Bobcats stay poised to defeat East
The Bobcat boys’ basketball team posted an 18-point lead out of halftime after a Luke Appel layup, going ahead 45-27 on visiting Des Moines East on Tuesday night. But it was a test of composure for the Bobcats’ to hold on in a 76-69 win as the Scarlets erased the 18-point deficit to just four with just 15 seconds remaining.
Appel tied a career-high of 26 points to lead the Bobcats (2-8) past the Des Moines East (2-7) at the Roundhouse. Josh Melde canned two first-half 3s and went 4-for-7 from the line to post 16 points, and Austin Tullis had 13 more to add to Marshalltown’s efforts.
With 76 points, it was the most the Bobcats had scored in a game since an 85-70 win against Newton on Dec. 21, 2013.
Despite having such a large lead at the half — and an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter — Marshalltown head coach Scott Smith the Bobcats had to adjust to being ahead late in the game.
“We haven’t been in that spot a lot,” Smith said. “Learning how to win and re-learning how to win is so important as we move forward in the program. The kids did a good job. There’s going to be some growing pains, but we just haven’t been in the position up 16 at the half or up 10 with five minutes left.
“But give East credit. They were very athletic, they really got aggressive defensively, but our kids really got in there and found a way to get it done.”
The Bobcats came out firing, tallying six 3-pointers in the first half. All five starters scored in the first half, and four of the five had at least eight points. But a cold perimeter shooting second half that saw zero 3-pointers from the Bobcats, paved way to East’s rebuttal.
The Scarlets hit five second-half 3s and pulled to within 10 points with five minutes to go. As time ticked away, the Scarlets kept pace. They were in the bonus with 7:41 left to play in the final period, and made free throws down the stretch, despite struggling early on.
A 29-point fourth quarter affair wasn’t enough, however, and the Bobcats held on for their second win this season.
“Our last game before break was against Ottumwa, and I thought the kids did a great job in a good win,” Smith said. “Then we came back against two tough opponents on the road. But you can see the improvement the kids have made from day one. Just as far as understanding the roles. They’re starting to settle into that.”
One of the Bobcats’ biggest role players this year will be Appel. As their ‘big man,’ Appel began driving and posting up in the paint, where he accumulated a majority of his points.
But Appel hasn’t only grown as a player down low this season, but as a leader in the front court.
“He’s so difficult to guard, because not only can he shoot the 3, but he can come back inside on you,” Smith said. “Our guys did a good job getting him the ball because he had a lot of mismatches in there. He’s really improved to the point when we get him the ball in the right position inside, not a lot of guys can stop him.”
Marshalltown will host Dowling Catholic on Friday night, tipping off directly after the Veterans’ Night ceremonies at the Roundhouse.
With Dowling Catholic visiting Marshalltown for a girls/boys varsity doubleheader, the Roundhouse will also be hosting Veterans’ night, an evening honoring service men and women during the break between the games’ and boys’ games.
There will be a short medley of armed forces songs sung by Marshalltown students, while members of the armed forces will be recognized during the event.
The National Guard will be on hand to present the colors and the National Anthem will be sung by MHS students. The boys’ game will directly follow.
Marshalltown 76, Des Moines East 69
DM EAST (2-7) — Camet Soe 9 1-3 20, Cameron Cramer 2 1-2 6, Kong Neyail 1 0-0 2, Daires Adems 5 2-2 15, Vincent Lloyd 3 0-0 6, Derek Henderson 3 0-2 7, James Bilim 1 2-2 4, George Dantzler 3 2-2 9. TOTALS 26 8-16 69.
MARSHALLTOWN (2-8) — Josh Melde 5 4-7 16, Dayton Slifer 3 3-3 11, Blake Linsenmeyer 2 1-4 5, Austin Tullis 6 1-2 13, Luke Appel 9 7-10 26, Conner Beaty 1 0-0 3, Jacob Smith 0 0-0 0, Reid Nennig 1 0-0 2, Marquis Haynes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27 16-26 76.
EAST 11 16 13 29 — 69
MHS 25 18 10 27 — 76
3-Point Goals–EAST 7 (Dantzler 3, Soe, Henderson, Cramer), MHS 6 (Melde 2, Slifer 2, Beaty, Appel). Totals Fouls–EAST 23, MHS 19. Fouled Out–Soe.