Rowdy in the Roundhouse

Marshalltown hosts annual preseason basketball celebration tip-off event

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - A young Marshalltown fan is hoisted into the air by members of the Bobcat boys’ basketball team after making a basket during Friday’s Ruckus in the Roundhouse event.

The third iteration of “Ruckus in the Roundhouse” continued to find new ways to entertain Bobcat fans on Friday night at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.

The preseason event serves as an energetic kickoff for basketball season, providing opportunities for student participation and introducing the community to this year’s Bobcat basketball squads.

Bobcat booster Kristin Polley served as emcee for the event again this year.

“We’ve learned from past years that Marshalltown fans like to have fun, like cheering their Bobcats, and we just want to fill the Roundhouse,” Polley said. “So it was just a matter of getting more people here and creating an environment that people don’t want to miss.”

After introducing the girls and boys basketball teams and coaching staffs for this year, the Ruckus engaged the Bobcat ballers and selections from the student section in a series of mini-games, including a three-point shooting contest and a 4-on-4 battle to see which side could sink a layup, free throw, 3-pointer and half-court shot the fastest.

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Marshalltown High School senior Ryan Schmit (32) takes the lob pass for a dunk during Friday’s Ruckus at the Roundhouse event.

The popular dunk contest closed the show and featured the latest addition, with junior Bobcats stepping up to dunk alongside their grown counterparts with the help of toy basketball hoops.

“We know people like to watch the Bobcats dunk, but it was really fun to add the junior dunkers this year,” Polley said. “That was definitely a fan favorite.”

Other highlights included MHS sophomore Kinsley Bowie putting up the high score in the 3-point contest and Bobcat boys coach Michael Appel draining half-court shots to power the Bobcat coaches to a victory in the 4-on-4 event.

Sponsorships and donations for this year’s Ruckus event will go towards future giveaways at halftime events during home games at the Roundhouse this year.

“It just gets the fans excited and our team excited for the boys and girls programs,” Appel said. “It’s a great event for the community and a great thing to kick off the season.”

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Young Bobcat fan Kallen Flack is congratulated by members of the Bobcat boys’ basketball team after competing in the dunk contest during Friday’s event.

The Bobcat boys are coming off a 12-10 campaign in 2022-23.

“They’re working extremely hard, and I feel like we’re way more advanced in a lot of ways than past seasons,” Appel said. “The biggest thing right now is consistency and bringing that all season long.”

The MHS girls were 3-19 last season with no seniors on the team and several players back this winter.

“We’ve got a lot of girls coming back stepping into new roles,” MHS girls head coach Brian Murphy said. “We had a lot of positives from Tuesday’s jamboree but I think we’re all ready for that first game to see how much of what we’ve done has paid off.

“Something like tonight is fun for fans and families, and at the end of the day we just want people in the gym, we want that energy and to build off that expectation when you come into the Roundhouse.”

Polley added, “No matter if they win or lose, you come to have fun, you come to let your kids grow up in an environment that they want to be a part of when they get to be in high school. That’s what this is all about, a lot of fun and a lot of Marshalltown pride.”


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