Newton staves off Bobcats

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Kassy Vest drives toward the basket against Newton’s Ali Bestell (50) Thursday at the Roundhouse. Vest led all scorers with 14 points, but Newton came away with the 45-38 win.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Kassy Vest drives toward the basket against Newton’s Ali Bestell (50) Thursday at the Roundhouse. Vest led all scorers with 14 points, but Newton came away with the 45-38 win.

Runs of 9-1 ultimately doomed the Bobcats. Newton closed the first half with one, then opened the second half with another.

It turned a one-point Bobcat advantage into a 15-point Cardinal lead — a deficit far too wide for the Marshalltown girls’ basketball team. The Bobcats pulled within six at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but never got any closer as Newton took the 45-38 win from MHS on Thursday night at the Roundhouse.

A slow start greeted both teams to begin the first quarter. Marshalltown (0-5) had lengthy possessions, but Newton (2-3) held the Bobcats to getting few shots off in the opening quarter. The Cardinals held to a tight 7-4 lead through the first eight minutes, getting five points from Ryanne Rausch.

“I thought our 2-3 defense was a little more aggressive,” said Bobcat coach Stacy O’Hare. “Talked a lot about with our top two girls being more active with their hands to try to slow the ball down to limit passing the ball around and getting good looks. We had to have good ball pressure so they couldn’t just feed it to (Ellie Horn).”

Newton held an 11-6 lead before the Bobcats knotted things up 11-all on an Alyvia Chadderdon field goal, followed by a Kassy Vest 3-pointer. After the Cardinals went 1-for-2 on free throws, a Vanessa Ceren field goal gave MHS a one-point edge. That’s when Newton went on its first 9-1 run, starting with a 3-pointer, and ending with scoring six in the final minute of the first half.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Vanessa Ceren gets off a 3-point shot attempt against Newton Thursday at the Roundhouse. Newton won 45-38.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Vanessa Ceren gets off a 3-point shot attempt against Newton Thursday at the Roundhouse. Newton won 45-38.

After the Bobcats opened the third making a free throw, Newton came back with another nine points, including a Courtney Jacobsen 3-pointer and back-to-back field goals from Randi Walters. Madi Finch and Vest teamed up to put a 6-0 run for the Bobcats in response, and Vanessa Veraga scored the final four points of the third quarter to pull MHS within 33-25 heading into the fourth quarter.

“They responded well, and didn’t hold their heads down and give up,” O’Hare said. “They kept fighting back. We always talk about when we come out of half they first three minutes are key. We can’t come out flat. We have to come out with a lot of energy just like we start the game. We came out flat. One, we weren’t rebounding, and we weren’t getting back on defense. That allowed (Newton) fast breaks and wide-open shots.”

The MHS 38 points matched the season-best output, when the Bobcats scored as much against Waterloo East a week ago in the second game of the season. Still, O’Hare needs to see more from the offensive end of the Bobcats.

“Half-court offense,” O’Hare said. “There seems to be a lot of confusion with it. We’ve been playing some young kids that aren’t sure what a good shot is, what’s not. When to run the offense, when to not run the offense. We sometimes have a hard time getting into the offense. Then when they don’t get into it, they’re confused and don’t know what to do.”

Ceren scored the opening points of the final quarter to cut the lead to six. However, the Cardinals flew away from there, stretching the lead back out to as much as 13. The Bobcats closed out the game with a 9-3 run, getting four points from Erica Johnson and five from Vest, but the clock ran out on Marshalltown.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

Vest led all scorers with 14 points. Johnson added six points, while Finch, Malory Henze, Ceren and Vergara chimed in four points each. Walters led Newton with 13, and Rausch scored 12. The Cardinals got just three points from the bench.

For the second week in a row, the Bobcats will play three games in a four-day span. Marshalltown will be back on the home court, hosting Fort Dodge (3-1) tonight at the Roundhouse.

“Just have to keep preaching we have to come out with a lot of energy,” O’Hare said. “Can’t use it as an excuse.”

Newton 45, Marshalltown 38

NEWTON (2-3) — Ryanne Rausch 2 8-12 12, Randi Walters 6 0-1 13, Taylor Shipley 2 1-2 6, Courtney Jacobsen 1 0-0 3, Ellie Horn 4 0-2 8, Anna Forsyth 0 0-0 0, Marcelina Marvelli 0 0-0 0, Taylor Ryan 1 0-0 3, Ali Bestell 0 0-0 0, Rachel Rhoads 0 0-2 0, Peyton Maher 0 0-0 0, Harlie Durr 0 0-0 0, Abbie Barr 0 0-0 0, Adyson Blom 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 8-20 45.

MARSHALLTOWN (0-5) — Alyvia Chadderdon 1 0-0 2, Erica Johnson 1 4-6 6, Aspen Chadderdon 0 0-0 0, Madi Finch 2 0-0 4, Malory Henze 1 2-2 4, Kassy Vest 5 2-4 14, Vanessa Ceren 2 0-2 4, Luz Morciego 0 0-1 0, Vanessa Vergara 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 14 8-21 38.

NEWTON    7    14    12    12    —    45

MHS    4    10    11    13    —    38

3-Point Goals–Newton 4 (Walters, Ryan, Shipley, Jacobsen); MHS 2 (Vest 2).