Ellsworth’s fast start foils MCC
Panthers’ Eddy nets 35 points to beat Tigers
The Tigers had all the statistics, the scouting reports and firsthand experience, but still couldn’t stop Anthony Eddy the second time around.
Ellsworth’s freshman shooting guard knocked down eight 3-pointers en route to a career-high 35 points, including 20 in a first half that faciliated the Panthers’ early advantage and led to the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball team’s demise in a 76-66 loss on Wednesday night at the Student Activity Center.
Eddy shot 13-for-18 from the field, including an unconscious 8-for-12 from beyond the arc, and scored nearly half of Ellsworth’s points in a prolific performance that yielded a regular-season split between the two Iowa Valley Community College District schools.
MCC (5-22) beat the Panthers in overtime on their home court, 98-93 on Nov. 23 in Iowa Falls, but have gone just 1-16 since. The Tigers’ current five-game losing streak has been hindered by a defense allowing an average 83.4 points per game, which is approximately same number (83.0) that has Marshalltown ranked 172nd out of 205 NJCAA Division I schools in the country in defensive scoring average.
“I thought in the second half we did a little bit better job to start,” said MCC head coach Ryan Flack. “I thought we got a little bit of confidence and mixed up our lineup, and we were able to get a lineup in there that I did think was playing hard. We just couldn’t quite overcome the deficit of the first half.”
Ellsworth’s first three field goals were Eddy 3-pointers, and seven-straight points by Josh Donaldson resulted in Flack’s first timeout with the Tigers trailing 16-7 just 5 minutes, 45 seconds into the game.
Eddy continued to bury 3-ball after 3-ball in the face of a well-informed MCC defense that simply couldn’t stop a hot shooter. Eddy finished the first half 7-of-9 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and had 20 points as the Panthers (13-12) took a 43-25 lead into the halftime break.
After Donaldson scored the first five points of the second half, Marshalltown countered with a 14-0 surge featuring a three-quarter court zone defense that yielded turnovers and some transition baskets. MCC guards Jaylin Scott and Caleb Jacobs accounted for all 14 points in the Tigers’ push to get back into the game, but Eddy had Ellsworth’s answer.
Eddy scored three times in the Panthers’ press break, including a three-point play, and another 3-pointer returned Ellsworth’s lead to 14 after MCC had chiseled it down to nine.
“It was a completely different team in the second half and it’s tough when you get down that big in the first half,” said Flack. “Credit to those guys as well, No. 11 (Eddy) had just an incredible night. We knew he was capable of good things, he could shoot the ball, he played well against us the first time and we just didn’t seem to bother him or make him uncomfortable enough.”
Down 15 with five minutes remaining, Marshalltown made one last surge with a 7-0 run sparked by a Quavon Blackwood triple. The Tigers were back within single digits, 72-64, but time was ticking by too fast and Ellsworth took care of the basketball well enough to exhaust what was left on the clock.
“We typically press for time reasons but it helped us, we were able to force some turnovers and then wew executed and scored on the other end,” Flack said. “But when you get down early like that and players such as No. 11 keep shooting at that high volume, it’s tough to overcome.
“I thought there were some guys that gave good effort, there just wasn’t enough time and you just can’t wait until the second half to get yourself going. I didn’t think we were as ready as we should have been and I’ll take the blame for that, but in the first half No. 11 was an issue and our transition defense was an issue. A lot of our communication and our effort to get back wasn’t great.”
Aside from Eddy’s 35, Donaldson finished with 17 points and Grundy Center native Joe Johnson added 10 points off the bench for the Panthers. South Hardin graduate Kevin Rewoldt added two points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots for Ellsworth, and Aplington-Parkersburg grad Alec Oberhauser added two points and team-highs of 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Scott led MCC off the bench with 22 points — the most he’s scored since the calendar flipped to 2020. Scott shot 8-for-17 from the field thanks to a 6-for-11 effort from 3-point range, and also piled up six steals.
“I’m happy for Jaylin, he puts in a lot of work,” said Flack. “It’s been an up-and-down conference season for him, so I’m happy to see him have a game like that. And Jacobs and (Eric) Amandio combining for 16 rebounds for us is really good, other than they’re guards and we need our big guys to come in on that.”
Jacobs finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds, Amandio added 10 points, seven boards, four assists and four steals, and Craig Philip tallied 14 points and five boards.
The Tigers are back in action Saturday with a road trip to Estherville and a clash with D-II No. 10 Iowa Lakes. The Lakers defeated MCC in their earlier meeting, 88-77 in Marshalltown.
Ellsworth CC 76, Marshalltown CC 66
ELLSWORTH (13-12) — Jackson 1-10 2-2 4, Eddy 13-18 1-1 35, Donaldson 7-14 0-0 17, Oberhauser 1-7 0-0 2, Rewoldt 1-3 0-0 2, Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Urness 0-1 0-1 0, Bartels 0-0 2-2 2, Randle 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 5-6 0-0 10. TOTALS 30-63 5-6 76.
MCC (5-22) — Blackwood 1-7 0-0 3, Jacobs 6-14 1-2 13, Amandio 4-10 1-3 10, Philip 6-15 2-6 14, Griffith 2-4 0-0 4, Guardiola 0-0 0-0 0, Broadie 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 8-17 0-0 22, Leslie 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-5 0-0 0. TOTALS 27-72 4-11 66.
Halftime–Ellsworth 43-25. 3-Point Goals–Ellsworth 11-30 (Eddy 8-12, Donaldson 3-9, Wright 0-1, Urness 0-1, Jackson 0-2, Oberhauser 0-5), MCC 8-24 (Scott 6-11, Amandio 1-3, Blackwood 1-5, Jacobs 0-1, Philip 0-1, Smith 0-3). Rebounds–Ellsworth 37 (Oberhauser 11), MCC 31 (Jacobs 9). Assists–Ellsworth 17 (Jackson 5), MCC 13 (Amandio 4). Total Fouls–Ellsworth 12, MCC 15. Fouled Out–none.