Old fashioned whoopin’
MCC men’s basketball team puts the hurt on John Wood, 74-53
In its first game back from winter break, the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball hosted John Wood Community College with a chance to avenge an 80-71 loss from back in November.
If the Tigers had any rust after not playing since Dec. 15 it didn’t show, as they raced out to an early 11-2 lead that eventually ballooned to a 43-15 advantage at halftime. The Blazers made it a bit closer in the second half but never pulled closer than within 15 points as MCC walked out of the Student Activity Center with a 74-53 victory.
Tiger head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson said it’s always a good night when his team holds an opponent to 24 percent shooting in the first half.
“I thought we did a pretty nice job overall,” Brynjarsson said. “We still had some miscommunications early in the game and they ended up missing some shots where I thought we didn’t have a lot to do with it, but I thought we had more to do with the misses than not most of the time. They went 2-for-15 [from the 3-point line] so was that all us? Probably not but just the pressure and just being there and the presence that we had led to that.
“John Wood is a solid basketball team, they got our number at their place and we came out here and were able to get one back from them.”
The biggest advantage for MCC (11-8) came in the post, as the Tigers outscored John Wood (8-9) 20-10 in the paint in the first half. Eduardo Lane and Bassirou Ndiaye both had stellar nights for Marshalltown, with Lane going for a game-high 20 points along with five rebounds and Ndiaye finishing with 13 points and six boards.
“We were doing things to make us successful, we were going inside and Eduardo was putting the ball in the basket,” Brynjarsson said of Lane, who scored the first six points of the game for the Tigers. “Even when Bass came in he gave us great minutes, played hard and grabbed rebounds. Between those guys they were 15-for-17 from the floor for 33 total points and 11 rebounds. That kind of production right there makes us hard to guard, especially when the inside game is going the way it is.”
Lane, who was averaging 11.2 points per game before his 20-point outburst, said both he and Ndiaye were able to excel because of the way the team played unselfishly.
“We were sharing the ball very well, that’s why we got easy buckets inside,” the sophomore from Campo Grande, Brazil, said. “It was a good win tonight.”
Not only were the bigs getting their touches, but consistently throughout the night the Tigers offense was swinging the ball around and getting great shots at the basket. Other than Lane and Ndiaye, sophomore Goran Vidovic was a big benefactor from the extra pass, as he finished with 15 points on a 5-for-9 mark from behind the 3-point line.
Many of Vidovic’s 3-pointers were as open as they could be, and Brynjarsson said what they are working on in practice is starting to show on the court.
“We went inside-out, we had good ball movement in the first half and at times in the second half,” Brynjarsson said. “We even threw the extra pass and were wide open, kind of swung that thing around and found some open looks that didn’t go in. There were a lot of positives.
“The guys are trying to buy in and they’ve been coming to practice and trying to do what we are asking them to do, and that showed up a little bit, especially with how the ball swung around and got shared.”
Another player Brynjarsson was impressed with was Juan Coffi, who finished the night with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with five points, two assists, two steals and a block. There were two moments in the first half where Coffi was able to wrangle a loose ball on the defensive end of the floor, and Brynjarsson said that was a big tipping point in momentum.
“I thought in the first half when we kind of separated ourselves a little bit, I thought him diving on the floor on back-to-back plays was what really set the tone to separate us where we were just tougher,” Brynjarsson said. “We challenged them pretty hard in practice here the last couple days about rebounding the ball and Juan responded, we need that from him every night.”
The Tigers holding John Wood to just 53 points was the second-least opponent point totals of the season. No Blazer player had more than eight points, and MCC forced 17 turnovers.
Lane said over the break the main focus was on the defensive end of the floor.
“We’ve been practicing hard to get some stops, that’s why we played good defense today,” he said.
While the first half might have been the best combined 20 minutes MCC has played all season, they were actually outscored 38-31 in the second. Brynjarsson said he wasn’t too thrilled with how his team let off the gas.
“I thought we just kind of settled a little bit and didn’t quite play as hard as we did in the first half,” he said. “Loose balls, we were just kind of staring at them instead of diving on them like we did in the first half, and give them credit, they didn’t quit. They came out and put up 38 points on us in the second half.”
Though they did enough to secure the victory over the Blazers, Brynjarsson said with Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Division I play starting next week his guys have to be ready to go for the whole 40 minutes.
“We have to be ready to be able to handle a lot more pressure with conference play coming up,” he said. “From now on, every game that we play in our conference schedule is just a whole other ballgame. There are some guys in the locker room who understand that but there’s also guys that have absolutely no clue how that game is going to be played on Wednesday and moving forward in our conference play. It’s a different monster, hopefully we are up for the challenge and we will come back to practice and really try to dig into it, see what we are all about.”
Lane, who is one of the sophomores in the locker room who has experience the rigors of the ICCAC, said as long as the team does what it did offensively on Wednesday they should be able to compete in the conference.
“Keep playing hard, that’s the key,” Lane said. “Be patient and share the ball.”
MCC returns to the Student Activity Center next Wednesday to open ICCAC Division I play against Indian Hills, starting at 7 p.m.
Marshalltown CC 74, John Wood CC 53
JOHN WOOD CC (8-9) — Eric Easter 1-2 0-0 2, Nick Rumbo 1-10 0-0 3, Carter Cramsey 2-3 0-0 4, Cory Miller Jr. 2-7 1-1 5, Justin Bottorff 3-7 0-0 6, Gentry Whiteman 2-8 0-0 4, Noah Talton 1-1 1-2 3, Terran Jackson 3-7 1-2 8, Evan Morrison 1-1 0-0 2, Chandler Bevans 3-6 2-2 8, Garrett Gadeke 0-0 0-0 0, Trey Jefferson 4-5 0-0 8. TOTALS 23-57 5-7 53.
MARSHALLTOWN CC (11-8) — Juan Coffi 1-6 3-8 5, JJ Foster 2-6 1-1 6, Goran Vidovic 5-10 0-0 15, Kelton Edwards 3-13 0-0 7, Eduardo Lane 9-10 2-2 20, Adrian Molina 0-0 0-0 0, Myles Broadie 0-1 0-0 0, Nick Fleming 3-9 2-2 8, Bassirou Ndiaye 6-7 1-3 13, Palmi Thorsson 0-0 0-0 0, Roger Guardiola 0-1 0-0 0, Edvin Tedesjo 0-0 0-0 0, Marcelo Assis 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 29-63 9-16 74.
Halftime–MCC 43-15. 3-Point Goals–John Wood 2-15 (Jackson 1-2, Rubo 1-6, Bottorff 0-1, Miller Jr. 0-2, Whiteman 0-4), MCC 7-24 (Vidovic 5-9, Foster 1-3, Edwards 1-6, Coffi 0-1, Guardiola 0-1, Fleming 0-4). Rebounds–John Wood 28 (Morrison 5), MCC 38 (Coffi 12). Assists–John Wood 5 (five with 5), MCC 15 (Foster 5). Total Fouls–John Wood 15, MCC 9. Fouled Out–none.