No. 3 Warriors extend Bobcats’ losing streak

Armonniey Thomas

WAUKEE — The Bobcats’ post-holiday cold spell started with a Roundhouse loss to Waukee, and Marshalltown’s long, hard winter persisted with Friday’s return trip to the Warriors’ home court.

Waukee’s three-pronged attack outdueled the Bobcats’ freshman sensation as the Class 4A No. 3 Warriors won a 47-35 contest in their CIML Iowa Conference clash on Friday night.

Dante Jenkins scored a team-high 15 points for Waukee (17-1, 9-0), Michael Vicente tallied 14 more and Dylan Jones added a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to help the Warriors remain unbeaten in league play.

Marshalltown (7-10, 3-7) closed out its conference slate with a seventh-consecutive loss — a streak that started with a 52-32 home loss to Waukee on Jan. 11. The Bobcats have been held to 35 points or fewer three more times since the calendar flipped, which meant that limiting Waukee to a season-low scoring output still wasn’t enough to knock off the Warriors.

“I’ll give the kids credit, I thought they executed our gameplan great tonight,” said MHS head coach Michael Appel. “We had to be patient against the 1-3-1 zone and for the most part we did that, and we hit some shots but obviously not enough.”

MHS freshman Armonniey Thomas continued his personal hot streak with a career-best 24 points to pace the Bobcats, knocking down six 3-pointers. He scored all eight Marshalltown points in the first quarter and has averaged 15.5 points per game over the last four.

“He’s spotting up and they were closing out late,” Appel said of Thomas. “He was doing a great job of knocking them down, shooting the ball with confidence. That’s what our good shooters have to do.”

Leading scorer Jacob Smith finished with nine points, including back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Bobcats within 32-28 during the third quarter, and Sunday Arou’s lone bucket made it 32-30 moments later. But Waukee countered with the final six points of the period to take an eight-point lead that quickly jumped to double-digits and remained there for the rest of the contest.

The Bobcats held Tucker DeVries — who scored 23 points in the Roundhouse nearly a month ago — to just one point, but the offense never arrived to match the team’s defensive effort.

“Definitely I was most proud of our effort on the defensive end, buying in and knowing where to be on that end of the court,” Appel said, “unfortunately we’ve just got to score a few more points.

“We did a lot of good things tonight, we’ve just got to put it all together. We’re building on each game, and the things we’re talking about we’re seeing on the floor.”

The Bobcats return home for three games to close out the regular season, starting with Monday’s tilt against Ottumwa. Des Moines Hoover visits on Tuesday and Urbandale is in town next Friday.

Waukee 47, Marshalltown 35

At Waukee

MARSHALLTOWN (7-10, 3-7) — Armonniey Thomas 9 0-0 24, Bennett O’Hare 0 0-0 0, Jacob Smith 3 1-1 9, Will Van Buren 0 0-0 0, Sunday Arou 1 0-0 2, Kabba Pins 0 0-0 0, Austin Shomo 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 1-1 35.

WAUKEE (17-1, 9-0) — Dylan Jones 4 4-4 12, Tucker DeVries 0 1-2 1, Andrew Curran 1 0-0 3, Dante Jenkins 4 7-8 15, Michael Vicente 6 1-2 14, Payton Sandford 0 0-0 0, Trey Hardy 0 1-2 1, Jackson Payne 0 0-0 0, Bennett Pedersen 0 1-2 1, Trey Schaller 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 15-20 47.

MHS 8 12 10 5 — 35

WAUKEE 6 16 16 9 — 47

3-Point Goals–MHS 8 (Thomas 6, Smith 2), Waukee 2 (Jenkins, Vicente). Total Fouls–MHS 16, Waukee 5. Fouled Out–none.