourth quarter and bucket and foul shot by Mercedes Trimble. However the Warriors weren’t going to let the game get away without a fight and slapped a press on the Hounds for most of the fourth quarter.
Bailey said even though the Trimbles are tough inside they are also seniors who can handle the ball.
“Mercedes is probably our best ball handler. But we’re still working with the idea that the ball is not a hot potato at times.”
A bucket by Amber Dilsaver at the 7 minute mark put Fort Madison up by 11 but then Van Buren outscored the Hounds 8 to 2 over the next 4 minutes and had closed the gap to 43-40 when Van Buren’s Alison Taylor hit a short jumper from outside the lane. Just prior to that bucket junior Amber Dilsaver who had three blocks on the night fouled out in transition.
Then Fort Madison went into ball control mode and kept the ball in the hands of the Trimbles. Mariah converted both ends of one-and-one with just over a minute left and Mercedes did the same on the next trip down the floor with Van Buren in full-on foul mode to seal the win.
“It’s a win. We’ll take a win,” Bailey said after the game. But his team’s sluggish work against Van Buren’s press is something that concerns him going into Saturday’s game at Notre Dame.
“We watched Van Buren play Notre Dame the other night and we know Notre Dame will press us tomorrow, so this kind of prepares us for that,” he said.
The Hounds are now 3-2 on the year and travel to Notre Dame for junior varsity/varsity girls/varsity boys set.
Amber Dilsaver had 9 points and three blocks for FM, Junior Taylor Shannon had 3, freshmen Anna Kester, Emily Mitchell and Brittiney Harris each had 2 for the Hounds.
Madison Bartholomew had 15 for the Warriors including three 3-point field goals and Allison Taylor had 10.