BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PEN CITY EDITOR
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Bloodhounds gave up more points to Washington Tuesday night than they have to any other team all year. Fortunately the Hounds returned the favor by putting up more points than they have all year and sent the Demons home with the loss 72-59.
Head Coach Ryan Wilson said the Bloodhounds, coming out of the Christmas break, were ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in scoring defense allowing only 42 points per game.
“We gave up 59 so I was a little selfish in the lockerroom after the game,” Wilson said. “But we put up 70 so ‘ll take it.”
The Hounds jumped all over Washington out of the gate and had the game well in hand despite several times where the Demons closed the gap to 7.
Jumping out to a 20-5 first quarter lead, the Hounds then traded buckets with Washington for the first part of the second quarter before stalling out at 29 for about four minutes. During that time the Demons were able to close the gap to 11 at the four-minute mark. The Hounds managed to convert one 3-point basket in the last three minutes taking a 36-26 lead into the lockerroom.
The teams took turns with baby runs throughout the third period highlighted by back-to-back three pointers by Kaleb Cresswell and C.J. Richardson at the 4-minute mark but the teams began trading buckets again and the Hounds rolled through the third period with a 12-point lead.
The fourth quarter saw some inside production from the Hounds. Cresswell had a nifty crossover and pulled up at the top of the key on the right side for a jumper and then junior Elijah Barnes took over the inside for the Hounds.
“Caleb shot the ball really well. I’ve been working with him on the upper part of the lane,” Wilson said. “He’s got to be able to get there and hit that pull up because he’ll over dribble and get caught in the middle where defenses can knock that shot around.”
Barnes finished with a season-high 14 points, including 10 in the second half to help fill the gap when senior Austin Rose fouled out.
“He stepped up and he’s capable of that,” Wilson said. He played like that last year in the first round district game. We have those talks and I tell him he’s capable of it… and we need to see it. He played hard, finished at the rim and knocked down a couple of free throws.”
Wilson said Rose plays with such intensity that it’s tough to coach him out of that.
“You can’t get mad at him because he plays so hard. You can’t coach that. You either have it or you don’t.”
Cresswell finished with 26 points to lead the Hounds followed by CJ Richardson with 15 and Barnes’ 11. Logan Rashid had 9 points for the Hounds followed by Treavor Kokjohn with 6 and Rose with two.