BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It took a beat or two to get going, but the Fort Madison girls basketball team won it’s fifth game in a row Tuesday night.
The Hounds (6-1) sent Washington home 55-41 behind 19 points from Malarie Ross and 13 points from freshman Delanee Seay.
Head Coach Tony Sargent said that was the game he’d been looking for from Seay.
“Delanee played huge tonight,” Sargent said. “She’s struggled the last few games and tonight she more than made up for it.”
With Fort Madison up 48-37 in the 4th quarter and not quite being able to put Washington away, Seay scooped up a loose ball after a couple misses inside by senior Brandy Walker, and hit a five-foot jumper.
On the next possession, with about 1:55 left in the game, Seay took a pass just inside the right wing, took a couple dribbles and then sliced into the lane with under-handed scoop that drew a foul and rolled gently over the rim.
Seay would complete the three-point play to put Fort Madison up 16 and put the game out of reach.
She said her teammates were encouraging here to slash more to the basket.
“Before the game they were talking about me driving more because I’ve just been pulling up and shooting,” Seay said after the game, “But tonight I decided to drive a little more and that’s where the points came from.”
Her 13 were a season-high and the Hounds had two others in double figures with Ross’ 19 and sophomore Camille Kruse’s 11.
Kruse got most of hers in the first half, including a 3-ball with 4:09 left in the 2nd quarter to give Fort Madison an 18-9 lead.
Senior Brandy Walker, who battled foul trouble all night, then went to work inside for a couple of buckets. Her first came on a nice assist from Nadia Boeding from the right wing.
Makenna Conrad would answer for Washington to cut the lead to nine, but Walker would score again on a hard pivot from the left block for an easy jumper off the glass.
Both teams would go scoreless from that point into the locker room with Fort Madison up 22-13.
The Hounds shot just over 30% from the field in the first half. But the Demons were a little colder at just 5 of 24.
The pace and percentage would both heat up in the second half by both teams. Washington would make just one run in the fourth quarter when they cut the lead to 11 at 48-37.
Sargent called a full time out after back-to-back turnovers and the Hounds would settle in. Seay would score her five unanswered and then Fort Madison would stretch it out after a Washington made basket.
The Demons surprisingly didn’t foul down the stretch as Ross, Kruse and Aija Jenkins played come-and-get-it out on the perimeter until there was less than 15 seconds before a foul.
Sargent said the girls still aren’t playing at the level he’d like to see, but the wins are still there.
“As far as win and losses maybe, but we’re not where we need to be. We just seem to be hanging, and we can’t just go all the time,” Sargent said.
“I don’t know why, but I hope we figure it out.”
Walker finished with seven points and seven rebounds and a couple blocks on the night. Irelynd Sargent had four points and six rebounds for Fort Madison. Lauren King added a point to round out the scoring.
Defensively, Kruse had five steals and Ross had four.
The Hounds are off now until Jan. 8, when they travel to Mt. Pleasant to try and avenge their only loss of the year.
Washington was led by senior Anna Nacos with 21, 14 in the second half.