Senior hits inside and out for 37 points, just one shy of the FMHS single-game mark.
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KAHOKA – If Head Coach Tony Sargent had known senior Malarie Ross was one point away from setting the school record for single-game scoring, he would have left her in to chase it down.
But the Bloodhound came away with a game-high 37 points, the second time in her career at Fort Madison that she’s hit the mark, as Fort Madison downed Clark County 63-40 in Kahoka Tuesday night.
The Lady Hounds traded buckets with Clark County’s Alexis Ellison, who surpassed 1,000 points in her career last week, as the two squads racked up 33 first-quarter points in a fast-paced up-and-down the court as Ross put in 12 of Fort Madison’s first 18.
Aija Jenkins opened the scoring for Fort Madison and then Anna Lynk converted a 3-pointer before Ross rattled off 12 straight points, the last coming on an almost-patented drive and scoop shot in the lane to give Fort Madison a 17-15 lead.
Molly Knipe added a free throw for an 18-15 first quarter lead. The Hounds would miss their last three shots of the first period while holding Clark County from getting off a shot for three straight possessions.
Clark County’s Hope Ross would convert a 3-point play to cut the lead to four at 22-18, but Fort Madison would pull away from that point, opening up a 12-point halftime lead at 35-23.
Head Coach Tony Sargent said Missouri has a little different style of officiating which works well for the Lady Hounds style.
“They let you play down here. The referees do a good job. I like it when they let you play through a little bit,” he said.
Fort Madison stretched the lead in the third period and went up by 22 when Camille Kruse slid a nice bounce pass under her defender to streaking Ross who finished the play to put the Hounds up 49-27.
Ellison would bury her fourth 3-pointer of the game on her way to a team-high 23 points with about 4 minutes left in the game to cut the lead to 17 at 55-38, but the Indians would get no closer as Fort Madison put the game away.
Sargent said more girls got involved in the game in other roles and that will be needed as the Hounds hit a heavy part of the schedule.
“I thought we got more people involved in the offense. We still need to do a better job of that. Camille didn’t hit much tonight, but her presence was important,” he said.
“Malarie didn’t miss much tonight I don’t think, and had a handful of and-1s, and she had some nice passes tonight, too.”
Sargent said Molly Knipe and Taylor Johnson both had good nights rebounding and he’ll need that play for the upcoming stretch.
“We play Thursday and Saturday, and then play the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th. So we got a lot of games in a short period of time,” he said.
“It doesn’t concern me a lot. We got two against Burlington, and one against Washington so those should be a little easier on us and give us some room,” Sargent said.
Ross went 6 of 9 at the freethrow line. She leads the state in freethrows made with 99 on the year and is second in freethrows attempted with 132.
The Bloodhounds improve to 9-3 overall with the win. They travel to Fairfield (9-5) on Thursday in a Southeast Conference battle. The Trojans are 6-1 in the conference in second place and hold a 46-38 win over the Bloodhounds earlier this season.