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’Cats edge Huskies for first victory

Sara Huffman

DES MOINES — For a team that hadn’t won in nearly a year, the Marshalltown girls’ basketball team sure knew how to finish off a victory when it got the chance.

The Bobcats got a back-door layup from Sara Huffman with 28 seconds left and withstood Des Moines Hoover the rest of the way for a 42-41 win in Saturday’s CIML make-up game.

Marshalltown (1-9) snapped an 18-game losing streak by rallying from a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats trailed 38-34 with 3 minutes left before tying the score with free throws. Lily Roberts gave MHS a one-point lead with her driving layup with 1:54 to go, but Des Moines Hoover (1-2) regained the upper hand on Amaria Turner’s basket on the other end.

The two teams traded back-to-back turnovers, the last coming when Mya Gallegos stole the Huskies’ inbounds pass with 40 seconds left. Marshalltown set up the go-ahead basket during a timeout, and Rachel Smith found a cutting Hoffman for an easy score and a 42-41 lead.

Hoover turned the ball back over to MHS, but the Bobcats took an anxious shot with 10 seconds left. The Huskies got a hurried layup attempt for Taysia Young with 2 seconds remaining, but it missed its mark.

“Overall I was proud of the way we responded to multiple moments of adversity throughout the game,” said MHS head coach Brian Murphy. “We had players in foul trouble, multiple consecutive turnovers, and frustrating plays where we could have hung our heads. The girls showed resilience fighting and scrapping, and were able to respond every time we put ourselves in a position to win the game at the end.”

Roberts finished with game-highs of 12 points and five assists as the Bobcats claimed their first game since beating Des Moines Lincoln on Jan. 21, 2020. Sophie Younkin secured a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Kaylin Smith registered a career-best 10 points. Huffman finished with seven points, with five of them coming in the decisive fourth quarter.

“As has been the case all year, our success was dependent on our ability to break their press,” Murphy said. “While we were far from consistent, this was the first time all year where we were able to use our press break as an offensive weapon. Lily and Kaylin were dynamic once we made it through the initial pressure with Lily assisting on all five of Kaylin’s attempts. I can’t say enough about how far Lily’s court vision has come over the course of the last year.”

The Bobcats were still guilty of committing 29 turnovers, but Des Moines Hoover had 25 of its own in just its third game of the season.

The Huskies were led by Serenity Nelson’s 11 points and nine rebounds. Young tallied nine points and Amaria Turner had seven points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

Marshalltown is back in action with Monday’s 7:30 p.m. home game against Des Moines Lincoln.

Marshalltown 42, Des Moines Hoover 41

MARSHALLTOWN (1-9) — Rachel Smith 1 1-4 3, Lily Roberts 5 1-2 12, Sara Huffman 2 3-5 7, Sophie Younkin 5 0-2 10, Kaylin Smith 5 0-2 10, Mya Gallegos 0 0-0 0, Carlye Castillo 0 0-0 0, Malena Kammerer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 5-15 42.

DM HOOVER (1-2) — Arabia Parkey 2 0-0 4, Brooklynn Royster 3 0-2 6, Nevaeh Montgomery 0 1-4 1, Ellie Smith 0 0-0 0, Alexia Jarrett 0 0-0 0, Taysia Young 3 3-6 9, Amaria Turner 3 1-2 7, Omnia Shalabi 1 0-0 3, Serenity Nelson 4 1-2 11, Alayna Jarrett 0 0-0 0, Nyamal Ding 0 0-0 0, Cynthia Renes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 16 6-16 41.

MHS 8 8 16 10 — 42

DM HOOVER 8 9 11 13 — 41

3-Point Goals–MHS 1 (Roberts), DMH 3 (Nelson 2, Shalabi). Team Fouls–MHS 16, DMH 16. Fouled Out–none.

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