Bulldogs bounce MHS from playoffs

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Erica Johnson (4) puts up a shot in the middle of the Ottumwa defense in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Class 5A Region 4 opener in Ottumwa. The Bulldogs won 62-19.

OTTUMWA — Coming into the 2016-17 season, Marshalltown girls’ basketball coach Stacy O’Hare knew the Bobcats were behind the rest of the competition. She took what she had and led the Bobcats full steam ahead into the CIML Conference opposition.

The season came to an end Wednesday evening in a 62-19 loss to Ottumwa in the Class 5A Region 4 opener at Evans Middle School. The loss put the Bobcats on a side of history no one wants to be on. Marshalltown finished the season with a winless, 0-22, record. It’s the first time in school history the Bobcats have been unable to collect a single win.

Still, O’Hare isn’t disappointed with the output of the Bobcats. She noted this year’s team met expectations in game-by-game goals, even if it wasn’t seen in the results, then in past seasons that saw Marshalltown pick up wins along the way.

“We’ve done a lot better offensively,” O’Hare said. “Even though sometimes we don’t put up the points. We’re getting better looks at the basket, and the kids are more aggressive. They’re a lot stronger with the ball late in the season that they hadn’t been early in the season. Press break, at times we still struggle, but there are also glimpses of doing good things. Overall, just skill improvement from start to finish. Just basketball fundamentals in themselves have got a lot stronger.

“We talked about how it doesn’t matter what the score is. The kids never give up. They always play hard.”

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown’s Madi Finch puts up a shot over Ottumwa’s Morgain Greiner (5) in the second half of Wednesday’s Class 5A Region 4 opener in Ottumwa. Finch co-led the Bobcats with six points.

Wednesday’s final score was the same score of the first time these two teams met this season. Ottumwa (14-8) got the best of the Bobcats in Marshalltown on Dec. 22.

Things got off to a slow start for both teams Wednesday. Ottumwa held just a 5-0 lead through the first 5 minutes, 17 seconds of action. The Bulldogs, behind two 3s from Jada Schrage, scored 10 points in the quarter’s final 2:43 for a 15-0 lead heading to the second.

Madi Finch got MHS on the scoreboard 1:42 into the second with a field goal off a Bulldog turnover, but then things began to unravel for the Bobcats. The Marshalltown bench was issued a technical foul with 2:42 before halftime, resulting in two free throws for Ottumwa. 25 seconds later, Luz Morciego was issued a technical foul when officials said she took a swing at an Ottumwa player when several players got tangled underneath the basket, leading to two more free throws for the Bulldogs. Ottumwa made 10 free throws in the second quarter as Marshalltown was called for 15 fouls in the first half. The Bulldogs led 34-5 at half.

“The one on the coaches, which we were all dead silent, I don’t know what he was hearing,” O’Hare said. “I don’t know if he was hearing the fans, but that’s really not his job to pay attention to that. His job is to call the game. The other one, he said Luz swung at the girl. The girl swung at her first, so it should’ve been a double technical foul. They let the game get out of hand. Our kids were obviously frustrated, and I’m not going to chew our kids out for being frustrated. Heck, I was frustrated on the sidelines. That’s just too bad. We thought we could come in and compete with Ottumwa.”

The first nine points of the second half belonged to Ottumwa. Nya Gatwech scored four of Marshalltown’s six points in the quarter, as Malory Henze was responsible for the other two. Finch and Gatwech co-led the Bobcats with six points each. Aspen Chadderdon finished with four, and Vanessa Ceren added one.

Ottumwa advances to Saturday’s region semifinal at Class 5A No. 3 Iowa City West (18-3).

Ottumwa 62, Marshalltown 19

At Ottumwa

MARSHALLTOWN (0-22) — Erica Johnson 0 0-2 0, Aspen Chadderdon 2 0-0 4, Vanessa Vergara 0 0-0 0, Madi Finch 2 2-2 6, Kassy Vest 0 0-0 0, Vanessa Ceren 0 1-2 1, Malory Henze 1 0-0 2, Nya Gatwech 3 0-0 6, Luz Morciego 0 0-0 0, Katie Matney 0 0-0 0, Kyra Long 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 3-6 19.

OTTUMWA (14-8) — Lily Anderson 2 2-2 6, Morgan Greiner 1 1-4 3, Kacy Nickerson 3 5-6 13, Jaylin Carter 6 3-9 15, Jada Schrage 5 0-0 14, Kaylee Bix 0 0-1 0, Janielle Cobler 1 0-1 3, Ellen Carlson 0 2-2 2, Helen Altfillisch 0 0-0 0, Karleigh Halpin 1 0-2 2, Grace Bookin-Nosbich 0 0-0 0, Holly Leffler 0 0-0 0, Alli Bookin-Nosbich 1 2-2 4, Keely Birk 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 15-29 62.

MHS 0 5 6 8 — 19

OTTUMWA 15 19 20 8 — 62

3-Point Goals–OTT 7 (Schrage 4, Nickerson 2, Cobler). Total Fouls–MHS 22, OTT 12. Fouled Out–Henze. Technical Fouls–MHS bench, Morciego.