MHS staves off challenge from Boone

BOONE – Blake Gimbel and Riley Wirth both knocked down three 3-pointers and the Marshalltown boys’ basketball team withstood a stern challenge from host Boone, winning 67-59 in Thursday’s first game back from the holiday break.

It was the first of three straight nights of games for the Bobcats (4-5), who led 24-19 after a high-scoring first quarter before going into halftime tied with the Toreadors (1-6).

Marshalltown scored the first seven points of the third quarter only to see Boone fight back to within three points with 35 seconds left in the fourth. Hunter Hillygus and Blake Judkins both went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line to ice the win for MHS, handing Boone its third consecutive loss.

“We came back in pretty good shape, but I think for us it was just a matter of committing to the defensive end of the court for four quarters,” said MHS head coach Scott Smith. “We came out and made four 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the game, but our defense went south after that and we got lackadaisical and it was 32-all at the half.”

Logan Losh led Boone with a game-high 29 points, connecting on 11-of-15 shots from the field and 6-of-10 from the free-throw line. Ashton Clemons added 15 points for the hosts.

Gimbel finished in double-digits for the seventh straight game, scoring a team-best 22 points for the Bobcats. Wirth had a season-high 15 points and Judkins finished with 11. Mason McCarville made a pair of treys for six points, and De’Quan McDowell also had six points while leading MHS with five rebounds.

“It’s always good to get a win in that first one game back after break,” said Smith, “but we need to shore up our defense.”

Marshalltown hosts Des Moines East tonight at the Roundhouse before heading to Urbandale on Saturday.