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Dragons too hot for Bobcats

Johnston’s 3-point shooting sinks MHS boys

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown sophomore guard Armonniey Thomas (10) shoots over Johnston defender Max Roquet during the second half of the Bobcat boys’ basketball team’s season opener on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse. Johnston won 70-35.

Johnston gave Marshalltown’s boys’ basketball team a tough start to the season after defeating the Bobcats 70-35 in the season opener on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.

The Bobcats could not find a rhythm on either side of the ball and were quickly overwhelmed by Johnston’s 3-point shooting in the first half.

“It all starts in practice,” Marshalltown head coach Michael Appel said. “There is a lot of things that we have to get better at doing and we are so inconsistent right now of not doing things the right way over and over again. Like our transition defense, knowing who we are guarding, being disciplined on the offensive end and taking good shots. We have got to value every possession on the defensive and offensive end to where we get to a point where we are doing that so consistently to that being all we know. We are not doing that very well at all. We are giving way too many open looks and it’s too easy of a game for that many good shooters to get that many open looks.”

After Marshalltown took a 3-0 lead to start the game, the Dragons went on a 10-0 run. The Bobcats cut the deficit to a five-point lead at 13-8 with an Armonniey Thomas 3-pointer but Johnston pulled away with a 6-0 run to stay ahead with a 19-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Johnston’s shooting heated up as by the end of the first half as the Dragons nailed seven of their 11 3-pointers. The Dragons closed the first half with a 13-5 run to extend their lead to 43-18 at halftime.

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE - Marshalltown freshman guard Drake Kapayou, right, slashes to the basket past Johnston defender Steven Kramer (15) during the second half of Tuesday’s season-opening basketball game at the Roundhouse.

Johnston, featuring a roster of 12 players over 6 feet tall, kept Marshalltown from being able to penetrate into the paint for most of the night with the Bobcats only reaching the free-throw line once.

“They were tall,” Appel said. “Good teams are consistent of what they are doing and they know what they need to guard. They got back into transition and didn’t allow us to get any transition buckets, they boxed out, they did all of those things. They kind of focused on taking away some guys and keeping us in front and they did a really good job of that and guarding. Give Johnston credit, they are a good ball team.”

Marshalltown held Johnston to within 12-8 in the third quarter, but Johnston posted an 18-point fourth quarter to close out the game.

Johnston had three players reach double-digits with Lute Woodley leading the Dragons with a team-high of 19 points.

“Give [Johnston] credit they knocked those shots down,” Appel said. “It kind of took us out of our scheme a little. We kind of went out of character there and it was just a snowball effect of one thing leading to another. The game kind of got away from us there a little bit.”

T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW ABADIE

The high point of the night for Marshalltown was Thomas, who had a team-high of 13 points while making three 3-pointers. In addition, freshman Drake Kapayou posted seven points with one of his shots being a 3-pointer.

“Armonniey was good,” Appel said. “I thought he was aggressive when he needed to, and he was patient at times. We need to do a better job of finding him more opportunities to score and try and look for him a little bit more. Overall, I thought Armonniey was OK. He’s going to have to be a leader for us on the floor, direct people and demand what we need people to do.

“Drake I thought played well too. I thought he took care of the ball, for the most part, he didn’t turn it over and tried to get us into our stuff. He’s another guy that we have to find him more scoring opportunities and get him more open looks. Other than Armonniey, he’s probably the best shooter that we have.”

Marshalltown will host Des Moines East on Friday at 7:45 p.m.

“The positive is that I like the group of kids we have,” Appel said. “I think that they are a good group of kids that are going to buy into what we are saying. The big emphasis in that locker room is that it’s a long season and if we can clean a few things up we’ll be OK. We have got to do it right 25 times in a row in practice so we can do it in the game. That’s what the message is right now is that we have got to get a lot better at just focusing on practice and getting better every single day.

“We have a chance to come in and start working tomorrow and get even better. We are focused on Des Moines East now. I said that this one is going to sting tonight and that’s OK. It should motivate us to come in tomorrow and want to get better. Our focus now is turned to East and beating them at home.”

Johnston 70, Marshalltown 35

At Marshalltown

JOHNSTON (1-0) — Jacob Runyan 1 0-0 3, Garrett Miller 0 0-0 0, Reid Grant 0 2-4 2, Brees Proctor 6 1-5 16, Max Roquet 1 1-1 3, Trey Lewis 3 0-0 9, Karter Kriegel 0 0-0 0, Andrew Baur 0 0-0 0, Lute Woodley 5 5-6 19, Steven Kramer 1 0-0 2, Johnny Leth 6 2-2 14, Chase Wuebker 0 0-0 0, Zach Boten 1 0-0 2, Tyler Kronlage 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 26 11-18 70

MHS (0-1) — Armonniey Thomas 5 0-0 13, Drake Kapayou 3 0-0 7, Will Van Buren 2 0-0 4, Dwight Joar 0 0-0 0, Trevor Stamp 2 2-2 6, Justin Melde 0 0-0 0, Gatlauk Kuany 0 0-0 0, Sean Nyuon 0 0-0 0, Alonzo Ceren 0 0-0 0, Jakob Boriskey 2 0-0 5, Aiden Devolder 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 2-2 35.

JOHNSTON 19 24 12 15 — 70

MHS 8 10 8 9 — 35

Halftime–Johnston 43-18. 3-Point-Goals–Johnston 11 (Woodley 4, Lewis 3, Proctor 3, Runyan), MHS (Thomas 3, Kapayou, Borisky). Total Fouls–Johnston 5, MHS 17. Fouled Out–None.

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