Central Lee’s Baldwin surpasses 200 wins Friday at Cardinal
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DONNELLSON – The best characterization of the Fort Madison Lady Hounds team this year is that they are a streaky team.
On Saturday, senior Malarie Ross got hot in the final minutes hitting on two-three pointers in back-to-back possessions that helped the Bloodhounds to a 43-37 non conference win over Central Lee.
“This is the fourth game now that we’ve come out strong, we had them down 18-4, and then we act like we didn’t even know what we’re supposed to do,” Head Coach Tony Sargent said.
“We got three or four offenses and we don’t run any of them and I don’t know why.”
Ross, and Camille Kruse, helped the Hounds to a quick 13-4 lead in the first quarter. Aija Jenkins would score in the paint on a nice interior move and then Ross would hit another 3-ball from the left wing to give Fort Madison the 18-4 lead at the end of one.
Central Lee Head Coach Jay Baldwin then switched to a sagging zone that chased Fort Madison around the perimeter and the moved paid off. Ross, who had nine points in the first quarter, was held to a 3-ball in the second quarter and the Hounds went just 2 of 12 from the floor.
The Lady Hawks were able to close the gap to eight at the half at 24-16.
The shooting woes continued in the third quarter for Fort Madison converting just 3 of 13. Central Lee meanwhile continued to chip away at the lead. While the Hounds were mired in a 2 for 10 slump, the Hawk’s Mya Lampe scored five straight to cut the lead to three at 28-25. Karlie Pohren would hit the front end of a one-and-one to make it 28-26 as the Hawks capped a 10-4 run.
The two teams exchanged punches early on in the fourth until Maura Watkins scored inside to tie things up at 33. The Hawks would take the first lead since the opening minute with 2:40 left in the game when Alivia Myhre made a move on the baseline and tossed one in for a 35-34 Hawks lead.
Ross would take over with a 3-pointer on Fort Madison’s next possession. Myhre would counter with another bucket to tie things back up a 37, but Ross would come through again with another 3-ball from the left side for a three-point Fort Madison lead.
Central would get the ball over the time line and then get stuck in the half court forcing Baldwin to call a timeout.
“We were getting discombobulated and I wanted to get some structure and run a play,” Baldwin said.
Central Lee would get two shots off in the final 25 seconds out of the time out, but couldn’t get either to drop before committing a foul and sending Ross to the line at the other end.
“They’re still learning how to win so these types of games will be good for us down the road,” Baldwin said,.
Sargent said his 8-2 Bloodhounds have to find ways to put teams away. One of their losses came in December against 13th ranked Keokuk, where the Hounds led into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Hounds knocked off Mt. Pleasant Friday night in what Sargent said he thought was a turning point.
“Last night I thought we had this kind of break through. Molly (Knipe) shot well and I think she shot just a couple times tonight. I don’t understand it. I’m a bit disappointed tonight because we keep getting out in front of these teams and then we let them back in. But this kind of win will help us down the road,” Sargent said.
Baldwin said the switch to a zone threw Fort Madison off for a while.
“This was fun game. They were vicing us up man-to-man so we we went to a match up amoeba type zone. Basically it’s man on one side and zone on the other. We hadn’t used it in a while,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said Fort Madison’s guard court is one of the best the Hawks will see all year, so the game was good for Central Lee
“Those are two of the best guards we’ll face all year and that’s no disrespect to anybody else” Baldwin said of Ross and Kruse.
Ross led all scorers with 23 points. Central Lee’s Alivia Myhre has 12 for Central Lee and Maura Watkins had 10. Kruse had nine points.
Baldwin got his 200th win Friday night in Cardinal. His tenure spans Fort Madison Aquinas, Holy Trinity Catholic and now Central Lee.
“Honestly, I hadn’t given it any thought. Once I quit a couple years ago I was like naahhh,” Baldwin said.
He said his brother asked him how close he was over the holidays and they put together the numbers.
“I was thinking that was going to jinx it and I wouldn’t win another game,” he laughed.