Red-hot Cardinals chase away MHS, 64-34

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Marquis Haynes drives in toward the basket during the first half of Thursday night’s game against Newton. Haynes had one point on a made free throw in the second half as the Bobcats fell 64-34.

The Marshalltown boys’ basketball team ran into a red-hot Newton squad Thursday night, and Cardinal guard Garrett Sturtz made the Bobcats aware he and his company came to play.

Sturtz posted 28 points against Marshalltown (0-3), as the Cardinals (4-0) tipped the Bobcats 64-34 at the Roundhouse. Before fouling out with nearly five minutes remaining, junior Luke Appel led the way for Marshalltown with 13 points.

The Newton defense was stout and kept the MHS offense on its toes through all four quarters. While Cardinal defenders held the Bobcat offense to single digits in the second and third periods – and held them to 10 in the first and fourth – the Newton scorers posted 39 points in the second half, with 26 of them coming in the fourth quarter alone.

MHS head coach Scott Smith chalked up the credit to fundamental defense by Newton as the causation for his team’s offensive woes Thursday night.

“They just do all the fundamentals well,” Smith said “Newton has prototypical guys in terms of build, they’re athletic. They’re fairly long, they’re quick, they’re ball-handlers. All their guys have great rotations on both ends of the floor. And they’ll step in and take charges. That’s really the epitome of their program. That’s an outstanding team that will do a lot of damage in our conference this year.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Josh Melde goes in for a layup during the first half of the Bobcats’ game against Newton on Thursday night. Melde had four points and was 2-for-4 from the free-throw line in the 64-34 loss.

Sturtz is averaging 23.5 points per game in Newton’s four wins this year, including a 33-spot against Boone in his season opener. His 28 against MHS was second-best this year.

With Appel on the bench for a heavy portion of the fourth quarter, junior Blake Linsenmeyer went for 10 points, seven in the second half, to be the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer. Linsenmeyer also forced a handful of turnovers in the second stanza and helped dictate the pace and offense for Marshalltown.

“Blake has just done so well from the beginning of the year, has improved as much as any player,” Smith said. “I just wanted to reward him tonight with so many more minutes. He has been doing so well in practice. He’s a guy with high energy, he’s a guy who has the ability to be the slasher to the hoop and provides really good defensive intensity with rebounds. It thought he gave us a spark and stepped his game up.”

With an 0-3 start, frustration has begun to set in at times for Bobcat players. On the cusp of getting over a hump that could lead to highly-competitive games, Smith said it’s important for his team to stay the course, be patient and realize ball isn’t completely life (and death).

“It’s about a bigger picture than basketball,” Smith said. “We’re going to compete as best we can, but I said, ‘Look, life is 90 percent about how you respond and 10 percent of what happens to you.’ We’ve got to hang tough and not make any excuses. We’re going to keep working hard. It doesn’t always translate to wins and losses, but we’ve really improved since day one of practice. It’s a true test of character.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

Josh Melde had four points, going 2-for-4 at the charity stripe and grabbing a bucket in the first half; Connor Beaty hit a 3-pointer in the first half as well to get his three points; Austin Tullis 3-for-4 at the free-throw line and Marquis Haynes grabbed a free throw late to round out scoring for the Bobcats.

Should Marshalltown remain focused and continue the grind, Smith is confident that turn of attitude is right around the corner.

“We have a small margin of error and Newton’s a great team. That’s a team that beat Nevada by [40],” Smith said. “They haven’t lost a game yet; they play solid defense and play well together. The kids have worked hard, and it does get frustrating at times, but we can’t make excuses. We’ve got to man up, get better, work hard and good things will happen.”

Marshalltown will get Fort Dodge at home tonight, tipping off at 7:45 p.m. at the Roundhouse.

Newton 64, Marshalltown 34

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

NEWTON (4-0) — Garrett Sturtz 10 7-7 28, Connor Gholson 7 0-0 15, Trey Vander Laan 0 0-0 0, Josh Ventling 2 2-2 6, Morgan Maher 4 0-0 9, Grayson Graham 0 1-2 1, Josh Gulling 0 0-0 0, Grant Garvis 0 0-0 0, Aaron Bartely 0 2-2 2. TOTALS 23 12-13 64.

MARSHALLTOWN (0-3) — Josh Melde 3 0-0 3, Jacob Smith 0 0-0 0, Dayton Slifer 0 0-0 0, Austin Tullis 0 3-4 3, Luke Appel 5 2-2 13, Tyrell Davis 0 0-0 0, Connor Beaty 1 0-0 3, Ryan Bates 0 0-0-0 0, Austin Case 0 0-0 0, Sean McWilliams 0 0-0 0, Blake Linsemeyer 4 2-3 10, Reid Nennig, 0 0-0 0, Marquis Haynes 0 1-2 1, Sam Britnall 0 0-0 0, Brennin Davis 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 11 10-16 34.

NEWTON    16    9    13    26    —    64

MHS    10    8    6    10    —    34

3-Point Goals–Newton 6 (Gholson 4, Sturtz, Maher), MHS 2 (Appel, Beaty). Totals Fouls–Newton 16, MHS 13. Fouled Out–Appel.