Huge night from Thomas not enough for MHS
Marshalltown was right there all game long. After falling behind early and struggling to score in the first period, the Bobcats had scratched, clawed and rode the back of a 29-point effort from sophomore guard Armonniey Thomas to take the lead in heading into the fourth quarter.
With two minutes left, the score was 45-43 Des Moines Lincoln. The Bobcats had the ball multiple times with the chance to take the lead or tie — but nothing fell.
Instead of a comeback win, the Bobcats lost for the sixth-straight game, 50-48.
“It’s just a matter of getting a complete game together where we don’t have to get ourselves out of these holes,” said coach Michael Appel. “I feel like every game that’s happened to us.”
A rough first-quarter performance had the Bobcats down 8-3 eight minutes in, and Marshalltown struggled to keep the ball moving on the offensive end of the floor. It didn’t take long, though, for Thomas to get going in the second and keep the Bobcats in the game.
Thanks to three first-half triples and some difficult shot-making from Thomas, it was a 25-22 game at the half.
Still, the ball movement was something Appel wanted his squad to keep consistent.
“We’ve got to do a better job, it can’t be sticking in [Thomas’s] hands as much,” Appel said. “If we just keep the ball movement going, he’s going to get it back in good positions to score.”
It was in the third quarter that the Bobcats made a run — and Thomas was at the center of it all offensively. He helped to rally from a 31-24 deficit to take the lead, and combined with an improved showing defensively, it looked as if the Bobcats were in the driver’s seat.
But in the fourth quarter, as it was in the first half, Lincoln began to get the ball into the paint and either finish at the rim or kick the ball out to open shooters. Lincoln guard Ben Badger had 18 points and was a constant focus of the Marshalltown defense.
Appel said the Bobcats’ 3-2 zone was intended to not give Badger open lanes to the bucket. It worked in the third, but the Railsplitters’ leading scorer kept the Bobcats on their heels in the final frame. When he wasn’t scoring he was dishing it out for open three-point shooters, including Nate Feller and Andrew Klien — both of whom hit two shots from deep. Badger added two of his own.
But Marshalltown still had its chances. Despite the shots not falling, Appel said he was encouraged about getting into positions to win — but the hard part is getting over the line.
“It is moving in the right direction,” Appel said.
Des Moines Lincoln 50, Marshalltown 48
DM LINCOLN (6-3) — Nate Feller 3 3-4 13, Kamron Francis 1 2-2 5, Andrew Klein 2 3-4 9, Ben Badger 6 4-5 18, Kameron Young 2 1-2 5, Ron Boston 0 0-0 0, Ryan Rand 0 0-0 0, Aiden Cord 0 0-0 0, Alex Crimmins 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 13-17 50.
MHS (3-9) — Armonniey Thomas 12 0-0 29, Austin Shomo 0 0-0 0, Drake Kapayou 4 0-0 12, Will Van Buren 0 1-2 1, Aidan DeVolder 0 4-4 4, Justin Melde 1 0-0 2, Sean Nyuon 0 0-0 0, Trevor Stamp 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 5-6 48.
DM LINCOLN 8 17 12 13 — 50
MHS 3 19 15 11 — 48
3-Point Goals–DML 7 (Feller 2, Klein 2, Badger 2, Francis), MHS 9 (Thomas 5, Kapayou 4). Total Fouls–DML 13, MHS 19. Fouled Out–none.