Bobcats just rough enough
Marshalltown survives scare from Des Moines Roosevelt; advances to face No. 2 Waukee
Marshalltown boys’ basketball had been in this situation before — up by three points with three minutes left in the game against a quality opponent. But those moments haven’t been a plus for the Bobcats this year.
Coming into Monday night’s Class 4A Substate 8 first-round game against Des Moines Roosevelt, Marshalltown (7-12) had played in 10 games decided by 11 points or less. The Bobcats were 2-8 in those games, the wins coming against Norwalk (50-49) and No. 3 Ames (52-42).
The Bobcats persevered despite Roosevelt (6-12) sneaking within one point in the final two minutes to take a 48-44 victory and move on to the substate semifinal matchup with No. 2 Waukee (11-2).
MHS head coach Michael Appel was proud of the fight his team showed to finish off the game and advance.
“It’s a great feeling that we we won and pulled it out,” Appel said. “Extremely proud of how our guys battled all night. We had some guys step up big time for us on the offensive end, and just really proud of how hard we played. It’s a group that loves the game.”
Marshalltown survived a quiet outing from star point guard Armonniey Thomas, who struggled with an ankle injury at points during the contest and finished with four points for the game. He scored all of his points the first half.
Filling the scoring void would have been extremely difficult for the Bobcats early in the season — but Monday night, three of the team’s starters stepped up in a big way.
The leading scorer for Marshalltown was Prince Jallah, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half and drove to the rim consistently. His play was key in the Bobcats holding a 27-23 advantage at the halftime break. Down 20-16 early in the second quarter, Marshalltown went on an 11-0 run to grab the lead and did not lose it the rest of the contest.
Appel said that the team has worked to put Jallah in more isolation situations on the offensive end to encourage him to be aggressive going to the basket.
Isaiah Borgos, the team’s lone senior starter, was the second-leading scorer with 14 points. Eight of those came in the first half and six in the second — including a yell-inducing 3 to push the Bobcats’ lead to 39-31 early in the fourth quarter.
Borgos said he wanted to leave everything on the floor in his final game at the Roundhouse.
“I really put it all out there, gave it my 110 percent,” Borgos said. “It was a great team win, and it took all of us to get it.”
The third main player for the Bobcats was junior guard Grant Greazel. Taking charges on defense and hitting three 3-pointers on offense, Greazel had one of his best offensive games of the season. He hit two threes in the second half — to shift a two-point game to an eight-point Bobcat lead midway through the third quarter.
Greazel also hit four timely free throws late in the fourth quarter to help put the Bobcats up 44-39 with 22 seconds left in the action.
Free throws from Borgos and Drake Kapayou sealed the win for the Bobcats, who went 12-for-15 from the stripe.
Now, attention turns to Waukee. The Bobcats have a big task on their hands with the Warriors, and Appel said he knows Marshalltown will have no margin for error.
“We got three practices here, and they’re gonna need to be the three best practices we’ve had in the entire season to prepare for [Waukee], and our guys know that,” Appel said.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Waukee.
Marshalltown 48, Des Moines Roosevelt 44
DM ROOSEVELT (6-12) — Jakari Bradley 2 0-0 4, Sam King 5 0-0 12, Ezeldin Farag 3 1-2 9, George Williams 1 0-0 2, Jamison Patton 6 0-1 13, Jack Gostomski 0 0-0 0, Dijon Ragland 1 0-0 2, Naheim Tillman 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 1-5 44.
MARSHALLTOWN (7-12) — Armonniey Thomas 2 0-0 4, Grant Greazel 3 4-4 13, Drake Kapayou 0 2-2 2, Prince Jallah 6 3-5 15, Isaiah Borgos 4 3-5 14, Ivan Alvarado 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 12-16 48.
ROOSEVELT 16 7 8 13 — 44
MHS 14 13 9 12 — 48
3-Point Goals–DMR 5 (King 2, Farag 2, Patton), MHS 6 (Greazel 3, Borgos 3). Team Fouls–DMR 15, MHS 5. Fouled out–Bradley.