DONNELLSON – The Central Lee Hawks came back from a 10-point deficit to knock off Fort Madison Saturday night in high school boys basketball action.
Central Lee senior Evan Doyle connected on two free throws with 1:11 left to tie the game at 59 and then the Hawks tied up Fort Madison’s inbound pass which went back to Central Lee. Senior Jared Brisby then scored inside on the Hawks possession to take a two-point lead with about 45 seconds remaining.
Fort Madison scored inside on their next possession when junior Logan Rashid found Treavor James-Kokjohn under the basket.
Central Lee got the ball in quickly and found Isaac Moeller on the run for a layup to go up by 2 63-61. The Hounds turned the ball over past the half-court line and Brisby raced to the other end where he was fouled before getting to the hoop. The senior converted both for a four point lead with just over a second remaining and the Hounds couldn’t get a shot before the buzzer.
The Hounds found themselves behind early on being down by as much as four in the first quarter, but back-to-back 3-balls by senior Kaleb Cresswell put the Hounds up 15-13 with about 1:40 left in the first quarter. Cresswell, who finished with 15 points in the first half, all on 3-pointers, was held to just two points in the second half.
The Hounds, in the middle of a 13-0 run, got a couple of free throws from James-Kokjohn and a 3-pointer from Brandon Keester off the bench to stretch the lead to 22-15 in the second quarter. Cresswell would hit again from long range to make it a 10-point lead and then the two teams traded buckets the rest of the way through the period. Central Lee got a couple of 3-pointers from Doyle and junior Sam Himer to help the Hawks cut the lead to eight at 36-28 at the end of the half.
James-Kokjohn hit from the right side outside of the arc for a 39-28 lead to start the second half. The Hawks chipped away at the lead and had it down to eight points with 2:19 left in the period before the Hounds were whistled for four straight personal fouls, letting the hosts score six unanswered. The run had the game 48-46 before Keester hit again from long range giving the Hounds a 51-46 lead. Rashid scored on a drive in the lane, but Central Lee’s Jake Fraise hit a 3-pointer from the left to make it a four-point game going into the final period.
The Hounds got four open looks on the first possession of the 4th period off three offensive rebounds, but couldn’t convert and Central Lee raced down and got another 3 from Fraise to cut the lead to one 53-52. Lorezno Riles scored on a nifty assist from Cresswell and Head Coach Ryan Wilson called a time out.
The Hounds held the Hawks on the next possession, but turned the ball over in transition on the way down. Central Lee missed on its possession and then Rashid scored to push the lead to five with 4 minutes left in the game, Fort Madison again was whistled for a couple of personal fouls, putting Brisby back at the lane where he converted both freebies.
Moeller scored again inside to make it a one point game setting up the last minute theatrics for the home team.
Wilson said the Hawks used pressure in their man-to-man defense to help contain red-hot Cresswell.
“They just stepped up their man-to-man defense by not letting him get any open shots.
The loss was the second in two nights for the Hounds after falling to Mt. Pleasant on Friday.
Wilson said after the game the team had to get better.
“We’ll get back to practice. We have to get better,” he said.
Cresswell led the Hounds with his 17, Rashid had 14, and James-Kokjohn had a dozen. Keester and Riles both finished with eight points and Jayden Fedler rounded out the scoring with a bucket.
Brisby led all scorers with 19 points on the night and Doyle had 10.
Central Lee travels to Burlington Notre-Dame on Tuesday while the Hounds put their 11-6 record up against Washington at home on Friday.