BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
BURLINGTON – It wasn’t the same team that pulled away from Danville earlier this week when Fort Madison junior Jayden Fedler hit a career high 41 points.
The Bloodhounds boys basketball team was beaten in just about every aspect of the game as Burlington Notre Dame ripped off a 72-40 win over Fort Madison Saturday Night at Father Minnet Gym in Burlington.
Fedler sat half the game on the bench after Notre Dame’s Riley Koenig blocked two of his first shots leaving Fedler visibly frustrated. So much so at one point, Head Coach Ryan Wilson met him at the free throw line on a time out to try and motivate his post player.
But Notre Dame kept Fort Madison’s entire team at bay as the Hounds only managed 15-44 shooting on the night. Senior Logan Rashid was just 4 of 15 on the night, but finished with 12 points to lead Fort Madison.
The Hounds fell behind quickly 9-0 on three straight 3-pointers, two from Gavin Kies and one from Mitchell Brent. Hound freshman Dayton Davis countered with a 3-ball, but the Nikes’ Ryle Koenig hit one of his own to keep Fort Madison at bay. Fort Madison would miss its next four shots from the field and trail 3-17 before senior Brandon Keester would score underneath and get fouled by Koenig. Keester missed the free throw and Notre Dame would race to the other end and feed Axel Tjaden for a bucket and a comfortable 19-5 lead for the Nikes.
Davis would connect on another 3-ball for Fort Madison, but that would be all the scoring they would get in the first quarter as Notre Dame, on a 7-0 run to end the quarter, held a 26-8 lead.
Head Coach Ryan Wilson said the Hounds had no urgency and hung their heads after the early poor start.
“Our effort was horrible,” he said. “From the tip we just acted like we didn’t even wanna be here tonight. We were content beating Danville by nine on Thursday and we were just going through the motions. We thought Notre Dame was gonna come in and lay down. We hung our heads. We had no urgency…. no nothing.”
The shooting woes continued for Fort Madison as it seemed the quick, lanky Nikes had an answer for every drive, every quick pass, and every scheme the Hounds set up. Fort Madison hit just 2 of 12 from the field in the second quarter as Notre Dame raced out to a 42-13 lead at halftime behind Koenig’s eight points.
Fedler started the second half with a quick bucket in the lane, but then Fort Madison committed two quick turnovers on the Nike end and another block of a Fedler inside move had the Hounds on their heels again. After Kies scored to make it 46-15, Rashid and Fedler would get back-to-back buckets, but Notre Dame’s Nick Skerik would have an answer for that with a 3-pointer from the left wing. Kies would hit another 3-ball. Parker Denning would get on the board with a jumper from about 11 feet to make it 23-52. Notre Dame would go on a 9-4 run through the final four minutes for a lopsided 63-28 lead at the end of three.
The Hounds only got seven shots off in the final period and couldn’t make a dent in the large Nike cushion and Wilson began substituting heavily with about three minutes left in the contest.
Fedler finished with 11 points, followed by Davis’ eight. Keester had six on the night and Denning had three to round out the scoring for Fort Madison.
Wilson said the Hounds practiced everything the Nikes could throw at them, but just couldn’t get anything going and they knew the Nikes would key on Fedler early.
“When you come out and score 41 points, of course they were going to be ready for you,” Wilson said. “But we talked about everything these guys were going to do to us and our kids knew what they were going to do. We just didn’t execute. There was a huge lack of urgency and will out on the floor tonight I thought.”
The 3-4 Hounds host Washington on Tuesday night at the HoundDome and then travel to Mt. Pleasant to wrap things up before the holiday break. The Bloodhounds will have played nine of their 21 regular season games before the break.