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Bobcats stifle Railsplitters 56-38

Defense leads MHS girls past DM Lincoln

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown senior Madi Finch (14) goes up for a shot against Des Moines Lincoln defender Janae Wynter (23) during the first half of Tuesday’s CIML contest at the Roundhouse. Finch scored a game-high 17 points in the Bobcats’ 56-38 victory.

The turnovers kept coming. A missed pass here, a steal there. Marshalltown girls basketball was all over the court Tuesday night, and the Bobcats’ persistence paid off with a 56-38 victory against the Des Moines Lincoln Railsplitters. With the win, the Bobcats move to 3-11 on the year.

Seniors Madi Finch and Erica Johnson led the way for the Bobcats on offense and defense, with 17 and 11 points, respectively. The duo was also a key part of Marshalltown’s full-court press predicated on trapping and creating chaos.

Coach Brian Murphy said the Bobcats played focused basketball.

“Overall I felt we did a pretty good job of coming in focused,” Murphy said. “We really rubbed up the defensive intensity, which helped.”

Early success on defense led to more steals and some tentative play from Lincoln, and the Bobcats were able to capitalize more often than not to build a 30-19 lead after the first half. The Railsplitters twice cut the lead to nine points early in the third, but that was the closest they got the rest of the game. Johnson and Finch controlled the third quarter with aggressive drives to the hoop and finishes through contact.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Murphy said it was a team effort on offense — singling out the opening 3-pointer from senior guard Priscila Vergara, which he said was the perfect start.

“I think it was definitely one of our best passing games of the season,” Murphy said. “The ball was moving around a little bit. They wound up throwing three or four defenses at us trying to get something that would work, and I thought we did a pretty good job of looking for cutters and working the ball regardless of what defense we saw.”

The Bobcats’ press continued to do its work, and Lincoln played itself out of the game by the end of the third quarter. Marshalltown led 44-24 and held its lead at 20 for much of the fourth quarter as well, when Murphy was able to clear the bench and let the Bobcats enjoy their first victory since Dec. 16 of 2019 over Waterloo East.

He said the Bobcats can’t enjoy this win for too long, though — their next test is Friday night at Fort Dodge. The Dodgers beat Marshalltown 56-37 Dec. 20, and Murphy said the Bobcats can’t get pushed around this time. Friday’s trip is the start of four-straight road games for Marshalltown.

“We’ve got some film to go back through and remind ourselves of what happened,” Murphy said. “We need to be both mentally and physically ready.”

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Marshalltown 56, Des Moines Lincoln 38

At Marshalltown

DM LINCOLN (0-12) — Marissa Albright 1 1-1 3, Janae Wynter 3 1-2 7, Jaida Taylor 1 3-4 5, Celia Emunah 2 0-0 4, Sayli Simms 3 4-5 10, Kira Canada 0 0-0 0, Ka’Mya Stringfellow 0 0-1 0, Desirae Bundy 4 0-0 9, Angelica Galvez 0 0-0 0, Della Brookes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 9-13 38.

MHS (3-11) — Erica Johnson 4 2-6 11, Lily Roberts 2 1-4 5, Madison Finch 5 7-8 17, Priscila Vergara 2 0-1 5, Gabby Himes 5 1-2 11, Rachel Smith 1 0-0 2, Aida Almanza 0 1-2 1, Emma Younkin 0 0-0 0, Sophie Younkin 0 0-0 0, Avygail Smith 1 0-0 2, Carlye Castillo 0 0-0 0, Olivia Brintnall 0 0-0 0, Paige Wertzberger 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 21 12-23 56.

DM LINCOLN 9 10 5 14 — 38

MHS 11 19 14 12 — 56

3-Point Goals–DML 1 (Bundy), MHS 2 (Johnson, Vergara). Total Fouls–DML 13, MHS 17. Fouled Out–Wynter.