Johnson’s late steal, layup lift Bobcat girls past Polar Bears

Amairra Johnson

DES MOINES — Amairra Johnson made a steal and a layup with 9.3 seconds left to lift the Marshalltown girls’ basketball team to a 30-27 victory over Des Moines North here Tuesday night.

The Bobcats (2-3) led for most of the game before Des Moines North made its comeback in the second half. Marshalltown was in front 17-8 at halftime and still led 24-16 going into the final period. The Polar Bears (0-4) used an 11-2 run to take their first lead since the first two minutes of the game, 27-26, with two minutes remaining.

With time winding down and the Bobcats trying for a foul, Johnson intercepted a pass near the top of the key and sprinted down the court. The freshman guard was fouled while making the go-ahead layup, 28-27. She missed the allotted free-throw, but the rebound was lost out of bounds off a North player.

Marshalltown’s inbounds play found Sydney Kapayou alone under the basket for an insurance layup as time expired.

“The play of the game was unquestionably made by Amairra Johnson,” said MHS head coach Brian Murphy. “Despite me yelling to foul, North threw an errant pass and Amairra tracked it down to go coast-to-coast for a layup plus the foul.”

Freshman post Frankie Long led the Bobcats with six points and 14 rebounds, sophomore guard Kinsley Bowie had six points and eight boards, and the sophomore Kapayou also had six points. Johnson finished with four points and three steals, while Jorja Janssen added a three-point play.

Goamar Bilim led Des Moines North with nine points, Mariah Van Ersvelde had eight and Aryam Salah had seven.

“Overall, this was an incredibly important win for us as a team,” said Murphy. “It would have been easy to give up when we gave up the lead and the North crowd was rocking. Instead, we strung together enough defensive stops and made just enough plays to pull it out.

“This game provides us with a lot of valuable film to learn from, but those lessons come a little easier when we walk away with a victory.”

Marhsalltown, which halted a three-game losing skid, travels to face Class 4A No. 4 Mason City on Friday night.

Marshalltown 30, Des Moines North 27

MARSHALLTOWN (2-3) — Kinsley Bowie 3 0-0 6, Millie Heitmann 1 0-0 2, Sydney Kapayou 3 0-2 6, Ellie Hughes 1 0-0 2, Frankie Long 3 0-0 6, Amairra Johnson 2 0-1 4, Aubrie Tejada 0 0-2 0, Tania Mora 0 1-3 1, Jorja Janssen 1 1-1 3. TOTALS 14 2-9 30.

DM NORTH (0-4) — Mariah Van Ersvelde 2 4-4 8, Haylie Weinheimer 1 0-0 2, Nyakan Malual 0 1-4 1, Aryan Salah 2 2-2 7, Goamar Bilim 3 2-2 9, Jazmin Hull 0 0-0 0, Markia Wesley 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 8 9-12 27.

MHS 9 8 7 6 — 30

DM NORTH 6 2 8 11 — 27

3-Point Goals–North 2 (Salah, Bilim). Team Fouls–MHS 13, North 15. Fouled Out–Bowie.


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