January 8, 2024 at 11:55 a.m.

Dodgers down Fennimore in Dodgeville Classic

By John Dalton

In a good defensive game where you had to work for points, the host Dodgeville Dodger Boys’ Basketball team prevailed over the Fennimore Golden Eagles Thursday night 53-43.

The first half of this game saw pressure defense and contested shots.  Dodgeville would score first on Reilly Berg’s short jumper and they never lost the lead after that hoop.  Fennimore, throughout the first half would tie the score but the Dodgers had an answer each time.  

Tied at 8-8, Berg made a bucket off an offensive rebound.  Tied at 15-15, Berg would hit two free throws.  Tied at 18-18, Dodger John McGraw hit a jumper and the Dodgers held a slim 21-20 lead at the half.

But Dodgeville would come out of the break and go on a 12-0 run.  Noah Pittz got things going with a bucket, then the Dodgers would apply full-court pressure which took a while for Fennimore to figure out.  After a turnover, McGraw made a bucket and after another forced turnover, Pittz nailed down a 3-pointer.

Berg then got into the act on a nice move in the lane off the inbound pass, and on its next possession, he stepped beyond the arc and nailed down a 3-point shot before a Fennimore timeout.  Berg led the Dodgers in scoring with 17 on the night.  

Dodger Head Coach Matt McGraw said after the game, “Guys did a nice job getting the win.  We had a solid start to the second half.  We made some adjustments at half - the biggest was to find people to screen and do some ball reversals as we were settling too much in the first half.  Then right out of the gate on our first 3 possessions, we had two ball reversals and made baskets off of each.”  

But Fennimore played hard the balance of the game and was finally able to break Dodgeville’s press and started to make some buckets.  The Eagles’ Evan Larson got a hot hand to help with a charge midway through the second half.  He would score 13 of his 17 points in the second half.  At the 9:00 mark of the second half Fennimore’s Jude Kinney would hit a corner 3-point shot cutting the Dodger lead to 39-33.

But Dodgeville had an answer each time Fennimore would come back, the biggest answer was Bryce Crubaugh-Lockard who hit back-to-back 3-point shots from the same spot, and just like that it was 45-33.  

Again Fennimore would battle back with Larson hitting a corner 3-point shot cutting the lead to 45-40, but Dodgeville answered again, this time the Dodger’s Berg would hit a clutch 3-point shot and McGraw would seal the deal on a fast break layup late, and Dodgeville wins this one 53-43.

“We knew Fennimore was going to battle. Coach Larson does a nice job with having his teams ready, so we expected a good game and I’m happy with our halftime adjustment, so I’m very pleased,” said Coach McGraw.

Dodgeville played Mineral Point on Tuesday and you can find that story in this sports section.  The Dodgers get back into conference play on Friday, January 5th when they host Lancaster.  Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.  


Dodgeville 21 – 32 – 53

Fennimore 20 – 23 – 43

Dodgeville (fg-ft-tp); Berg 6-3-17, McGraw 4-3-12, Pittz 2-2-7, Crubaugh-Lockhard 2-0-6, Haakenson 2-2-6, Jabs 2-0-5.

3-pointers; Crubaugh-Lockhard 2, Berg 2, McGraw 1, Jabs 1, Pittz 1.

Fennimore (fg-ft-tp); Larson 7-2-17, Kinney 3-1-8, Hubbard 2-0-6, Winch 3-0-6, Kelley 1-0-3, Roth 1-0-2, Henkel 0-1-1. 

3-pointers; Hubbard 2, Kinney 1, Larson 1, Kelley 1.