Bobcats girls’ first-quarter woes continue

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Lily Roberts, center, shoots a jumper in the lane over Mason City defender Kelsey McDonough, right, in the first half of Friday’s basketball game at the Roundhouse.

Starting games has been a bugaboo consistently for the Marshalltown girls’ basketball team.

Friday night’s 62-21 loss to No. 12 Mason City continued the worrying trend for the Bobcats.

Mason City took an 18-0 lead in the first quarter before Marshalltown scored its first points of the night with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. Marshalltown is 0-4, while Mason City is 2-1 on the season.

Head coach Brian Murphy, who called a timeout within the first minute of game action for the second straight game, said it’s one thing to prepare for size and length and another to face it in a game setting.

“I can live with dropping four to five points out of the gate where we kind of adjust,” Murphy said. “Our challenge is, we’ve got to be able to regroup out of timeouts. We’ve got to start applying things we work on in practice to the game. You know, we’re throwing these passes that we went over and over, ‘Do not throw these passes.’ We’re late cutting. Those are things that, as we mature as a group, we have to start holding ourselves accountable.”


A 25-3 deficit after the first quarter didn’t do the Bobcats any favors, and the halftime deficit grew to 39-9 in Mason City’s favor.

The return of Zaielah Newman to the rotation after illness kept her out Monday and Tuesday was a welcome boost of energy and defensive tenacity for the Bobcats, Murphy said.

Newman also tied for the team lead with five points, even with Lily Roberts. Rachel Smith and Sara Huffman scored four points each, and Sophie Younkin had three.

The third quarter had much better offense from the Bobcats, and Murphy said it was one of the better showings on that end of the floor from a movement and fluidity standpoint as well.

“We’ve really been stressing off-ball movement,” Murphy said. “I would say a majority of those trips to the line we earned because of our off-ball movement. We talk about uncredited assists, where if you cut to clear out the lane and someone gets an assist behind you, it won’t go in the scorebook as an assist, but your movement is creating that driving lane. That’s what we’ve been missing for so long.”


Incessant foul calls prolonged the fourth quarter of the game.

Marshalltown now moves to next week with a trip to Des Moines Roosevelt on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Mason City 62, Marshalltown 21

MASON CITY (2-1, 1-0) — Jada Williams 2 3-5 7, Kelsey McDonough 5 2-3 12, Jaelyn Falls 4 0-0 8, Reggi Spotts 5 3-5 15, Grace Berding 1 3-4 5, Emma Rickers 0 0-0 0, Jenna Braun 0 0-0 0, Briel Jones 0 2-2 2, Isabelle Harty 1 3-4 5, Audra Mulholland 0 3-4 3, Machaela Trask 0 0-0 0, Ellie Kotta 0 0-0 0, Zaria Falls 1 3-3 5. TOTALS 19 22-30 62.

MARSHALLTOWN (0-4, 0-1) — Rachel Smith 1 2-2 4, Sara Huffman 0 4-12 4, Lily Roberts 1 3-8 5, Sophie Younkin 1 0-2 3, Kaylin Smith 0 0-1 0, Zaielah Newman 1 2-6 5, Amaya Moore 0 0-0 0, Malena Kammerer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 4 11-33 21.

MASON CITY 25 14 15 8 — 52

MHS 3 6 8 4 — 21

3-Point Goals–MC 2 (Spotts 2), MHS 2 (Newman, Younkin). Total Fouls–MC 24, MHS 22. Fouled Out–Roberts. Technical Fouls–Mason City bench.


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