The taste of victory

MCC women end 12-game losing skid with 59-48 win over Graceland JV

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown Community College freshman Dana Stokes, right, congratulates teammate Clara Solsona (35) after Solsona scored a basket and was fouled in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 59-48 victory over the Graceland junior varsity on Tuesday. Solsona had a game-high 25 points as MCC ended a 12-game losing streak.

It had been 12 games and 75 days since the Marshalltown Community College women’s basketball team last tasted victory.

That counter reset on Tuesday night when the Tigers took a 59-48 win over the Graceland University junior varsity at the Student Activity Center.

After ending such a long losing streak, MCC freshman Clara Solsona that win was a long time coming.

“It feels so good. We’ve been looking for this win for a long time, so I think we all are happy for this because it’s also confidence for us to keep playing these last games,” Solsona said.

Solsona was huge in the victory, as she had a game-high 25 points, including a 6-for-11 mark from behind the 3-point line. More than half of Solsona’s points came in the fourth quarter, where she put up 14 on the scoreboard as MCC (6-19) came back from a 40-36 deficit at the start of the final period.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown Community College freshman Laurin Lyons (32) puts up a shot in front of Graceland defender Ashly Gassoway during the first half of the Tigers’ 59-48 win over the Yellowjackets at the Student Activity Center on Tuesday.

Solsona, who has been shooting the ball well in the last month for the Tigers, said she just wants to help the team to a win any way she can.

“I don’t think a lot about what I am shooting, it’s more like I want to score to help the team and have them trust in me when I shoot,” she said. “I think that when I trust in my shot I make them, so it’s my way to help the team.”

Solsona hit a three to put MCC up 43-40 with roughly eight minutes remaining after she and Eva Carballo both had layups to tie the game at 40-all. Carballo also had a big fourth quarter and second half, as she had 14 of her 15 points in the half, seven each in both periods.

Tiger head coach Steve Garber said both Carballo and Solsona have come a long way this season.

“Clara and Eva came out and looked to score more, looked to take the ball to the basket and that helped at both ends,” Garber said. “[Clara’s] confidence in her shooting I think is good. She still needs to work on the defensive end, but we need everybody to score. Earlier it was Dana, earlier in the season, but now she’s tailed off and Clara has picked it up. Hopefully we can get more to keep adding.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

While the offense pushed the pace, it was actually a staunch defensive effort that allowed MCC to retake the lead. After giving up 31 points in the first half to the Yellowjackets, the Tigers only surrendered 17 total points in the second half, holding their opponent to a season-low in scoring.

“The kids that we put out there in the second half had a little bit more energy, and of course it’s always nice when you can play defense after you are scoring,” Garber said. “When you’re not scoring it’s a little bit difficult to play defense, so I think we played pretty decent defense in the second half because we scored more.”

The Tiger women fought back from adversity as well. In the second quarter Anna Jaumandreu hit a shot to tie the game at 12-12, but Graceland immediately went on an 11-0 run to take a 23-12 lead.

MCC fought back to make it 23-22, but again the Yellowjackets went on a run, this time an 8-0 run to go up 31-22 at the half.

Garber said the difference between the second half and the second quarter was who he had on the floor.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“It came to some of the personnel that we had out there, we had some personnel out there that had some negative vibes but with others it was a little more enthusiasm and picking it up with having fun, so to speak,” he said. “I think when you have that positive energy, things start to feel more exciting and enthusiastic. You play harder for each other, and that’s when the energy goes over to your teammates.”

Solsona said when the team has the right players out there and they start communicating well, it can be a lethal combination.

“We are starting to understand each other, so when we are playing as a team you can see it on the court,” Solsona said with Carballo listening on in agreement. “When we start thinking as a team we are playing better and moving the ball and we can trust in each other.”

Only two players reached double figures for Graceland, with Karen Knox and Shauna Reitan each scoring 10 points. The Tigers won the rebounding battle, 33-27, and they had six more assists than the Yellowjackets.

Garber said there wasn’t anything fancy his women did to have their best defensive effort of the season, they just executed the little things.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“From day one we have three rules on defense, and we preach that until the season is over. It’s very simple stuff, there are some things we still need to work on of course,” he said. “I don’t think we allowed much dribble penetration, which is good, that’s No. 1. Then our rebounding was good, give them one shot and done and when you do that you limit a lot of teams, not just this team but most teams. It’s just the preaching of the same things over and over again and trying to follow those rules.”

MCC now has a little momentum building as it rolls into the end of its schedule. The Tigers hit the road to face the Grand View junior varsity on Thursday, starting at 7 p.m., then they return home to host Northeast in the regular season finale on Saturday. Garber said hopefully this victory will set them up well or a strong end.

“It’s our first win of the year 2019, maybe we’ll get the ball rolling for our last two games here and into the playoffs, where we can compete a little bit better,” Garber said. “We haven’t been competing at times this second half of the season, and when you get down and are losing it’s not as fun obviously.

“Maybe this will stir the pot a little bit, we can get out there and have some fun and compete a little bit better.”

Marshalltown CC 59, Graceland JV 48

At Marshalltown

GRACELAND — Karen Knox 3-7 2-2 10, Jania Vinson 2-10 0-0 6, Shauna Reitan 4-11 0-0 10, Ashly Gassoway 1-7 3-4 5, Tiara Edwards 4-10 0-0 8, Katlynn Sylvester 0-1 0-0 0, Ally Swank 1-1 0-0 3, Makenzie Dorsett 1-1 1-2 4, Caylie Hickman 1-4 0-0 2, Brooke Addison 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS 17-54 6-8 48.

MARSHALLTOWN CC (6-19) — Carla Collado 2-5 0-0 6, Dana Stokes 0-5 0-0 0, Laurin Lyons 3-7 3-4 9, Anna Jaumandreu 1-6 0-0 2, Clara Solsona 9-17 1-1 25, Whitley Ervin 0-0 0-0 0, Eva Carballo 5-7 2-2 15, Danielle Smith 1-5 0-0 2. TOTALS 21-52 7-9 59.

Graceland 12 19 9 8 — 48

MCC 10 12 14 23 — 59

3-Point Goals–Graceland 8-20 (Knox 2-4, Reitan 2-5, Vinson 2-6, Swank 1-1, Dorsett 1-1, Hickman 0-1, Gassoway 0-2), MCC 10-26 (Solsona 6-11, Carballo 2-2, Collado 2-5, Stokes 0-2, Lyons 0-2, Jaumandreu 0-4). Rebounding–Graceland 27 (Edwards 6), MCC 33 (Carballo 8). Assists–Graceland 10 (Dorsett 4), MCC 16 (three with 3). Total Fouls–Graceland 12, MCC 16. Fouled Out–none.