Hounds keep rolling with road win


MOUNT PLEASANT — It’s been a while since Fort Madison’s boys basketball team has played a game.
Then, when the Bloodhounds finally got on the court, the deliberate style of Mount Pleasant’s offense kept them from the fast pace they enjoy.
But once Fort Madison got its pace going in the second half, it was enough to stay undefeated on the season.
The 41-26 victory on Friday night wasn’t the best-looking game, but it was enough to keep the Bloodhounds (8-0 overall, 5-0 Southeast Conference) rolling.
“The second half was just do what we do, run our stuff,” Fort Madison coach Ryan Wilson said.
Fort Madison, ranked ninth in Class 3A in the Associated Press poll, hadn’t played since a 56-46 win at Washington on December 21.
“If you only knew what practices looked like this week,” Wilson said, smiling. “We scrimmaged at New London on New Year’s Eve day.  Other than that, it was 13 practices against ourselves, which is monotonous.”
Mount Pleasant (2-7, 1-4) wasn’t about to let the Bloodhounds get going. The Panthers’ patience made for a quick first half — it took 25 minutes to play the first and second quarters — and Fort Madison led just 16-14 at halftime.
“We pressed, because we like to get up and down,” Wilson said. “But they were very disciplined. I think we had 10 less possessions at halftime than we normally do. It was a weird environment tonight. Kind of quiet, gloomy, it’s a cold Friday night here in southeast Iowa.”
That’s why Wilson challenged the Bloodhounds at halftime.
“We said, ‘Let’s go out and win the next 16 minutes,’” he said. “And we did that.”
Fort Madison outscored Mount Pleasant 25-12 in the second half. Dayton Davis had nine of the Bloodhounds’ 11 points in the third quarter, then Tate Johnson had six of his 11 points in the fourth.
“Again, it’s seniors,” Wilson said. “Dayton is so active in our press, getting deflections. He’s just a ball hawk when it comes to that stuff. We had Tate step up big in the fourth quarter, and Phillip Goldie (who had six points in the first half) was big for us too.”
Davis finished with 11 points.
The schedule remains quirky for the Bloodhounds, who play Central Lee on Saturday. After that game, they play similar Friday/Saturday schedules the next two weeks.
“We’re going to try to change some things,” Wilson said. “Keep it fresh.”

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