FMHS girls look to build on eight-win season

Bloodhounds add junior transfer from West Hancock

BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
PCC SPORTS

FORT MADISON – Fort Madison High School’s girls basketball team opens the season Monday against Davis County without a lot of practice.
But coach Tony Sargent, in his second season with the Bloodhounds, is OK with that.
“I said, even if we don’t have any practices, we’ll go play,” Sargent said. “I think our team has been around the game enough, I think we’ll be fine.”
The Bloodhounds have four starters back from a team that went 8-14 last season. They add Malarie Ross, a junior point guard, who played last season at West Hancock (Ill.) after starting as a freshman for Sargent, who is her grandfather.
“She’s coming off a big year (at West Hancock),” Sargent said. “She’s a true point guard, which is what we needed.”
That will ease a little bit of the pressure on sophomore Camille Kruse, who started 21 games last season and led the Bloodhounds with 38 assists.
“She was my scorer, she was my ball-handler, she had to break the press, she did a lot of things,” Sargent said of Kruse, who averaged 11 points per game and was a first-team All-Southeast Conference selection along with teammate Brandy Walker. “Now, with Malarie at the point, she can be more of a ‘2’ guard.”
The 5-foot-10 Walker, who averaged 8.5 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, is one of the tallest players on the Bloodhounds.
“She’s a hard matchup,” Sargent said. “She’s 5-10, and she runs the floor well and handles the ball well.”
Nadia Boeding, a 5-3 guard, had 21 starts last season and was third on the team in scoring with 102 points.
“She’s not flashy, she’s just very steady, and we need that,” Sargent said.
Sophomore Molly Knipe played in 21 games last season, moving into the starting lineup late in the season. Knipe was second on the team with 96 rebounds.
“She didn’t do a lot of scoring last year,” Sargent said. “But she was a big rebounder for us. I think this year, she’ll add to our scoring.”
Sargent likes his team’s depth.
Senior Lauren King, a 5-10 forward, adds size in the frontcourt. Senior guard Maddie Rashid led the Bloodhounds in scoring as a sophomore. Senior Kylee Cashman played in 22 games last season. Sophomore Isabella Boeding adds outside scoring. Sargent also has two freshmen guards who can play significant roles — his daughter, Irelynd, and Delanee Seay.
“We’ve got enough depth to keep everyone fresh,” he said. “Last season, there were times where we would have two or three girls in foul trouble and I would be like, ‘What am I going to do?’ This year, we have more options.”
The Bloodhounds will play at a fast pace, and the season starts without a lot of preparation.
“We’re not big,” Sargent said. “We don’t have a lot of height. But we’ll be OK.”

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