BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – This isn’t your typical Hounds girls basketball team.
Head Coach Tony Sargent has ball handlers and post players, but the cohesiveness didn’t show up Friday as Fort Madison dropped a key Southeast Conference matchup to Mt. Pleasant in overtime 62-61.
The Hounds rallied from seven down in the fourth quarter to knot things up at 55 when freshman Delanee Seay showed the poise of upperclassmen and calmly sank two free throws with about 23 second left in regulation.
Seay was fouled in a scrum for a ball off a missed layup by Mt. Pleasant sophomore Andrea Lapreato. The Panthers would get another opportunity on the final possession of regulation but the Hounds defense would hold up.
Mt. Pleasant jumped out of overtime on top when senior Emma Huckabone converted off the tip. But the Panthers wouldn’t convert another field goal in the four-minute OT period.
They would go to the line 11 times in the extended period, but would convert just three, while Fort Madison completed all four of its free throws and got a bucket, when Seay squeezed into the lane between a couple defenders.
Freshman Aija Jenkins would get whistled for one of the Hounds seven fouls in overtime on the in bounds play, but Mt. Pleasant wasn’t in the mood to make any free throws down the stretch holding a 62-61 lead.
Sargent would call a time out to set up an out of bounds play with about 12 seconds left, but the Hounds got caught up inside and turned the ball over.
“We were trying to get the ball into Camille (Kruse) but they collapsed and we kind of forced it in and then we didn’t have any place to go with it,” Sargent said.
Jenkins would get off a shot just after the buzzer that missed short to end the game.
The Bloodhounds opened up leads as big as 10 in the first quarter at 19-9 , but Mt. Pleasant would battle back to a 30-26 deficit on the inside play of Lapreato, who drew numerous fouls driving the lane.
“I think we moved the ball well and we did a lot of really nice things tonight, but we just are fouling too much and we’re not in shape,” Sargent said.
“The first quarter we were running the floor well and then for some reason we stopped running the floor.”
Fort Madison got a sparkling night from Mallory Ross who had a season-high 26 points, including four 3-balls, three in the first half. The junior is averaging 24 points in two games so far this year.
Sargent said the team is still trying to figure out the Ross and Camille Kruse 1-2 punch, and then slip Brandy Walker in the post for a solid inside/out game.
He said Kruse, who led the Hounds in scoring last season and was a 1st Team All-Conference pick, is still trying to find her scoring opportunities.
“We want her to shoot more, but she’s not finding where her opportunities are. We’ll get that fixed though. She’s doing so many other things really well right now,” he said.
Fort Madison won the junior varsity match 48-21. Corey James has 12 to lead the Lady Hounds. Mt. Pleasant won the freshman match 56-21. Juniper Strickland had seven for Fort Madison.
The Hounds are 1-1 on the year after beating Davis County 60-50 Monday night. Ross had 22 points in that win. Fort Madison travels to Pekin on Monday for a freshly scheduled jayvee/varsity matchup.