MARSHALLTOWN - What started out as a promising night for the Fort Dodge boys basketball team ended in bitter defeat on Friday.
Despite leading by double digits early and six points entering the fourth quarter, the Dodgers (1-3 overall, 0-1 CIC Northern Division) were unable to hold off league-rival Marshalltown down the stretch, falling in a tight 53-52 decision.
"We just blew (the game)," said FDSH head coach Tom Daniel. "We led 46-41 and just had too many turnovers in the last five minutes. After playing a great quarter and a half to start the game, we started settling for threes about midway through and stopped attacking (the basket). This is a pretty devastating loss."
Junior JC Hatcher paced the Dodgers with 18 points and six rebounds, while classmate Blake Wilder added 10 points, nine boards and three blocks. Fort Dodge shot 21-for-58 from the field and 3 of 10 at the free-throw line, while committing 16 turnovers.
"We still have a good team and good players, but we just didn't close the game out," Daniel said. "I guess it's on the coaching staff to make guys feel comfortable when they're playing down the wire."
Blake Gimbel tallied 18 points for the Bobcats (1-3, 1-0). Marshalltown outscored Fort Dodge in the final frame, 19-12.
MARSHALLTOWN 53, FORT DODGE 52
Marshalltown - Austin Kluver 7, Mason Mcarville 3, Blake Judkins 9, Blake Gimbel 18, Tyler Kluver 4, DeQuan McDowell 5, Hunter Hillygus 7.
Fort Dodge - Krunal Thakor 0-5 0-0 0, JC Hatcher 6-12 3-4 18, Tyler Vaughn 1-8 0-0 3, Andrew Stover 4-9 0-0 9, Blake Wilder 5-8 0-0 10, Jake Porter 0-1 0-2 0, Zach Martinson 4-12 0-4 9, Austin Halligan 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 21-58 3-10 52.
Quarter scores: Fort Dodge led 19-12, 27-19, 40-34.
Looking to bounce back, the Dodgers visit defending state quarterfinalist Waukee (2-2) on Tuesday.