BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Bloodhounds took a big bite out of a tough week with a hard fought win over Missouri’s No. 4 ranked Class 3 Clark County.
The Hounds needed to hold off a late run by the Indians in the fourth quarter to seal a 59-52 win and move to 11-4 on the season with No. 4 Mt. Pleasant looming in a Friday contest.
The Hounds had a slim 26-24 lead at halftime and Clark County’s 6’7 Chandler Bevans was just getting heated up with 10 points in the first half. Fort Madison senior Kaleb Cresswell had 11 points in the first half but picked up his third personal foul early in the third period and had to take a seat next to head coach Ryan Wilson. Senior Treavor James-Kokjohn had eight in the first half for the Hounds.
At the 6:37 mark, Fort Madison held a 51-44 lead, but the Indians’ senior Cole Kirchner buried a 3-ball from the right side to cut the lead to four. Fort Madison’s Sheymouhr Redd-Donald missed a 3-pointer after good ball movement by the Hounds found him wide open on the left side. On the next possession, Clark County’s senior Zeb Riney hit another 3-pointer, this time from the left as the Indians worked the ball inside out with Bevans in the post, to make it a one-point game 51-50.
Wilson put Cresswell back in with about four minutes left in the game and Cresswell took an errant Hound shot back through the lane where he was fouled converting the layup. He converted the freebie and the Hounds were back up by four 54-50.
The Indians then missed four straight from the field and were called for three personal fouls in the next 1:30 to put the Hounds in the bonus. Kirchner fouled the Hounds’ point guard Logan Rashid with :57 left in the game and Rashid converted both freethrows. Bevans scored over James-Kokjohn on the next possession to make it 56-52 with :40 left, but the Indians again fouled Rashid.
The junior hit the first end of the one-and-one, but the second caromed off the right side of the rim where Sheymouhr Redd-Donald was there to clean it up and kick it out to let the Hounds run a little more off the clock. The Indians were forced to foul in the possession and Rashid capped the win with two more free throws with :17 left to put the Hounds up by the final margin.
Sheymouhr played a great third quarter offensively and defensively,” Wilson said. “He stepped up big with Kaleb in foul trouble and that rebound off the missed free throw at the end was the biggest of the game.”
Wilson said it was the best effort the team has put forth this year.
“This was our best game all season. We played as a team all around and we will need to duplicate tonight’s effort on Friday against a very good Mt. Pleasant team.”
Rashid and Cresswell finished with 14 points each to lead Fort Madison. James-Kokjohn had 10 points on the night, but held Bevans to just a bucket in the 3rd quarter and seven total in the half. Redd-Donald finished with seven points, Brandon Keester had 6 and Lorenzo Riles and Jayden Fedler each had four points for Fort Madison.
The Hounds travel to Mt. Pleasant on Friday for a junior varsity/varsity double header starting at 4:45 p.m.