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Mohawks blow by Bobcat girls, 57-23

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Grace Metzger (44) boxes out her opponent while locking down a rebound during the second half of the Bobcats’ loss to Mason City on Friday night at the Roundhouse.

So far this season, it’s been clear that the Marshalltown girls basketball team performs best when it gets out to a good start and doesn’t allow teams to jump out to an early lead.

That was the plan heading into Friday’s home matchup against CIML Iowa Conference foe Mason City, but that plan didn’t quite work out as the Mohawks owned a 19-2 lead after the first quarter on their way to beating the Bobcats 57-23.

MHS head coach Stacy O’Hare said slow starts have become common for her girls over the last few games, and that is not a recipe for success.

“We have a tendency to do that, it seems like we come out flat in the first quarter of every game and then we have to climb out of a big hole that we’ve created,” O’Hare said. “It shouldn’t be a shock to these kids that we are going to see pressure and that teams are going to get out and run because it’s something we’ve talked about from day one.”

To their credit, the Marshalltown girls never lacked for effort on the night, and that showed after the awful start on Friday. After allowing 19 points in each of the first two quarters, the Bobcats (1-6, 0-2) held Mason City (4-5, 1-1) to just 19 total points in the second half, and O’Hare said she is proud of the way her team fights to the end.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior Alyvia Chadderdon, left, takes the ball inside the paint on Mason City defender Sami Miller during the Bobcats’ loss to the Mohawks on Friday.

“They keep playing hard, we talk about things they have to improve on and they sometimes try to do it late in the game,” she said. “You have to give them credit for that, they don’t quit.”

Mason City was led by Megan Meyer on the night with 17 points, but outside of the Mohawks’ leading scorer no other player had more than seven points. O’Hare said her girls knew that Meyer and Hannah Faktor were the main Mason City threats, but considering nine other girls found the bottom of the net for the Mohawks, shutting down just those two wasn’t really an option.

“We talked about the Meyer girl as their leading scorer and the Faktor girl, we knew those two were their top scorers and the kids were asking about running a box-and-one or a triangle-and-two, but unfortunately all of their kids are very capable of scoring,” O’Hare said. “It wasn’t a matter of someone on their team not being able to score, they were going to be able to put up points from any kid. Taking one girl away wasn’t going to do us a whole lot of good.”

What also didn’t do the Bobcats a lot of good was turning the ball over 25 times, many of those unforced due to traveling or carrying violations. O’Hare said those errors come from her girls being pressured, but they need to figure out how to handle that pressure because teams won’t be stopping the pressure any time soon.

“We talk about how anyone who watches our film is going to know to come up and trap our girls, so we should be expecting it and know that it’s coming and then take care of the ball,” she said. “It’s almost like they have to see it happen a few times before they believe me.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

It wasn’t all bad for the MHS girls on Friday night, however, as O’Hare said two specific girls showed well on the day.

“I thought Grace Metzger and Madi Finch played great games. You’re not going to see it in the stats, you won’t see it on the score sheet but I thought those two battled as hard as they could,” O’Hare said. “That’s the hardest I’ve seen Grace post up all year and we’ve talked a lot about getting the ball down low to her or Kassy because we have to have everyone touch the ball. We can’t just have one person or two people, the ball has to move and we have to get it to everyone.”

Finch had five points and Metzger four in the loss, while Erica Johnson and Alyvia Chadderdon each had six to lead the Bobcats.

There are just two games left on the schedule before winter break for Marshalltown now, starting with a matchup with Ottumwa on the road on Monday. O’Hare said the Bulldogs are known for their physical style of play, so the pressure they’ve seen could be taken to the next level.

“We played Ottumwa last year in a tournament and we’ve played them in the past, we know what to expect from them,” she said. “They are very, very aggressive, we tend to get beat up when we go to Ottumwa, so it shouldn’t be a surprise for us. They are a team I think, if we can start off strong and not spot them points, it’s someone we can compete with.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

That game between Marshalltown and Ottumwa is set for a 6:15 p.m. tip on Monday at Ottumwa.

Mason City 57, Marshalltown 23

At Marshalltown

MASON CITY (4-5, 1-1) — Autum Anderson 3 0-0 7, Megan Meyer 7 1-1 17, Anna Lensing 2 0-0 4, Anna Deets 2 0-0 5, Ali Rood 0 1-2 1, Hannah Faktor 2 1-2 6, Sami Miller 1 0-2 2, Jaeda Whitner 2 0-0 5, Hannah Thomas 0 1-2 1, Brianna Notermann 0 0-0 0, Emma Hollander 2 0-0 4, Megan Hollander 2 1-4 5. TOTALS 23 5-13 57.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-6, 0-2) — Alyvia Chadderdon 2 2-4 6, Erica Johnson 3 0-2 6, Madi Finch 0 4-6 4, Kassy Vest 1 0-0 2, Grace Metzger 2 0-1 4, Kyra Feldman 0 0-0 0, Aida Almanza 0 0-0 0, Priscila Vergara 0 0-0 0, Gabby Himes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS — 8 7-14 23.

Mason City 19 19 12 7 — 57

MHS 2 11 4 6 — 23

3-Point Goals–MC 4 (Meyer, Rood, Faktor, Whitner). Total Fouls–MC 16, MHS 11. Fouled Out–none.