BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – It may look like the Bloodhounds are doomed heading into Class 3A Substate action in eight days.
The Hounds have lost four in a row and are headed just west of Iowa City on Feb. 24 to take on Clear Creek-Amana at their place. The Clippers are 15-5 on the year with three of their losses by less than 10 points.
Fort Madison on the other hand finished the regular season 6-15 with a close 67-64 loss at home to Burlington Friday night.
But there are some things that standout in the game that could give Head Coach Ryan Wilson pause as he looks forward to substate action.
First, sophomore Dayton Davis put up 19 points against the Grayhounds in one of his better performances of the year. Davis did that damage while only committing three personal fouls. The 19 was Davis’ second best performance of the year, just two short of his 21 against a win at Centerville in December.
Davis usually gets reachy and gambles on defense and can find himself in foul trouble, but has been staying on the court recently.
Jayden Fedler, who battled influenza most of the last week, seemed to be showing signs of the bug in the first half against Burlington, but snapped out of it to finish with 17 points… all in the second half. He also put up 16 in Thursday’s loss to Albia in this first game back since Feb. 4. Fedler also put up 20 Feb. 4 against Central Lee.
Senior guard Michael Mosena, who also battled the flu for a couple games, has reduced turnovers and has been running the offense much to the liking of Wilson. Mosena was also in double figures against Burlington with 13.
But Mosena was held scoreless coming off the bench Thursday night in the Hounds 60-47 loss to Albia on the road.
On Friday, the Hounds held a 6-2 lead in the early going and an 11-10 lead at the end of one, but the Grayhounds came flying back with a 17-7 run in the second quarter for a 29-21 halftime lead.
Fort Madison would return the favor holding Burlington to 13, while ripping off a 20-point third period, led by Fedler’s eight, and trailed 42-41 going into the final period.
The Hounds pulled out to 52-48 lead, but the Grayhounds owuld battle back in the final three minutes erasing a 54-53 deficit to go ahead 65-61 on 7 of 9 free throw shooting down the stretch to get the game.
On Thursday, the Hounds were tied in Albia at 26 at the half, but an eight-point third period put them back seven at 41-24 to start the fourth and the Hounds couldn’t get any ground.
If you look deeper than the four recent losses, the Hounds had won three of the last four prior to that and we’re feeling like the team had started to gel, right before the flu bug hit.
With Fedler averaging close to 18 in his last three games, Davis staying on the floor and putting up points, and Mosena and Miles Dear, who put up 14 against Muscatine, working well together things could get interesting. But the Hounds will have to contain junior Christian Withrow, who leads the WaMaC-West at 16 points per outing.
The scoring then falls off a bit, but not too much as seniors Nick O’Connor and Tyler Schrepfer are averaging 12 and 10 per outing respectively.
Junior TJ Bollers 6’4″ and Withrow are in the top five in the conference in rebounds as well at just under six apiece.
The Clippers average 62 points per outing and give up slightly less at 57.