Bloodhounds pull away from Washington
Washington hung right with Fort Madison for the first nine minutes of Tuesday’s Southeast Conference boys’ basketball game, but the visiting Bloodhounds pulled away for a 67-30 win.
Fort Madison missed its first five shots of the game, and the Demons took an early lead. Senior Justin Hoffman made a pair of free throws and junior Elijah Wood, who was making his first career start, nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to put Washington ahead 5-0 just over a minute into the game.
But then the Demons cooled down and the Bloodhounds heated up. Washington missed its next 10 shots from the field, and Fort Madison went on a 9-0 run. Washington sophomore Thomas Bump drained a long jumper to pull the Demons within 9-7 with four seconds left in the first quarter, but Fort Madison sophomore Miles Wentzien was fouled as he attempted a half-court shot. Wentzien sank all three free throws, and the Bloodhounds led 12-7 after one quarter of play.
“We came out and hit a couple of shots early,” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said. “But then we missed some good looks and got into a little bit of a hurry with our offense and took some bad shots.”
Washington junior Garrett Covington nailed a fadeaway jumper early in the second quarter to trim Fort Madison’s lead to 12-9, but the Demons would not score again in the first half. The Bloodhounds went on a 19-0 run to close the second quarter and take a 31-9 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Demons shot just 12 percent (3-for-24) from the field in the first half.
“That’s not going to win you any games,” Smeins said. “We’ve just got to get better offensively. We’ve got to be more confident and get better and move fluid movement. We’re just choppy as all get out. People are standing and not moving. Obviously we’ve got a lot of improvement to do.”
Fort Madison, which was 8-for-24 from the field in the first half, actually shot the ball better in the second half. The Bloodhounds hit 63 percent of their shots in the second half as they continued to extend their lead up until the final buzzer.
“We were really worried about Washington,” Fort Madison head coach Jon Schmitz said. “They’re very physical, and that doesn’t always match up with who we are. We just feel fortunate to get a win here.”
Senior Jonathan Temenak scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Bloodhounds (5-2, 2-1 SEC), and he also grabbed nine rebounds. Wentzien added 11 points, and senior John Nagel had nine points and seven rebounds.
Senior Kyle Roder led the Demons with eight points, and Hoffman finished with six. Wood chipped in five points.
The Demons (1-7, 0-3 SEC), who have now lost six straight games, go into the holiday break with a lot to work on.
“I thought defensively we hung in there tonight, but offensively we have a long way to go before we’re going to be game efficient,” Smeins said.