Bobcats stifle No. 7 Little Cyclones
The Marshalltown boys’ basketball team has been building toward something big, and on Tuesday night they completed construction.
The Bobcats followed the blueprints to perfection and picked up an upset victory over archrival Ames, knocking off the Class 4A No. 7 Little Cyclones 52-42 in a CIML Iowa Conference game at the Roundhouse.
The was Marshalltown’s first win over Ames in one day shy of exactly nine years.
“We’ve had some tough competition and we’ve been there and we’ve competed and just haven’t found ways to win games,” said MHS head coach Michael Appel. “Tonight we did that. It wasn’t pretty at times, certainly down the stretch there’s some things we’ve got to clean up with our press breaker, but at the end of the day we got the job done, made free throws when we needed to and won the game.”
It marks Marshalltown’s second win in its last three games, and Ames’ third loss in its last four games. The Little Cyclones (5-3, 3-2) got 29 of its 42 points from standout senior guards Tamin Lipsey (19) and Casey Mumm (10), but the Bobcats’ defensive performance helped erase the rest of Ames’ threats. Keyshaun Brooks, averaging 14.1 points per game, was held scoreless as MHS (2-6, 2-3) made a game plan on how it wanted to defend against the pick-and-roll and executed that strategy the way it intended.
“We were right on the money here, with what we were saying in our scout[ing report] and our execution and knowing what they were trying to run and what we were trying to do against them, defensively especially,” Appel said. “I just felt like our guys were really locked in and that starts in practice.
“With how hard they’re practicing and their attentiveness in film with what we’re trying to do, you could kind of see this was just coming. We were right on the hump there for a while and we finally put it together, finally got a lead and finally took control down the stretch.”
Marshalltown led for nearly the entire contest, getting out to a 13-7 advantage after the first quarter thanks to an efficient offense that ran its plays to perfection. Armonniey Thomas knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, assisted on layups for Prince Jallah and Isaiah Borgos, and celebrated as Grant Greazel’s 3-pointer splashed in for the early margin.
The Bobcats expanded their lead to 10 by halftime as Drake Kapayou got involved in the scoring, sinking a 3-pointer to give MHS its largest lead of the game, 24-13.
Marshalltown’s 25-15 halftime edge disappeared quickly, as the Little Cyclones fired out of the intermission and used a 10-2 run to get within 27-25 just two minutes into the second half. MHS endured mounting foul trouble and took a 33-30 lead into the last period before pulling away with an 11-for-14 performance at the free-throw line.
Thomas, who led Marshalltown with 16 points, scored eight of them at the free-throw line while sharing man-to-man defensive duties with Kapayou against Lipsey. Kapayou held Lipsey to five points in the first half before foul trouble forced Appel to switch over to Thomas late in the third quarter.
Thwarting the Little Cyclones’ motion offense required a compete team effort, however, as Appel pointed out.
“That was a huge emphasis was that we’ve got to fight through those screens,” Appel said. “A lot of times through the season we’ve been switching but we changed our game plan there and had our guards stay with their guards and it worked out well. I thought Drake did a great job on Lipsey and Armonniey did a great job when we had to switch to him and that’s what it’s about, it’s a team effort, it’s everybody stepping up.
“Our scoring was very balanced. Everyone stepped up and made some big shots and made some big plays for us to win this game.”
Greazel finished with 11 points, Kapayou tallied 10, Jallah ended with nine and Borgos had six as Marshalltown ended a 12-game losing streak against the Little Cyclones. The Bobcats’ last win in the series was on Jan. 13, 2012, when now-assistant coach Austin Hauser scored a game-high 28 points in a 62-52 victory at the Roundhouse.
MHS returns to action with road games Thursday at Des Moines Hoover and Friday at Fort Dodge. The Bobcats are back at home next Tuesday night to face Ottumwa.
Marshalltown 52, Ames 42
AMES (5-3, 2-1) — Casey Mumm 3 2-4 10, Tamin Lipsey 5 8-10 19, Keyshaun Brooks 0 0-0 0, Patrick Krapfl 1 0-0 2, Corey Phillips 1 3-4 5, Akol Atack 0 0-0 0, Sam Vertanen 1 0-0 3, Lucas Lueth 1 0-0 3, Tate Zalasky 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 13-18 42.
MARSHALLTOWN (2-6, 2-3) — Armonniey Thomas 3 8-12 16, Grant Greazel 3 3-4 11, Drake Kapayou 3 2-2 10, Prince Jallah 3 3-5 9, Isaiah Borgos 3 0-0 6, Ivan Alvarado 0 0-0 0, Justin Melde 0 0-0 0, Bul Chol 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 25 16-23 52.
AMES 7 8 15 12 — 42
MHS 13 12 8 19 — 52
3-Point Goals–AMES 5 (Mumm, Vertanen, Lipsey, Lueth), MHS 6 (Thomas 2, Greazel 2, Kapayou 2). Team Fouls–AMES 23, MHS 18. Fouled Out–Mumm.