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MHS girls get kudos in league loss to Ankeny

Lily Roberts

ANKENY — The improvements that didn’t show up on the scoreboard shined through in Marshalltown head coach Brian Murphy’s postgame radio interview, who saw a lot he liked in his girls’ basketball team’s 56-17 loss at Ankeny on Friday night.

The host Hawks (4-2, 3-1) notched the CIML Iowa Conference victory behind a game-high 17 points from Abigail Johnson, who Murphy said had to work harder than normal because of the increased defensive presence of his Bobcats.

“Defensively I thought we showed some heart and battled despite a very balanced Ankeny offense,” Murphy said. “While we still have a lot of work to do, I saw stretches of the best team defense we have played all season as we forced some 20- to 30-second possessions repeatedly.”

Murphy credited Lily Roberts and Kaylin Smith, in particular, as Smith “did a great job of facilitating on offense and denying the paint on defense. She as made some incredible strides in a short time, and we have needed that as we continue to try to replace Paige’s (Wertzberger) presence on the floor.”

Roberts had the man-to-man assignment on Johnson, and performed admirably on one end of the court while still leading the Bobcat offense with 11 points.

“Lily had a solid offensive game, but has also been doing some really solid work on defense,” Murphy said. “We have asked her to guard the opposing team’s strongest player consistently, and tonight she worked hard to shut down Johnson. Most of [Johnson’s] points came off switches on defense or second-chance points, and it’s a credit to Lily that a player of Johnson’s caliber had to work hard to reach her scoring average.”

Ankeny got out to a 24-6 lead after the first quarter and went ahead 42-10 by halftime.

“This was a game that looked and felt better than the score might indicate,” Murphy said.

Sara Huffman made a 3-pointer and finished with four points, while Sophie Younkin scored a first-quarter field goal for two points.

Huffman and Rachel Smith shared the team lead with five rebounds and Younkin had four more. Roberts added two steals.

The Bobcats are back at home on Tuesday to host Ames at the Roundhouse.

Ankeny 56, Marshalltown 17

MARSHALLTOWN (0-8, 0-4) — Rachel Smith 0 0-0 0, Lily Roberts 4 2-4 11, Sara Huffman 1 1-2 4, Malena Kammerer 0 0-0 0, Sophie Younkin 1 0-0 2, Mya Gallegos 0 0-0 0, Zaielah Newman 0 0-0 0, Amaya Moore 0 0-0 0, Kaylin Smith 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 6 3-6 17.

ANKENY (4-2, 3-1) — Jenna Pitz 4 0-0 9, Ellie Maschoff 3 0-0 9, Calyssa Wright 2 0-2 4, Rachel Christmann 3 0-0 7, Abigail Johnson 7 1-2 17, Katelyn Anderson 1 0-0 2, Madi McCormich 1 0-0 3, Ameera Ali 0 0-0 0, Jadyn Filling 0 0-0 0, Karsen Jacks 2 1-3 5, Erin McKenna 0 0-0 0, Kendra Lewis 0 0-0 0, Cassie Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jasmine Moser 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 23 2-7 56.

MHS 6 4 5 2 — 17

ANKENY 24 18 11 3 — 56

3-Point Goals–MHS 2 (Roberts, Huffman), Ankeny 8 (Maschoff 3, A. Johnson 2, Pitz, McCormick, Christmann). Team Fouls–MHS 12, Ankeny 8. Fouled out–none.

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