Scarlets send ’Cats packing in regionals

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown senior Kassy Vest, left, drives the lane against Des Moines East’s JC Stephenson during the Bobcats’ loss to the Scarlets on Wednesday in their regional opener.

DES MOINES — A long season came to a close for the Marshalltown girls basketball team on Wednesday, as the Bobcats lost their Class 5A Region 8 opener on the road to Des Moines East, 79-34.

It was a tough night for the MHS girls, as they gave up the second-most points of the season to the Scarlets, and Marshalltown head coach Stacy O’Hare said her girls know they struggle offensively, so they needed to play tougher on the defensive end.

“Obviously you can’t give up 48 first-half points and expect to compete with anybody,” O’Hare said. “Offensively we struggle and so defensively we have to get stops and we just didn’t get any of those tonight.”

Sophomore Madi Finch actually scored the first basket of the game, but that was the last time the Bobcats (1-20) would lead, as East (13-9) continued to capitalize off of MHS turnovers. O’Hare said the Scarlets ran multiple defenses on the night, and when they switched to a different look her girls didn’t follow suit.

“We had a hard time a lot of times recognizing what defense they were in, they were doing a good job of mixing things up,” she said. “They were in a man and then occasionally they were pressing, and then occasionally they were in that trapping 2-3 zone, so at times we weren’t doing a good job of recognizing and getting people into the positions that they needed to.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Erica Johnson (4) fights for a rebound with Des Moines East’s Jada Powell (12) during the second half of the Bobcats’ loss to the Scarlets on Wednesday in their regional opener.

East was led by Tatiana Johnson with 20 points, most of which came from the 21 turnovers by the Bobcats, while Tiana Ziegler dropped in four 3-pointers on her way to 19 points.

Senior Kassy Vest led Marshalltown with 11 points in her final game as a Bobcat, while Finch followed with 10. O’Hare said her girls did do a much better job after halftime with moving the ball and finding open looks at the basket.

“On the positive note I thought in the second half we came out and played against their zone and had better ball movement,” O’Hare said. “That’s something we said at halftime, that we had to have people on the ball, it can’t just be one person. We have to have everyone touching the ball and I thought we did a better job. We had shots, they just didn’t fall.”

After winning its opening game against Des Moines North, Marshalltown finishes the season on a 20-game losing streak, just a year removed from finishing 0-22. O’Hare said the records may seem similar, but her girls did show a lot of improvement this season.

“We definitely were more competitive this year in some games,” she said. “We got the big win, which was huge for them as far as confidence, and we had a nice long talk about how we do have a lot of kids coming back. We lose two seniors who are going to be tough to replace, but everybody else has an opportunity to come back.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

When it comes to changing the culture around MHS girls basketball, O’Hare said she is willing to put in the work during the offseason, she just hopes the girls agree.

“Really it’s on them at this point, I am willing to provide as many opportunities for them to get better as I can,” she said. “I can be in the gym every day, I have a son who is there so I am there and it’s up to them as far as what they want to do and what type of seasons they want to continue to have.”

Des Moines East 79, Marshalltown 34

At Des Moines East

MARSHALLTOWN (1-20) — Alyvia Chadderdon 2 0-0 4, Erica Johnson 1 3-6 5, Madi Finch 4 2-4 10, Kassy Vest 5 1-2 11, Grace Metzger 2 0-0 4, Kyra Feldman 0 0-0 0, Pricila Vergara 0 0-0 0, Gabby Himes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 6-12 34.

DM EAST (13-9) — Eriana Brown 3 1-1 7, Kiana Sanders 2 4-4 10, Tatiana Johnson 10 0-2 20, Jada Powell 2 0-0 4, Tiana Ziegler 4 7-10 19, Morgan Graves 0 0-0 0, Aaliyah Williams 4 1-2 10, Mia Elliot 0 0-0 0, Justice Ross 0 0-0 0, Melynn Phillips 0 0-0 0, Honor Edmonds 1 0-0 3, Rachelle Smith 1 0-1 2, Marissa Anderson 0 0-0 0, JC Stephenson 2 0-0 4. 29 13-20 79.

MHS 11 11 8 4 — 34

DM EAST 24 24 23 8 — 79

3-Point Goals–DME 8 (Ziegler 4, Sanders 2, Williams, Edmonds). Total Fouls–MHS 15, DME 9. Fouled Out–none.