Offensive woes plague MHS as Dodgers cruise

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Malory Henze takes a jump shot against Fort Dodge’s Shareece Smith (2) in the third quarter of Friday night’s CIML Iowa Conference game. Fort Dodge won 52-18.

The start of the season hasn’t been a favorable one for the Bobcats, but Marshalltown girls’ head basketball coach Stacy O’Hare continues to remind her team there is a lot of basketball left to be played, and that the key to success right now for the Bobcats is to improve every day.

Marshalltown has had a lot of chances at steady improvement, playing six games in the last 10 days. Despite falling 52-18 to Fort Dodge Friday night at the Roundhouse in CIML Iowa Conference play, O’Hare said it was another opportunity to see progress from the Bobcats.

“Right now I think our confidence level is low offensively,” O’Hare said. “Nobody really wants to shoot the ball. It’s just a struggle for us right now. In practice we have to keep pushing ourselves, and it has to be game-like speed. That way when we’re in a game, it’s not any different. We have a lot of season left. Kids have to keep their heads up and stay positive.”

Friday’s contest for the Bobcats (0-6, 0-1 CIML Iowa) started off like Thursday’s night game with Newton. Marshalltown stayed with its opponent through most of the first quarter, but Fort Dodge (4-1, 1-0) started to pull away late in the opening eight minutes, and never looked back. The Bobcats opened a 4-0 lead on buckets from Madi Finch and Kassy Vest. After the Dodgers took a 5-4 lead, Marshalltown took it back on a field goal from Erica Johnson. But Fort Dodge then closed out the first quarter on a 7-0 run.

That run spilled over into the second quarter, as Fort Dodge stretched its 12-6 to 23-6 with an 11-0 run that saw five field goals, each from a different player. Finch stopped the run with a Bobcat field goal, but that was the lone score of the second quarter for Marshalltown. The Dodgers ended the half on an 8-0 run to take a 31-8 lead to the locker room.

“They ran a half-court trap,” O’Hare said. “We did not do a good job in the first half of (facing it). We’d get across half court, and drive right into it. Instead of getting across half court and didn’t get our heads up to see what’s open.”

The margin was expanded even larger to open the third quarter, with the Dodgers posting a 6-0 run. The Bobcats scored three points in the third, a Malory Henze field goal, and a Vest free throw. Marshalltown outscored the Dodgers 7-6 in the final quarter, getting another field goal from Henze, a free throw from Kyra Long and two scores from Vest. Vest led the Bobcats, scoring seven points.

“We talked about it at halftime,” O’Hare said. “I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half and used our height. We got it into Kassy, we got it into Malory. The kids have shown they listen at half, and can go out and do adjustments.

“I thought Kassy played well (Thursday) night. I thought she played well tonight. We have to establish some sort of inside game.”

The Bobcats are on the road for their next three games. Marshalltown travels to Des Moines Roosevelt Tuesday before traveling to Mason City and Urbandale for CIML Iowa Conference contests.

Fort Dodge 52, Marshalltown 18

FORT DODGE (4-1, 1-0) — Shariah Smith 3 3-6 10, Shareece Smith 4 4-5 13, Maggie Harvey 2 0-0 5, Taelor Lessmeier 1 0-0 2, Elizabeth Van Zyl 5 2-2 12, Beth Murmann 1 0-0 2, Olivia Camamo 1 0-0 2, Justice Crooks 2 0-0 4, Aleah Sherman 1 0-0 2, Morgan Beisch 0 0-0 0, Kacee Gollob 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 9-13 52.

MARSHALLTOWN (0-6, 0-1) — Erica Johnson 1 0-0 2, Aspen Chadderdon 0 0-0 0, Madi Finch 2 0-0 4, Malory Henze 2 0-1 4, Kassy Vest 3 1-2 7, Vanessa Ceren 0 0-0 0, Vanessa Vergara 0 0-0 0, Luz Morciego 0 0-1 0, Kyra Long 0 1-2 1, Katie Matney 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 2-11 18.

FORT DODGE    12    19    15    6    —    52

MHS    6    2    3    7    —    18

3-Point Goals–FD 3 (Shari.Smith, Share.Smith, Harvey).