BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – The tone for Fort Madison’s 70-62 home win over Washington on Friday night was set in the second quarter.
The Bloodhounds held the Demons to just five points in the quarter, opening with nine consecutive stops.
That kind of defense, along with the strong play of Dayton Davis and Reiburn Turnbull in the first half and the balanced scoring of the second half, allowed the Bloodhounds to knock off the Southeast Conference leader.
“I told the players after the game, ‘Essentially you dominated from the beginning to the end of the game,’” Fort Madison coach Ryan Wilson said.
The Bloodhounds (8-8 overall, 3-5 conference) were bothered by a 58-55 loss to the Demons on Dec. 22, when they had a 42-37 lead at the end of the third quarter and let it get away.
This time, Fort Madison built a lead and kept it.
Davis and Turnbull accounted for all but two of the Bloodhounds’ first-half points as Fort Madison led 29-19 at halftime. Davis had 19 of his 29 points in the half.
But it was the Bloodhounds’ defense that quieted the Demons (11-5, 6-2) in the half.
“Our kids got a lot of deflections early,” Wilson said. “Our defense led to a lot of easy transition baskets.”
The momentum continued in the second half, as the Bloodhounds led 51-35 after three quarters. Washington got to within 62-56 with 1:26 to play on a 3-pointer by Travis Leyden, but Fort Madison finished the game by knocking down eight free throws.
The Bloodhounds got offensive contributions from others in the second half. Landes Williams had nine points, Tate Johnson had seven, and Miles Dear had six.
“One through seven on our team, there’s not a weak link,” Wilson said.
Turnbull finished with 10 points.
Trashaun Willis led Washington with 17 points. Ethan Patterson had 16. Leyden had 12 and Lance Sobaski had 11.
Fort Madison is off until playing three road games over a three-day stretch — at Clark County on Thursday, at Burlington on Friday and at Muscatine on Saturday.
“It’s go time, right here,” Wilson said. “I’m really happy where we’re at as a team right now.”