DES MOINES - With so much firepower on the opposing bench, the Marshalltown girls' basketball team couldn't afford to get too far behind Friday night against Class 4A No. 8 Des Moines East.
Unfortunately, points have been hard to come by against teams inside the Central Iowa Metropolitan League this season and that remained the case in the Scarlets' gym.
The Bobcats have not reached 30 points against a CIML team in four straight contests following a 61-26 loss to East in non-conference action.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown sophomore Ellyn Boland, center, attempts a shot over Des Moines East defenders Kaylon Nicks, left, and Dariann Nickerson during the Bobcats’ 61-26 loss to the eighth-ranked Scarlets in Des Moines.
"Right now, the biggest thing is that our kids don't have the confidence," MHS coach Stacy O'Hare said. "We are tentative, which leaves us back on our heels. We are not catching it and being strong with it.
"Our feet aren't under us. And once we start doing that, it's all going to fall apart. We work on it in practice, but we are just not a strong offensive team."
Marshalltown failed to have a double-digit scorer and managed just 19 shot attempts in the first half and only five in the opening quarter. That just won't get it done against a top-10 ranked team.
Des Moines East 61, Marshalltown 26
At Des Moines
MHS (3-7) - Amanda Hughes 4 0-0 8, Molly Major 0 0-1 0, Emily Rebik 2 0-0 4, Rachel Blagg 1 0-0 2, Kali Banks 0 0-0 0, Karli McClure 1 1-2 3, Kyra Hungerford 1 0-0 3, Ellyn Boland 0 0-0 0, Sam Hughes 3 0-0 6, Carrie Schmidt 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 1-3 26.
DM EAST (9-2) - Keesha Gaines 0 0-0 0, Roichelle Marble 4 2-2 10, Renise Collier 5 2-2 12, Aricca Daye 5 0-0 14, Dariann Nickerson 2 1-2 5, Tal Neilly 1 0-1 2, Awal Ajak 2 0-0 4, Paige Larson 1 2-2 5, Shareece Burrell 2 1-1 5, Rachel Boothroyd 0 0-0 0, Kaylon Nicks 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 23 8-10 61.
3-Point Goals - MHS 1 (Hungerford), DME 5 (Daye 4, Larson). Total fouls - MHS 11, DME 12. Fouled out - none.
"We're not being aggressive, we're not attacking and we're not getting to the line," O'Hare said. "Five shot attempts in one quarter won't get it done."
It was the sixth loss in the last seven games for the Bobcats (3-7). The last four losses versus CIML competition also have been by at least 35 points each game.
East, on the other hand, has now won eight of its last nine and the lone loss came to No. 4 Dowling Catholic.
The Scarlets beat the Bobcats with a strong inside-outside game Friday. Aricca Day drained four 3-pointers and all 14 of her points in the first half, and then Renise Collier dominated the paint in the second half on her way to 12 points in the win. Leading scorer Roichelle Marble was held to three points in the first two quarters but still reached double-figures with 10 points.
"They killed us from the perimeter in the first half and then the big girl took over inside in the second half," O'Hare said. "They've got the inside-outside game, which is something I thought we could do tonight. But when you aren't making shots and the kids start pressing, it makes it even harder. It's frustrating. We have to figure out something."
The Bobcats were within six points late in the first quarter after Rachel Blagg scored her lone bucket of the game. But East (9-2) scored the final two buckets of the frame and then went into halftime on a 12-2 run to lead 37-14 at halftime.
Marble scored all seven of her second-half points in the final minutes of the third quarter and her final bucket started the 35-point continuous clock as the Scarlets took a 53-18 lead into the fourth quarter.
A 3 from Kyra Hungerford and a free throw by Karli McClure was all the Bobcats could manage in the fourth until Samantha Hughes hit back-to-back buckets in the final minute.
Amanda Hughes had a team-high eight points and her sister Samantha added six. Emily Rebik scored four, while Hungerford and McClure each scored three for the Bobcats.
"It just comes down to not having confidence. And unfortunately for us, the schedule doesn't get any easier," said O'Hare, whose Bobcats travel to No. 5 Waukee on Tuesday. "We are going to continue to see teams like this. The kids are staying upbeat and they are trying to stay positive, but it's a struggle when you see this every night."
Marble, who is the daughter of former Iowa basketball player Roy Marble, has not decided on where she will play collegiately. Des Moines East coach Sam Powell said Marble's options include Wisconsin and Drake. She turned down an Iowa offer early in her varsity career, according to Powell. East senior Shareece Burrell has played in just three games this year after working her way back from an injury. The future Bradley Brave totaled five points Friday. After facing Waukee Tuesday, the Bobcats will host Johnston on Friday. The Bobcats will make up a postponed contest against Urbandale on Saturday.