Second chances give Raiders district win over Hounds

Fort Madison eliminated in 1st round for second year in a row.

WILLIAMSBURG — The same emotions that Fort Madison’s boys basketball team carried out of last season will be the ones the Bloodhounds carry into next season.
Fort Madison was eliminated in the first round of the Class 3A district tournament, falling 70-64 to Williamsburg on Monday night.
The Bloodhounds were knocked out in the first round by Mount Pleasant last season, and coach Ryan Wilson knows how much that hurts.
“It’s not a fun feeling,” he said. “No one wants their season to end.”
The Bloodhounds (11-9) were eliminated because Williamsburg (14-8) found a way to outrebound Fort Madison, and force turnovers that led to points at the other end.
“Two big factors for tonight — rebounding and turnovers — and we needed to win both of those to have a shot,” Wilson said. “When you look at it, all we needed to do was cut the rebounding (difference) in half — 17, 18, 20 rebounds, whatever it was. Cut that in half and we win the game.”
The Raiders, the third seed in the district, pounded the glass against the sixth-seeded Bloodhounds. The second chances, and sometimes even more than that, were relentless.
Williamsburg built a double-digit lead late in the first half and the Bloodhounds couldn’t get to within single digits until a furious finish that put them in a position to maybe get away with a win.
The Raiders led by as much as 16 points early in the second half before Fort Madison got the lead whittled to five points twice in the final two minutes. But Williamsburg always seemed to have an answer.
Kellen Cockrell scored off a lob pass with 1:19 remaining to give the Raiders a 66-59 lead. After Hunter Cresswell scored on a putback to cut the lead to five again, Clayten Steckly’s two free throws built Williamsburg’s lead. Derek Weisskopf’s steal and dunk then clinched the win for the Raiders.
“We went to a junk defense late,” Wilson said. “We got them to take the shots we wanted them to take late. They missed, and we couldn’t capitalize, and that’s the ballgame.
“We didn’t fold over in the fourth quarter. Down 12, 11, whatever it was, going into the fourth quarter, we could have folded. Get it to within five, and then, we couldn’t rebound.”
Wilson noted how the Raiders always seemed to win the battle for loose balls.
“That’s just an urgency thing,” he said. “Got to want it, got to go get it.”
Cresswell led the Bloodhounds with 22 points, 10 in the fourth quarter. Nolan Guzman added 13.
Grant Hocker had 21 points for Williamsburg. Weisskopf, who has signed to play football at Iowa next season, had 18 points. Cockrell had 11.
Fort Madison loses eight seniors from this team, but bring back five underclassmen.
“We’re going to lose a lot,” Wilson said. “We’re going to lose a great group of seniors. We had eight seniors, and five non-seniors, and on paper that’s probably your starting five next year. But we’ve got to get to work right away, get into the gym right away, understand how to play basketball, have some urgency.
“Value that basketball. That’s what we have to work on for next year — valuing that basketball, and what that basketball means for us, and how important it is for us. Not having turnovers, getting rebounds. Rebounding is effort and wanting to get the ball, and we have to have people who want to get the ball.”
Fort Madison, Bloodhounds, Hounds, basketball, loss, districts, season, end, Ryan Wilson, Williamsburg, sports, varsity, boys, basketball, Pen. City Current.


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