BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was a crosstown rival hoops contest served with a lot of hoops and some cake and ice cream.
The Fort Madison Bloodhounds won their eighth game of the last nine with a 92-67 win over Holy Trinity Catholic on Saturday night on the Hounds’ annual Cake Auction night.
The Hounds’ senior Treavor James-Kokjohn provided a little icing of his own with a dunk toward the end of the third quarter. The bucket was nullified and James-Kokjohn was assessed a technical when he hung on the rim just long enough for the ball, which bounced on the rim, to go up and back in the hoop.
The Hounds had already put a 23-8 lead on the young Crusaders, as junior Logan Rashid was hitting from everywhere but the cafeteria enroute to a 22-point first half. Rashid connected on four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone.
Despite the Hounds leading by as many as 21, HTC playing with no seniors and only one junior, kept putting up points and working the ball into sophomore post Matt Hellige, who finished with 17 points on the night in the paint.
Sophomore Reed Fehseke also seemed to find another gear for the Crusaders as he put up 16 points in the first half to lead HTC.
In the third period, the Bloodhounds flirted with a 35-point continuous clock, but Holy Trinity kept countering with buckets on the other end to keep the margin under the rule.
Fort Madison pushed the lead to as many as 31 with less than a minute remaining in the third period, but two free throws by Hellige got the margin back under 30. The two teams traded buckets throughout the fourth quarter as Fort Madison Head Coach Ryan Wilson emptied the bench with about five minutes left in the game.
“We had four guys in double figures. I was really happy with the way these boys played against a very-well coached, disciplined 10-4 Class 3A school,” said HTC coach John Hellige
“This is a crosstown rival and these kids all know each other and have played together. I’m just super proud of the way these kids played all the way to the end.”
Wilson said the rivalry wasn’t lost on his team either.
“The kids said in the lockerroom that they wanted to win this game and let the town see how good we can play,” he said.
Rashid’s first-half performance wasn’t unexpected.
“He played well,” Wilson said. “It was his night to step up and he got some open looks.”
Feheske led the Crusaders with 21 points, followed by Hellige’s 17, Quentin Scheider had 13 for HTC, and Brant Holtkamp had 11. Rounding out the scoring for the visitors was Jake Eaves with three and Blake Crabtree with two.
James-Kokjohn and Rashid each had 23 for Fort Madison, Kaleb Cresswell had 16 on the night followed by Brandon Keester and Lorenzo Riles who each had eight, Parker Denning had seven points, AJ Nolting had three, and Romeo Maestro and Jayden Fedler each had two.
Last year through 14 games the Hounds were 9-5. Wilson said with this year’s 10-4 mark his squad may be playing a little better.
“I really hope so. We’ve had a pretty good start, but we had a couple mistakes in the early going that cost us some games,” Wilson said. “But we’ve got a slough of tough games coming up this week.”
Tuesday starts the madness when 14-0 Clark County, ranked in top 20 in the state of Missouri according to MaxPreps, comes to town on Tuesday night. They bring with them 6’7″ Chandler Bevans.
“Kaleb and Treavor have seen him in club ball and he’s a pretty tough player,” Wilson said.
The week doesn’t get any better when the Bloodhounds travel to 5th-ranked Mt. Pleasant on Friday, and then travel to Central Lee on Saturday. The Hounds are currently ranked 24th in Class 3A according to MaxPreps.com.
HTC won the junior varsity contest 54-47. Chandler Rung led all scorers with 19 for Holy Trinity. Parker Denning had 15 for the Hounds.