Hawks drop Bobcats in opener

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Luke Appel (50) drives to the basket against Ankeny’s AJ Jackson (52) in the first quarter of Marshalltown’s season-opener Friday night at the Roundhouse. Despite 26 points from Appel, the Bobcats fell 82-61.

Having just a pair of players on the roster with varsity experience, a good chunk of Bobcats got a quick lesson of just how fast things happen at the highest high school level.

The Marshalltown boys’ basketball team made nine 3-pointers and got a combined 44 points from the two players with legitimate varsity time, but it wasn’t enough.

Luke Appel scored 26 points and Jacob Smith had 18 more, but Ankeny’s speed was too much for MHS in the Bobcats’ season-opener as the Hawks took advantage of Marshalltown mistakes and turned fast-break points into an 82-61 win Friday night inside the Roundhouse.

“I was really pleased with the effort,” said MHS coach Scott Smith. “We really tried to focus on the philosophy of play hard and together, and I thought we did that. Obviously there’s some things to correct. We know we have some growing pains because we really only have two guys with varsity experience. … We have several other guys that hardly haven’t played varsity basketball. It was a little bit of a wake-up call for them in a good way.”

Drew Maschoff got Ankeny (1-1) on the board first with a breakaway layup. He had another uncontested scoring opportunity off a Bobcat turnover, but when he went up for a dunk attempt rather than the layup, he was rejected by the rim. A pair of 3-pointers from Dayton Slifer and Jacob Smith, as well as three points from Appel the old-fashion way helped the Bobcats take an 11-7 lead. The Hawks responded with a 10-0 run on five field goals. Jacob drained a jumper at the first-quarter buzzer to get MHS within four.

Ankeny gradually pulled away in the second quarter, having a couple mini-runs of four and five points. A 9-0 surge in the middle of the period helped the Hawks open up a double-digit lead, which they took into halftime at 43-25.

The 3-pointer in the third quarter helped Marshalltown keep the deficit from growing much, but a defensive stop couldn’t be made on the other end to cut into the lead. The closest the Bobcats would come is getting within 10 at 69-59 in the fourth quarter, but one field goal is all the Bobcats would accumulate, as the Hawks ended the game on a 13-2 run.

Outside of Appel and Smith, four other Bobcats combined to score the team’s remaining 17 points. Jacob Smith nailed four 3-pointers, Appel had a pair, while Slifer, Josh Melde and Austin Tullis each had a trey. Maschoff led all scorers with 31 points, making just one 3-pointer and four free throws, finishing with 12 2-point field goals. Ben Lyon and Dillon Carlson contributed 11 points apiece for the Hawks.

The Bobcats travel to Ankeny Centennial on Tuesday.

“I thought we did some good things offensively, and at times, defensively,” coach Smith said. “As you can see, we just can’t consistently give up 80 points and expected to win a lot of games. We challenge the guys they have to really buy in on that end, and shore it up on that end. We’re going to come in tomorrow and watch some film, and shoot around. The film doesn’t lie. It’ll show the things we need to work on. All those mistakes are correctable mistakes. Kids are working really hard. I was pleased with their effort. Obviously disappointed in the result, but game one sometimes exposes what you need to work on with an athletic team like Ankeny.”

Ankeny 82, Marshalltown 61

ANKENY (1-1) — Drew Maschoff 13 4-7 31, Ben Lyon 5 1-1 11, Dillon Carlson 4 0-0 11, Blaine Hawkins 4 0-0 8, Keegan Ferree 2 0-0 4, AJ Jackson 4 0-0 8, Camron Rinker 3 0-0 6, Reece Pitz 0 1-2 1, Grant Lee 1 0-0 2, Logan Scheer 0 0-0 0, Will Cassel 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 36 6-9 82.

MARSHALLTOWN (0-1) — Josh Melde 1 4-4 7, Jacob Smith 7 0-0 18, Dayton Slifer 1 0-0 3, Austin Tullis 2 0-0 5, Luke Appel 9 6-7 26, Austin Case 0 0-0 0, Blake Linsenmeyer 0 0-0 0, Marquis Haynes 1 0-0 2, Connor Beaty 0 0-1 0, Sean McWilliams 0 0-0 0, Reid Nenning 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21 10-12 61.

ANK    17    26    21    18    —    82

MHS    13    12    20    16    —    61

3-Point Goals — Ankeny 4 (Carlson 3, Maschoff); MHS 9 (Smith 4, Appel, Melde, Slifer, Tullis).