The Fort Dodge basketball teams have a busy week ahead, but they'll be able to enjoy the comforts of home in the process.
After three straight road assignments, the Dodger boys (9-6 overall, 3-1 CIC Northern) host No. 11 Sioux City East (13-3) tonight, fourth-ranked Southeast Polk (14-2) on Tuesday and long time rival Mason City (4-11, 1-3) on Friday.
"It'll be nice to come home,'' said Fort Dodge head coach Tom Daniel. "Our quality of competition ramps up with a couple of very tough opponents (Monday and Tuesday).''
The Dodger boys are led in scoring behind seniors JC Hatcher (17.8), Blake Wilder (11.6), Zach Martinson (9.9) and Krunal Thakor (8.4).
Sioux City East comes in with three players averaging double figures. The Black Raiders are led by senior Wyatt Mounts (16.0). Ikenna Okwarabizie (12.7) and Jordan Betts (10.4).
"They're pretty tough traditionally and they're strong with Mounts inside,'' Daniel said. "We have to make sure that we put a body on him.''
Fort Dodge turns right around on Tuesday to face the Rams, who lead Class 4A in three-point attempts (425) and three-pointers made (145).
"Southeast Polk launches threes like crazy,'' Daniel said. "We can't leave their guys uncovered, because they can go on 15-0 runs very easily. When they start to feel confident and get clean looks, they start to catch fire.
"We have to take care of the small things. We can't get sloppy and lose track of them; it would be too hard to dig out of a hole.''
The Dodgers then try to sweep the season series against the Mohawks on Friday. FDSH?defeated them 65-48 in Mason City.
Wilder had a big game for the Dodgers, turning in a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Hatcher had 15 points and Thakor added 13.
The Mohawks are paced by senior Matt Meyer (13.8). Jared Lichman (9.7) and Jareesee Willaims (9.1) are the other leading scorers.
"Against the Mohawks (last time), we limitied their scorers and didn't give them any easy looks,'' Daniel said. "Blake dominated inside and on the boards. He attacked the glass and gave us energy from the post that transitioned to the guards.
"This is going to take a focused week. If we come out 3-0 or 2-1, we'll be heading in the right direction. This will be a real test in physical and mental endurance.''
The Dodger girls (8-9, 2-2) try to start the week off strong against the Black Raiders (4-8). Sioux City East is led in scoring by Sidney Hildahl (12.4), Allysen Fuller (11.0) and Hanna Vanderloo (8.8).
On Tuesday, Fort Dodge will face a rated foe in No. 9 Southeast Polk (12-5). The Rams are led in scoring by Ashton Donels (17.2), Abby Penquite (13.9), Annie Penquite (9.2) and Jacey Huinker (8.2).
The Dodgers then try to an avenge an early-season loss to the Mohawks (11-5, 3-1) on Friday. Mason City won that contest, 74-51.
The Mohawks are powered by Makenzie Meyer (16.4), Myah Mellman (13.2), Allison Scott (8.2) and Lexy Pederson (8.0).
Junior Lani Van Zyl leads the Dodgers at 11.2 points per game. Tiana Mericle (9.6) and Ashley Altman (8.6) are right behind.
Fort Dodge defeated Marshalltown last Friday, 44-41.