MHS girls dunked by Fort Dodge, 55-25

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown freshman Kyra Feldman (10) drives the ball on Fort Dodge’s Shareece Smith during the first half of the Bobcats’ loss to the Dodgers on Friday at the Roundhouse.

A slow start in the first quarter put the Marshalltown girls basketball team behind the eight ball early in Friday’s matchup against Fort Dodge, as the Bobcats trailed the Dodgers 20-3 after the opening quarter on their way to losing 55-25 in their CIML Iowa Conference opener.

Marshalltown head coach Stacy O’Hare said her girls have had a problem falling down early in games in their recent four-game losing skid, though they eventually find their way.

“The last couple of games we have come out in the first quarter and our intensity is not there,” O’Hare said after the loss. “We kind of spot teams and then we get it figured out.”

That was the case in both halves for the Bobcats (1-4, 0-1) on Friday night, as they were outscored 42-10 in the first and third quarters combined but actually outscored Fort Dodge (2-4, 1-0) 15-13 in the second and fourth quarters combined.

O’Hare said her girls always continue working during the game, and once they get the offense rolling they actually can keep up with quite a few squads.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown defenders Grace Metzger (44) and Kassy Vest (42) defend the lane against Fort Dodge’s Liza Van Zyl during the Bobcats’ loss on Friday night to the Dodgers.

“The kids don’t give up, they continue to work,” she said. “I would say as the game went on we started to figure things out and just that little stretch in the fourth quarter they were getting the ball into the high post and the high post was dumping it down to the wings.”

Sophomore Erica Johnson once again led the Bobcats with 11 points in the loss, her fourth double-digit scoring night of the year, but the Dodgers were able to lock down the Marshalltown offense essentially the entire game.

O’Hare said her girls struggled with Fort Dodge’s aggressive style of play, and they need to learn how to deal with teams that put on defensive pressure.

“Their pressure defense, even though it was a half-court one, but their pressure defense just pushed us away from the basket,” she said. “We weren’t even getting close to the hoop, we went too many minutes without even a shot attempt. We just need to be able to handle the pressure a little more, our wing people need to be going back door or cutting to the hoop and we just weren’t doing that.”

That ultra-aggressive style actually hurt the Dodgers at times, however, as they committed 22 total fouls in the game and had several starters in foul trouble even to start the second half. O’Hare said in those situations, her girls have to return their aggressiveness on the offensive end.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“If we had just continued to attack them and got by that first defender they were out of position every time, and we could have gotten to the free-throw line a few more times, and we could have gotten 35 out of the game a little bit sooner, and even 33,” she said. “We told them at halftime that they were giving us opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of any of it.”

One thing that could help the Bobcats be more aggressive on offense is the return of sophomore Madison Finch, who played in her first game this season after suffering a leg injury prior to the season opener.

O’Hare said that Finch, who had one point and six rebounds in the loss, helps her team in many ways than just the scoring column.

“She is kind of a game changer, you may not always see it in the stat column and points or whatever but she does a lot for us,” O’Hare said. “She is in the right spot, she’s aggressive, she crashes the boards. That gives us one more person on the bench who we can sub in now, maybe have a little bit more rotation so our kids aren’t quite as tired.”

After games on back-to-back days, the MHS girls get a little rest before taking the court again on Tuesday at home against Des Moines Roosevelt, but O’Hare said they won’t get too much rest because their conditioning still needs work considering there are only seven true rotation players on the team.

“They’re not used to playing a full game, these kids have never played a full game and now we’ve made them do it I don’t know how many times and we make them do it back-to-back,” she said. “They play hard and that’s what we want.”

That game between the Bobcats and Roughriders is set for a 6:15 p.m. tip next Tuesday in the Roundhouse.

Fort Dodge 55, Marshalltown 25

FORT DODGE (2-4, 1-0) — Shareece Smith 5 7-7 18, Beth Murman 2 2-4 4, Raeya Love 1 0-0 3, Taelor Lessmeier 4 2-2 11, Liza Van Zyl 5 1-1 12, Ebonee Altman 0 0-0 0, Olivia Camamo 1 0-0 2, Morgan Beisch 1 0-0 3, Makla Naylor 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 20 12-14 55.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-4, 0-1) — Alyvia Chadderdon 0 1-2 1, Erica Johnson 2 7-13 11, Madi Finch 0 1-3 1, Kassy Vest 1 3-4 5, Grace Metzger 2 2-2 6, Kyra Feldman 1 0-0 2, Jade Tejada 0 0-0 0, Aida Almanza 0 0-0 0, Priscila Vergara 0 0-0 0, Gabby Himes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 6 13-22 25.

FD 20 8 22 5 — 55

MHS 3 7 7 8 — 25

3-Point Goals–FD 5 (Lessmeier, Van Zyl, Naylor, Camamo, Smith). Total Fouls–FD 22, MHS 12. Fouled Out–Lessmeier.