BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Bloodhounds shook off a handy beating at the hands of 6th ranked Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday and found their winning ways Friday.
The Hounds used 19 first half points from junior Kaleb Cresswell to knock visiting Keokuk 64-43 in Southeast Conference action. The win moves Fort Madison to 8-3 on the season and 4-1 in conference play.
The game served as a Coaches v. Cancer night at the Hound Dome with activities planned at halftime of the girls and boys game and between the games.
Wilson said he wanted to capitalize on that to let his team have a little fun before the game.
“I talked about it before the game, that we needed energy. Even Tuesday our warmup was lackadaisic and didn’t have a lot of energy. They’re focused, but there isn’t a lot energy and enthusiasm,” Wilson said. “I told them tonight to come out and have fun in the warmups and show some emotion and get into it. And we got out to a pretty good start.”
Cresswell hit four 3-pointers in the first half and converted 5-of-7 free throws to lead the crimson and black to a 33-18 first half lead. Keokuk switched up their defense to take Cresswell out of his rhythm, but then the rest of the Hounds stepped up and spread out the scoring as Cresswell was able to dish off of double teams to open players. The Hounds converted eight 3-pointers in the game.
At one point during the first half the Hounds held the Chiefs scoreless for five minutes at 7 points and outscored Keokuk 16-6 in the second quarter.
It was more of the same in a more physical second half as the Hounds wouldn’t let the Chiefs get closer than 15 after a 33-22 lead with just two minutes gone in the third quarter.
Landon Bentley chipped in with 9 points and three other Hounds had eight including Logan Rashid, CJ Richardson and Treavor Kokjohn. Shance Redd-Donald had five points all in the second half off the bench to help put the game away in the fourth quarter.
“Shance Redd Donald stepped up tonight and scored 5 points. He got some easy buckets and he’s a kid that has to be aggressive. We need that team basketball,” Wilson said.
“But it was a great win. It’s always good to beat Keokuk and this is the first time we’ve swept them in a long time.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Hounds was Austin Rose with 4, Sheymouhr Redd-Donald with 2 and Lorenzo Riles with 1.
Keokuk was paced by Damon Wolter with 17 and Isaac Dunlap with 12. The Chiefs are winless at 0-11. The Hounds travel to Burlington Tuesday for girls/boys varsity doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.