Waukee throws curveball, baffles Bobcats

With its two leading scorers standing 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-7, it was easy to believe that Waukee would pound the ball inside all night against the smaller Bobcats.

Marshalltown wasn’t ready for the Warriors to hit 10 3-pointers at the Roundhouse on Tuesday as Waukee was 10-for-18 from long range and got 25 points and 14 rebounds from Michael Jacobson during a 58-39 CIML victory.

“A lot of teams come to the Roundhouse and struggle to shoot the ball, but that did not happen to Waukee tonight,” MHS coach Scott Smith said. “Give them credit. That record is deceiving. They have played some tough teams. Waukee right now is just better than we are. They have a nice team.”

The game featured two teams trying to earn their fifth win but the contest was never really close.

Jacobson, the 6-foot-7 sophomore forward who leads the Warriors in scoring, hit 10-of-14 from the floor, including two triples, and was a monster inside all night for Waukee, which improved to 5-4 on the season.

“We did everything we could to stop him,” Smith said. “He is a complete player already as a sophomore.”

But it was the 3-point shooting of Luke Fegen and Grant Frey that doomed the Bobcats. Both Fegen and Frey connected on three triples apiece and scored nine points in a supporting role for the Warriors.

Fegen came into the game just 3-of-6 from long range but matched that total Tuesday. Frey was 7-of-18 from 3-point range before the night began and was 3-for-5 against the Bobcats.

“You have to force them to shoot 3s with all their height,” Smith said. “We were willing to give up those shots. We just weren’t willing to give up as many wide open looks as we did.”

Marshalltown on the other hand was just 4-of-19 from deep. They made just 13-of-52 from the field in the game and struggled to score inside against Waukee’s height in the paint.

The game got off to a slow start as Waukee led 6-2 five minutes into the first quarter. The first three buckets for the Warriors were 3-pointers – back-to-back treys by Fegen and another triple by Michael Winger.

The Warriors worked the ball well against Marshalltown’s zone defense and did not attempt a shot unless it was a wide-open look.

“They are very patient,” Smith said. “They are well coached. The way to beat the zone is to pass and they moved the ball well tonight.”

Waukee led 11-4 after the first 8 minutes and then Jacobson went to work inside. He scored the final points of the first quarter before tallying 16 in the second frame. Both of his 3-pointers came in the period and his 18 points at halftime helped Waukee lead 35-20.

The Bobcats got as close as 11 in the third quarter after Blake Gimbel converted a bucket and got fouled. But Waukee rolled off five straight to end the quarter and led by 16 heading to the fourth.

In the final frame, Jacobson scored his final seven points of the game and made sure Marshalltown did not have a rally in it. The closest the Bobcats got was 13 points after Riley Wirth buried a trey to start the frame.

No Bobcat scored in double figures on the night but Gimbel finished with nine points and six boards, while Wirth added nine points. De’Quan McDowell and Austin Kluver each had seven points in the loss.

It was the third straight loss for the Bobcats, who will try to regroup before their next game Friday at Johnston.

“We just try to get better every day,” Smith said. “We got some guys back today and got Aaron Hauser his first varsity action. It gives us more depth moving forward.

“Hopefully we’ll find a rhythm offensively soon. We have a half a season left to do that.”

Notebook

The Bobcats will travel to Johnston to face the Dragons at 7:45 p.m. Friday … Both Austin Kluver and Tyler Kluver played for the first time in four games after returning home from their trip to Florida. Tyler Kluver played in the Under Armour All-American Football Game on Friday. … Two of Waukee’s losses have come against No. 7 Urbandale (8-1). … Jacobson averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds coming into the game. … Nate Gehring, the 6-foot-10 center for the Warriors, averages eight points and six boards on the season but was hampered by foul trouble and finished with just four points and five rebounds. … The J-Hawks will travel to Dowling Catholic on Friday. … MHS senior Blake Judkins averages 10 points per game but was held to just two free throws on Tuesday. He was 0-for-4 from the floor.