BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WASHINGTON – In reality, the season ended for the FMHS girls basketball team about eight minutes into their regional opening 49-12 loss to Washington at Washington Wednesday night,
After committing 20 first half turnovers trying to navigate a 3/4 zone trap press, the Lady Hounds found themselves in a 33-8 hole going into the half.
The 6-15 Demons jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, with all points coming from senior Sarah Nacos, before Hound senior Taylor Shannon hit the back end of two free throws to get Fort Madison on the board. Braxtyn McGyghy scored inside on the next possession down the floor to cut the lead to 3-9. Nacos hit her second 3-ball of the period to extend the lead to 12-3.
Fort Madison committed 13 turnovers in the first quarter alone, trying to get through the Demons press and shot 1-4 in the period to trail 3-15 at the end of the first stanza.
Sara Bernhart hit one of two free throws to start the second period and make it a 4-15 game, but then the Demons went on an 18-4 run led by Hayley Wilson’s six points. Fort Madison got buckets from Shannon Taylor and freshman Nadia Guzman before the buzzer.
Fort Madison would not get on the board in the third period, while the Demons got another 3-pointer from Nacos and went 4-of-6 as a team from the free throw line. Fort Madison went 0-7 from the field while committing six more turnovers.
Katie Larson broke the ice for Fort Madison with a bucket at the 7:32 mark in the 4th period and Sara Bernhart scored on the next possession to end Fort Madison’s scoring.
Shannon and Bernhart led the Hounds with three points each. Larson, McGhghy, and Boeding all had two points. Kamryn Bailey led Fort Madison with six boards on the night. Larson had three.
Head Coach Charlie Knipe said the game got out of hand quickly.
“We just never got into the flow of the game,” he said, “We worked on the press the last three days for over an hour each day. But I give the Washington girls a lot of credit. They were able to hit some three pointers and I think that shook us up a bit.”
He said seniors Shannon, Bailey, and Larson, despite the rough season, provided leadership for his squad.
“They’re all silent leaders. Basketball isn’t not their choice of sport. Shannon could make it to the all-state level in soccer, Kamryn is going to college to play softball, and Katie went to state in tennis. These girls came out and helped us make a team. They played hard all year.”
Knipe said the future is going to involve a lot of ball control and shooting drills.
“We’re gonna take a couple weeks off and then look at getting the girls back in the gym,” he said. “We’re gonna starting working around things to try and get better and that’s gonna involve a lot of ball control and shooting.”
The Bloodhounds finish the year 1-21. They shot 25% from the field, 21% from the three point arc on the, and 50% from the free throw line.