Bobcat girls come up just short against Roughriders

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Madi Finch, middle, puts up a shot between Des Moines Roosevelts’ Sanaa Smith (1) and Kate Claypool (2) during the Bobcats’ last-minute loss to the Roughriders on Tuesday night.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Madi Finch, middle, puts up a shot between Des Moines Roosevelts’ Sanaa Smith (1) and Kate Claypool (2) during the Bobcats’ last-minute loss to the Roughriders on Tuesday night.

With less than one minute left on the clock in Tuesday’s matchup between the Marshalltown girls basketball team and Des Moines Roosevelt, the Bobcats clung to a one-point advantage after fighting all the way back from an early deficit to the Roughriders.

With MHS in possession and just needing to run out the clock, Roosevelt’s Sanaa Smith recorded a steal and a basket, her third such play of the final frame, which led to the Roughriders stealing the game, 31-28.

While that play obviously didn’t help the Bobcat cause on Tuesday night, head coach Stacy O’Hare said the loss came down to much more than the final possessions.

“Really I don’t think the game came down to the end because I thought there were some things we did throughout the game that really cost us,” O’Hare said after the loss. “We should have been up by 10, we had plenty of opportunities to take advantage but we just didn’t take advantage of it. If we had extended that lead we wouldn’t have had the issues at the end of the game that we did.”

Marshalltown (1-5) started the game slowly, allowing Roosevelt (2-5) a 16-10 advantage after the first quarter. The Bobcats would stiffen up on defense, however, allowing only six Roughrider points over the next two quarters combined.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown defenders Kyra Feldman, left, Grace Metzger, middle, and Erica Johnson lock down the paint against Des Moines Roosevelt’s Sanaa Smith (1) during the Bobcats’ close loss to the Roughriders, 31-28.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown defenders Kyra Feldman, left, Grace Metzger, middle, and Erica Johnson lock down the paint against Des Moines Roosevelt’s Sanaa Smith (1) during the Bobcats’ close loss to the Roughriders, 31-28.

O’Hare said the plan to start the game was to run a man-to-man defense, but once her girls got into a little foul trouble they had to switch to a zone, much to the benefit of the Bobcat defenders.

“Defensively we were trying to mix things up a little bit by going man and running a 2-3 zone,” she said. “I think our 2-3 was good tonight, it seems like each night is something different. We have been working hard on the 3-2 but tonight I don’t think our 3-2 was worth a darn, so we went with the 2-3 and I thought that worked really well for us.”

Though Roosevelt couldn’t find the bottom of the net, MHS had a hard time scoring in the second and third quarters as well, though the Bobcats did eventually take a 24-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

What gave Marshalltown a little extra scoring punch in the third quarter specifically was Madi Finch finally making a couple baskets. She scored five of her team-high seven in the third quarter, and O’Hare said her sophomore scorer is doing well in just her second game back after a leg injury sidelined her to start the year.

“It will take her a little more time, this was the first game where she really got into the game the entire time, last Friday she played but I regulated her minutes,” O’Hare said of Finch. “Tonight I just left her out there and let her go for it. Her confidence is going to continue to improve as games keep going and as we continue to practice.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

This was the second game this season that has come down to the wire for Marshalltown, as the girls won a close 39-32 battle against Des Moines North to start the year as well. Given the team’s issues outside of the fourth quarter, O’Hare said she doesn’t work on late-game situations in practice in favor of working on other things to help her team.

“When you’re not in it enough we aren’t going to spend time in practice working on that because we have so many other things we have to work on or focus on,” she said. “It’s not something we’ve talked about, and the only way they are really going to learn is by being in that situation. Even if you do practice it you can’t simulate the intensity or emotions going on out there.”

This Bobcat girls team is still relatively young, as more than half the points on Tuesday were scored by sophomore players or younger. O’Hare recognizes that makeup of her squad and she said they still have some growing to do yet.

“We still have young kids out there, we have freshman and sophomore kids that probably aren’t used to this,” she said. “Yeah it came down to a couple of steals at the end I think there were some things earlier in the game that kind of cost it for us.”

Marshalltown will attempt to end its five-game losing skid on Friday when it welcomes in Mason City for a game starting at 6:15 p.m. at the Roundhouse.

Des Moines Roosevelt 31, Marshalltown 28

At Marshalltown

DM ROOSEVELT (2-5) — Sanaa Smith 6 5-5 17, Kate Claypool 1 0-0 3, Karisma Wright 1 0-0 2, Mya Williams 1 1-4 4, Alesha Henderson 1 3-4 5, Hailey Crozier 0 0-0 0, Asantee Tillman 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 10 9-13 31.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-5) — Alyvia Chadderdon 0 0-0 0, Erica Johnson 2 1-4 5, Madi Finch 2 2-2 7, Kassy Vest 3 0-0 6, Grace Metzger 2 2-2 6, Kyra Feldman 2 0-0 4, Gabby Himes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 5-10 28.

DM Roosevelt 16 4 2 9 — 31

MHS 7 10 7 4 — 28

3-Point Goals–DMR 1 (Claypool), MHS 1 (Finch). Total Fouls–DMR 12, MHS 17. Fouled Out–Chadderdon.