Bobcats succumb to Scarlets’ pressure

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • Marshalltown’s Madi Finch (14) puts up a jumpshot during the first quarter of the Bobcats’ eventual loss to Des Moines East on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • Marshalltown’s Madi Finch (14) puts up a jumpshot during the first quarter of the Bobcats’ eventual loss to Des Moines East on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.

Fresh off a disheartening loss at Ottumwa a night earlier, the Marshalltown girls’ basketball team refused to limp into the holiday break with a whimper. Instead the Bobcats made Des Moines East chase them into the Christmas season.

A low-scoring first half played into Marshalltown’s hands but the Bobcats couldn’t keep the pace of play where it was, as the Scarlets (4-5) sped the game up with a full-court press in the second half of their eventual 45-31 victory on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.

Tatiana Hodges-Johnson scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second half as Des Moines East’s increased pressure defense yielded transition baskets by the bushel. And Marshalltown (1-8), which trailed by one after one quarter and two at the half couldn’t keep stride.

“I think we did a lot of good things tonight,” said MHS head coach Stacy O’Hare. “If we would have played this way [Monday] night it would have been a different story. Whether or not we would have won or lost, I don’t know, but at least we would have been more competitive.”

Marshalltown led twice during the first quarter, 4-2 and 6-5, but couldn’t take full advantage of East’s decision to stay in its half-court zone defense. Once the second half started, so did the Scarlets’ surge.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

“That wasn’t typical of them to sit back in the half court,” O’Hare said. “We knew something was going to happen in the second half, they were going to attack. They came out and put a lot more pressure on us and we just didn’t handle the pressure.

“The worst part is every turnover turned into points for them, because when we could keep them in a half court offense we were getting stops.”

The Bobcats closed the night with 27 turnovers, including nine in a critical third quarter when Des Moines East’s lead ballooned from two to 11.

Marshalltown was led by Madi Finch’s 13 points in the team’s eighth-straight loss going into the holiday break. Kassy Vest had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Grace Metzger chipped in four points.

“The girls didn’t use the fact they had to play back-to-back games as an excuse,” said O’Hare. “I did see some fatigue out there but they weren’t complaining. They wanted to play. I was happy with the way we came out and played, but unfortunately we couldn’t maintain it for four quarters.”

The Bobcats come back after the break with a Jan. 2 trip to Urbandale that tips off a six-game road swing for MHS.

Des Moines East 45, Marshalltown 31

At Marshalltown

DM EAST (4-5) — Eriana Brown 3 2-3 8, Kiana Sanders 6 0-0 12, Tatiana Hodges-Johnson 6 3-4 15, Jada Powell 0 0-0 0, Tiana Ziegler 2 0-0 4, Morgan Graves 0 0-0 0, Aaliyah Williams 2 2-4 6, Mia Elliott 0 0-0 0, Melynn Phillips 0 0-0 0, Honor Edmonds 0 0-0 0, Rachelle Smith 0 0-0 0, Marisa Anderson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 7-11 45.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-8) — Alyvia Chadderdon 0 0-0 0, Erica Johnson 1 0-0 2, Madi Finch 6 1-1 13, Kassy Vest 5 0-1 10, Grace Metzger 2 0-0 4, Kyra Feldman 1 0-0 2, Gabby Himes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 1-2 31.

DM EAST 7 8 19 11 — 45

MHS 6 7 10 8 — 31

Total Fouls–DM East 8, MHS 12. Fouled Out–none.