Bobcats baffled by Dowling defense

Maroons make off with 61-36 conference win

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Luke Appel (50) fights for a rebound Dowling Catholic’s Luke Yacinich during the Tigers’ home loss to the Maroons on Thursday.

Even though the team was 2-2 over its last four games, the Marshalltown boys basketball team had been playing some of its best ball of the season ahead of Thursday’s CIML Iowa Conference finale against Dowling Catholic.

All of that work didn’t seem to show against the Maroons, however, as the Bobcats looked sluggish all night in a 61-36 loss in the penultimate game at the Roundhouse this season.

MHS head coach Scott Smith said he wasn’t sure if it was the weather or moving up the game to Thursday from Friday, but his guys just never seemed themselves in the loss.

“Honestly we can’t make excuses, we had been playing really well but for whatever reason we just didn’t have it tonight,” Smith said. “It was kind of a bad combination because this is our poorest performance in the last several weeks and they played well, they were physical and they locked us down. We struggled to get good looks and when we did we didn’t knock them down.”

Dowling (15-4, 9-1) had a simple mission, the Maroons through everything they had at senior Luke Appel and tried to shut him down, forcing another Bobcat to hurt them. That plan worked, as Appel led Marshalltown with eight points — one of his worst point totals of the season — and Josh Melde finished next with seven.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Smith said his guys were able to feed the ball back out to the perimeter when they crashed on Appel, but Dowling was so skilled on returning to their defense that it seemed like they had an extra man.

“When the ball was moving and kicking out, their closeouts were so solid,” Smith said. “It almost seemed like they had six guys out there on defense, I know they didn’t but we just seemed a step slow and they were up in us and took us out of our comfort zone. We just couldn’t respond.”

What also hurt Marshalltown was its inability to keep the basketball, as the Bobcats had close to 20 turnovers in the loss. Dowling’s Sam Ingoli led all scorers with 19 points, with many of those points coming off fast breaks, and Smith said they have to take better care of the ball to beat better teams.

“We have been averaging just five turnovers a game the last few weeks, I think we had that many in the first quarter and 12 or 13 in the first half,” Smith said. “If you want a formula for a rough night at the Roundhouse, it’s poor shooting percentage, not rebounding and turnovers. There are some nights you just don’t have an explanation for, I’m not going to make excuses, we just didn’t play well.”

Marshalltown will have one more opportunity to put one in the win column this season, as it closes its schedule next Friday with Class 4A No. 3 Des Moines North coming into the Roundhouse. Smith said it will be great getting a full week of practice, something the team hasn’t had in a long time, and he is sure his guys will rebound well from this defeat.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Right now it’s more about us, we just have to get ourselves together,” he said. “The kids will bounce back, I am confident about that, but we have to have a good practice tomorrow and then a good week of practice. The last time we had a full week to prepare we were against Johnston and we came out guns blazing and I thought we played really well. And it’s senior night, we have eight great seniors who have had an outstanding season and we want to send them off with a win at the Roundhouse.”

The Bobcats and Polar Bears are set to face off at 7:45 p.m. on Friday to close out the regular season.

Dowling Catholic 61, Marshalltown 36

At Marshalltown

DOWLING CATHOLIC (15-4, 9-1) — Sam Ingoli 8 2-5 19, Luke Yacinich 6 1-1 14, Blake Clark 3 1-2 7, Jack Keough 1 0-0 2, Dylan Eastman 0 0-0 0, Sam McMurray 1 0-0 2, Drew Kueter 0 1-2 1, Anthony Coppola 2 2-1 6, Jack Lyman 1 0-0 2, Zach Prey 1 0-0 2, Ben Sheridan 0 0-0 0, Ryan Riggs 3 0-0 6. TOTALS 26 7-13 61.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

MARSHALLTOWN (6-13, 2-8) — Austin Shomo 2 0-0 5, Josh Melde 2 2-2 7, Bennett O’Hare 0 0-0 0, Jacob Smith 2 0-0 4, Luke Appel 4 0-0 8, Tyrell Davis 1 0-0 3, Conner Beaty 1 0-0 3, Sam Irwin 0 0-0 0, Jonah Daniel 0 0-0 0, Reid Nennig 0 0-0 0, Brent Johnson 0 0-0 0, Makeer Kuony 2 0-0 4, Sunday Arou 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 15 2-3 36.

DOWLING 10 19 19 13 — 61

MHS 7 4 9 16 — 36

3-Point Goals–Dowling 2 (Ingoli, Yacinich), MHS 4 (Davis, Beaty, Shomo, Melde). Total Fouls–Dowling 11, MHS 15. Fouled Out–none.