Chiefs spoil Southeast finale for Lady Hounds

Menke leads Fort Madison regular season wrap.

FORT MADISON - Keokuk finished its undefeated run to the Southeast Conference title with Friday’s 37-30 win over Fort Madison.
But Fort Madison coach Landon Bentley knows the statement his team made this season finishing in second place behind the Chiefs.
“That’s an 18-3 team, and we just let them know we were here,” Bentley said.
Fort Madison (13-7 overall, 7-3 Southeast Conference) lost by 23 points at Keokuk just a couple of weeks ago, but challenged the 15th-ranked (Class 4A) Chiefs (18-3, 10-0) until the final two minutes.
“I thought we weathered the storm a lot better than we had in previous games,” Bentley said. “We showed who we are actually tonight. We didn’t give a good showing of that at Keokuk. Tonight we wanted to show who we are, and we did that.”
Bentley could have easily lamented the Bloodhounds’ turnovers or the three missed free throws in the closing minutes.
“Honestly, I’m extremely proud of my group,” Bentley said. “I couldn’t have asked for more energy, effort and enthusiasm. They put everything on the line for this game.
“I don’t care what anyone says, no one expected this group to be doing what they’re doing now.”
Fort Madison was down 30-23 at the end of the third quarter, but kept pressure on the Chiefs throughout the fourth quarter. The Bloodhounds were within 34-30 with 1:58 to play, but Keokuk finished off the win by making 3-of-6 free throws in the closing stretch while keeping Fort Madison scoreless.
“I’m proud of what we left on the floor,” Bentley said. “I told our seniors they had nothing to hang their heads about.”
Fort Madison bounced back after Thursday’s 52-38 home loss to West Hancock.
“I thought today, more so than last night, we had a next-play mentality,” Bentley said. “Today, we just realized how important that is for our group, to be mentally tough, to move on to the next play. This team loves each other. They wanted that win. They aren’t satisfied. We believed we could get it and that’s what we keep striving for.”
Halle Menke led Fort Madison with 10 points. Hadley Wolfe and Irelynd Sargent each had seven points.
Kendra Boatman led Keokuk with 13 points.
The Bloodhounds open Class 4A regional play on Wednesday, playing host to Burlington in a 7 p.m. game. The winner plays at Keokuk on February 17.
“We might see (Keokuk) again,” Bentley said. “But we’re not going to overlook Burlington — we split with them this year.
Fort Madison, Lady Hounds, Bloodhounds, Keokuk, Chiefs, Southeast Conference, girls, basketball, sports, varsity, Pen CIty Current,


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here