Bobcats falter in fourth quarter
Possession after possession, Mason City’s guards found their way into the paint, making shots and forcing Marshalltown’s defense into rotation. The result was a lot of offensive rebounds and points in the paint for the visitors and a 70-57 win for the Bobcats Friday night, dropping MHS to 1-1 on the season.
The driving penetration from Mason City was frustrating for MHS head coach Michael Appel.
“Guys are driving all over us right now and getting to the lane way too easily,” Appel said. “Guarding the drive better and blocking out and getting those rebounds is something that has just been standing out that we really need to do a better job of.”
A back-and-forth battle throughout, neither team built a large enough lead to feel comfortable. Mason City jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the first four minutes of game action, only for the Bobcats to come back with a 9-0 run and take the lead back. Mason City led 17-14 after a first quarter filled with free throws and wild momentum swings.
The Bobcats held a 25-24 lead at the halftime break despite playing much of the quarter without star guard Armonniey Thomas, who picked up his second foul in the first minute of the quarter. Dalen Huston picked up his second foul in the final moments of the half.
Prince Jallah again led the way on offense for the Bobcats, scoring a game-high 22 points and finding ways to get in the paint and finish off possessions with points. He also shot 8-for-12 from the free throw line. As a team, Marshalltown got to the line 28 times but only made 18 of its freebies.
Jallah’s offense, along with a burst from Thomas (14 points on the game) and a three from Drake Kapayou (nine points and two 3-pointers), pushed Marshalltown into a brief 35-27 lead. Mason City closed in but couldn’t take the lead, while the Bobcats had an answer to each bucket. Momentum shifted after a Jallah basket in the third quarter to make it 43-38 Marshalltown but also got called for a technical foul. Mason City had a 7-0 run to end the quarter and up ahead 45-43.
After a bucket tied the game early in the fourth Marshalltown could not get over the hump. Possessions went empty and Mason City continued to stretch out its lead, leading to more desperation and more empty possessions. It was a sobering defeat for Marshalltown after a high-intensity opening win over Dowling on Tuesday.
Appel said the Bobcats need to find better ways to create offense in crunch time.
“We made some costly mistakes there and there’s some things we need to control better,” Appel said. “We’re sometimes just trying to make things happen a little too much on our own instead of just trusting [guys], making the right plays and sharing the ball and being unselfish. That’s what’s gonna make us have success is being unselfish and playing team basketball.”
Next on the schedule is a trip to play Des Moines Roosevelt Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.
Mason City 70, Marshalltown 57
MASON CITY (1-0, 1-0) — Corey Miner 4 11-13 20, 3 0-0 7, Isaiah Washington 4 7-9 15, Jess Cornick 1 0-0 3, Kale Hobart 2 5-6 9, Keenen Wiley 0 0-0 0, Carson Siemons 0 0-0 0, Malakai Johnson-Bassey 3 3-4 11, David Willemsen 1 0-0 3, Michael Willis 1 0-1 2. TOTALS 19 26-33 70.
MARSHALLTOWN (1-1, 0-1) — Armonniey Thomas 6 2-2 14, Grant Greazel 1 2-2 5, Drake Kapayou 3 1-2 9, Prince Jallah 7 8-12 22, Dalen Huston 1 5-6 7, Ivan Alvarado 0 0-0 0, Drake Polley 0 0-0 0, Jackson Bowie 0 0-0 0, Jaxon Eisenbarth 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 18-24 57.
MASON CITY 17 7 21 25 — 70
MHS 14 11 18 14 — 57
3-Point Goals–MC 6 (Johnson-Bassey 2, Miner, Thomas, Cornick, Willemsen), MHS 3 (Kapayou 2, Greazel). Total Fouls–MC 21, MHS 24. Fouled Out–Greazel, Jallah.