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Urbandale’s counter too much for MHS girls

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE - Marshalltown junior Lily Roberts shoots over Urbandale’s Alena Havran (24) during the second half of Thursday’s CIML girls basketball game at the Roundhouse. Roberts had a career-high 19 points in the Bobcats’ 65-31 loss.

The Bobcats struck first, but the J-Hawks hit harder.

The Marshalltown girls’ basketball team eclipsed 30 points for just the third time this winter, but the Bobcats still suffered defeat in their regular-season finale, 65-31, against Urbandale on Thursday night at the Roundhouse.

The return of leading scorer Lily Roberts provided an instant impact for MHS, and her pair of 3-pointers helped the Bobcats break out to an early 8-4 advantage. By the time Urbandale readjusted its defense to identify Marshalltown’s junior guard, the J-Hawks were off and running.

The Bobcats’ lead was shortlived as Urbandale (5-8) countered with a 9-0 run to overtake Marshalltown (1-17) for good, leaving MHS to its eighth-straight loss.

“For the first time we came out and threw the first punch,” said MHS head coach Brian Murphy. “We scored right out of the gate. Lily came out shooting hot, we were the aggressor in the first quarter, and Urbandale punched back and we weren’t sure how to respond. That’s our next step is when we throw the first punch, understanding all teams are going to come back at you and then you’ve got to generate your own energy and your own effort again and that’s where we’re lacking sometimes is where we deflate a little bit and things start to compound quickly.”

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Roberts eventually finished with a career-high 19 points, but the Bobcats weren’t able to keep pace with Urbandale’s sharp-shooting offense. And even when the J-Hawks were off the mark, they were there to gather their own misses.

Murphy said his squad surrendered seven or eight offensive rebounds in the second quarter as Urbandale overtook Marshalltown for good, and an auspicious start to the second half prompted a purposeful timeout two possessions into the third quarter.

“Offensive rebounding absolutely killed us in the second quarter,” Murphy said, “so that’s what we were preaching in the locker room and then we came out and gave up another two coming right out of halftime. It’s that level of focus that if we want to continue to compete like we did in the first quarter, it’s the little things that matter more and more and more.”

it was too late for Marshalltown to make up enough ground, especially with 23 turnovers, but the Bobcats still scored more than 30 points for the first time since their lone victory, a 42-41 win at Des Moines Hoover on Jan. 16. The other occasion was Marshalltown’s season-opening defeat at Newton (68-36).

Roberts finished with three 3-pointers and her career-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds. Zaielah Newman, Sara Huffman and Sophie Younkin added four points apiece, while Younkin led the team with 10 rebounds.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE

Payton Oetting sunk five 3-pointers to pace Urbandale with 15 points, Macy Gaskill had 13 points and Kelsey Heller had 12 points for the J-Hawks.

Marshalltown tips off Class 5A Region 4 play on Saturday night at Pleasant Hill, taking on the fourth-ranked Southeast Polk Rams in a 7 p.m. semifinal.

Urbandale 65, Marshalltown 31

URBANDALE (5-8) — MyKenna Cole 1 0-0 2, Kelsey Heller 4 4-4 12, Payton Oetting 5 0-0 15, Macy Gaskill 5 2-7 13, Meredith Umland 1 2-4 4, Briana Tigges 0 0-0 0, Taylor Mulligan 2 0-0 4, Maria Long 1 0-0 3, Alena Havran 0 0-0 0, Tera Pippett 1 0-0 3, Josie Birdwell 2 5-7 9. TOTALS 22 13-22 65.

MARSHALLTOWN (1-17) — Lily Roberts 8 0-0 19, Zaielah Newman 2 0-1 4, Sara Huffman 0 4-7 4, Sophie Younkin 2 0-0 4, Kaylin Smith 0 0-0 0, Mya Gallegos 0 0-0 0, Carlye Castillo 0 0-0 0, Malena Kammerer 0 0-0 0, Amaya Moore 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 12 4-8 31.

URBANDALE 18 18 17 12 — 65

MHS 12 7 7 5 — 31

3-Point Goals–Urbandale 8 (Oetting 5, Long, Gaskill, Pippett), MHS 3 (Roberts 3). Team Fouls–Urbandale 14, MHS 15. Fouled out–none.

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