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Bobcats tip Jaguars in double-OT

Jacob Smith

ANKENY — A 10-point deficit in Friday’s loss at Southeast Polk kept growing for the Marshalltown boys’ basketball team.

On Tuesday night at Ankeny Centennial, it was the start of the comeback for the ‘Cats.

Marshalltown rallied from 10 down at the start of the fourth quarter to force overtime and got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Jacob Smith to prompt a second extra period, where the Bobcats pulled ahead for a 63-60 victory in cross-CIML play.

Smith finished with a team-leading 21 points, including 3-pointers to start and end the fourth quarter and another tying triple to force double-overtime, and the Bobcats (7-3) completed an improbable comeback — one that had first-year head coach Michael Appel beaming after the game.

“We gutted out that one, I’m proud of our kids’ resilience to keep battling tonight,” he said. “We got some big stops at big times. We kind of hung our heads against Southeast Polk the other night and stopped playing. We did a better job and kept playing tonight.”

Four nights following that 15-point loss in Pleasant Hill, Marshalltown turned back around with a trip to Ankeny Centennial. The Jaguars (4-6) capitalized on their sizable post players for much of the game, but couldn’t keep it going when crunch time arrived. Cody McCullough, Centennial’s 6-foot-7 junior, scored a game-high 23 points but fouled out on a key play late in overtime that helped spark another Bobcat rally.

Smith stole an inbounds pass, made a layup and was fouled by McCullough as MHS erased a seven-point deficit during the first extra period. Down 52-45, Austin Shomo buried a 3-pointer for the Bobcats, Smith converted a three-point play and Centennial’s Tyler Rodgers went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line with 12 seconds remaining.

Smith launched a long 3-pointer that hit its mark, sparking Marshalltown into a second overtime period in a 54-all tie. Centennial scored first with Rodgers’ trey, but Will Van Buren made a pair of free throws and Sunday Arou scored on an assist from Bennett O’Hare to give Marshalltown a 58-57 lead — its first lead of the entire game — with 1:40 to go.

That was the final lead change, too, as the Bobcats shot 7-for-10 at the line in the second overtime to withstand Centennial’s resistance.

“We needed some big [free throws] and we knocked them down,” said Appel. “I’m proud of the kids for that. Those were some big shots.”

Arou finished with 16 points, Van Buren had nine, Shomo added eight and Armonniey Thomas tallied six points before fouling out. O’Hare had four points — all at the free-throw line.

McCullough’s 23 was followed by Preston Kelling’s 16 points and Rodgers’ 12 — but the rest of the Jaguars amassed just nine points.

Class 4A No. 1 Waukee visits the Roundhouse on Friday night for the first of two CIML Iowa Conference contests between the Warriors and the Bobcats.

Marshalltown 63, Ankeny Centennial 60, 2OT

At Ankeny

MARSHALLTOWN (7-3) — Armonniey Thomas 3 0-0 6, Bennett O’Hare 0 4-6 4, Jacob Smith 7 4-7 21, Will Van Buren 2 4-6 9, Sunday Arou 4 5-6 15, Austin Shomo 3 0-0 8, Trevor Stamp 0 0-0 0, Gok Arou 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 17-25 63.

ANKENY CENTENNIAL (4-6) — Preston Kelling 5 4-6 16, Tyler Rodgers 4 1-2 12, Lathan Brandt 1 0-1 2, Cody McCullough 8 7-11 23, Micah Johnson 2 0-2 4, Kamron Francis 0 0-0 0, Brady Petersen 0 2-4 2, Caleb VanMeter 0 1-2 1, Ben Breeding 0 0-0 0, Garret Severseike 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 15-28 60.

MHS 13 6 6 18 11 9 — 63

CENT. 16 7 12 8 11 6 — 60

3-Point Goals–MHS 8 (Smith 3, Shomo 2, S. Arou 2, Van Buren), AC 5 (Rodgers 3, Kelling 2). Total Fouls–MHS 23, AC 23. Fouled Out–Thomas, Kelling, Rodgers, McCullough. Technical Fouls–MHS coach Appel.