Davis leads Fort Madison with 18 as Bloodhounds move to 5-0
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KEOKUK – Fort Madison senior Miles Dear pretty much was nowhere to be found in the first three quarters Friday night.
But in the fourth, after struggling with foul trouble early on, Dear got things going and led the Hounds to a 53-28 Southeast Conference win over Keokuk Friday night.
The win moves the Hounds to 5-0 on the year.
Dear finished with 13 points, 12 in the fourth quarter. Senior Dayton Davis led all scorers with 18, six in the final period.
Head Coach Ryan Wilson said Dear had trouble getting into a groove early on.
“We had some foul trouble with him and he wasn’t able to play much and get into that rhythm,” Wilson said “But he found it in the second half, which we needed. Hit hit some big three and then defensively we locked in.”
Dear hit a 3-ball right off the throw-in to start the fourth quarter. Diego Garcia answered with a floater on the next possession to keep it a 10-point game at 34-24. But the Hounds would hit 8 of their next 11 from the floor to put the game out of reach.
Fort Madison never trailed in the game after building a 16-10 first quarter lead. The Chiefs however put the clamps on in the second quarter holding the Bloodhounds to just three points, making it 19-18 at the half.
The Hounds didn’t come out of the locker room until there was about 90 seconds left before the third period. The extra time paid off as Fort Madison’s relentless pressure on the ball at all ends of the court kept the Chiefs from any real production the rest of the game.
Keokuk shot just 2 of 9 in the third period as Davis and the Hounds’ front press rotation of Landes Williams, Reiburn Turnbull and Tate Johnson annoyed the Chiefs back court most of the game.
“With those athletes we have on the team right now we can do that all game,” Wilson said. “There’s a rotation we have with Landes on the ball and two guys up, and then Phillip Goldie runs rover. He plays soccer so he understands that role.”
Wilson said Davis, who’s averaging close to 17 an outing, still hasn’t seen his best game.
“Not yet,” Wilson said. “He’s still missing some bunnies around the basket. As soon as he gets a game where he doesn’t miss those, he probably has a 30-point, 15-rebound game.
Davis is also a menace in the front part of the press disrupting passing lanes and playing tight defense. The senior has 50 rebounds on the year and 11 steals, both team highs.
“He plays at the top of that press and he’s going 90 feet for 20 minutes. I gave him a couple extra breaks and rests tonight, but he goes hard and does great things for us in that press,” Wilson said.
Fort Madison gave up just nine points in the second half, and eight of those were in transition in moments when the Chiefs were able to slip through the press in transition.
“That’s the risk-reward of running that press,” Wilson said.
Turnbull finished in double figures with 10 points, While Tate Johnson had six and Matt Hopper finished with five.
Keokuk (1-3) had three players with five points including Garcia, MJ Davis and Khalyl Tate.
Davis had 20 Monday night when the Hounds doubled up Centerville 62-31. Dear had 13 in the win and Turnbull had nine. Friday’s win was the first road-test of the year for Fort Madison.
The Hounds travel to Quincy tonight.