BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison girls basketball team wrapped up the regular season in neat little blow despite giving up 27 points in the 4th quarter to finish the season 17-2.
Malarie Ross put in a game-high 31 and Brandy Walker scored 16 in the win. Ross finished the regular season nine points shy of 400 at 391. Walker was second on the team at 239.
Earlier in the week, it was announced Head Coach Tony Sargent was named District Coach of the Year by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association. Sargent ushered in a remarkable turnaround from a Fort Madison team that won eight total games in the two years before Sargent arrived in 2019.
“The girls and my coaching staff and the parents made this happen,” Sargent said of the honor.
The Lady Hounds actually trailed by five in the early going down 7-2, but then held the visiting Grayhounds without a point for the next seven minutes building a 20-7 lead behind Ross’ 14 1st quarter points.
Fort Madison wouldn’t look back extending their lead to 21 at 35-14 at the half.
Burlington would regroup after the break and outscore Fort Madison 38-30 the rest of the way, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Sargent also went to the bench early in the second half to rest the starters for Saturday’s game with Missouri Class 3A’s No. 1 Monroe City.
However, school officials were informed early Saturday that Monroe City would not be making the trip to Fort Madison and the game was cancelled ending the Hounds’ regular season.
Camille Kruse added five points for the Hounds, while Molly Knipe had three and Maddie Rashid, Nadia Boeding, Kylee Cashman, Delanee Seay and Lauren King each had two points to round out the Lady Hounds scoring.
Fort Madison could see Burlington again next Saturday when they host the winner of the Burlington/Fairfield game in Class 4A Regional semifinal in Fort Madison. That game will be played at 7 p.m. The winner will face the top half of the bracket where North Scott received the bye and will play the winner of Keokuk/Mt. Pleasant in North Scott. The highest remaining seed will host the Region 4 final on Feb. 23