MCC eyes formidable opponent

The Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball team plans to do its best to beat a formidable opponent Saturday night at the Student Activity Center.

The Tigers are raising money as a part of the Coaches vs. Cancer project, benefitting the American Cancer Society through the Marshall County Relay For Life event.

“Any time you can benefit a cause that affects a lot of people, and you know the money’s going to stay local, we’re all about helping the community in any way we possibly can,” said MCC head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson. “The Coaches vs. Cancer night fell on the exact same date as the weekend the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) does its Suits and Sneakers, we thought it was a good time to do Coaches vs. Cancer as well.”

Cancer being the foremost foe, the Tigers also take on nationally ranked Indian Hills Community College for an Iowa Community College Athletic Conference contest that tips off at 7 p.m.

The NJCAA Division I No. 8-ranked Warriors are 20-2 overall, 3-0 in conference play and have a six-game winning streak. Indian Hills has won the last 12 games in the series with MCC, as the Tigers’ last victory came on Feb. 16, 2008.

“They’re pressing, they play very fast, they’re deep in every position, they’re just a hell of a team,” Brynjarsson said.

Five members of the Indian Hills squad have already signed to play NCAA Division I basketball next season, according to Brynjarsson, who says there are more signings yet to come.

Marshalltown (15-5, 0-3) won its first 11 games this season and is 7-1 home, with only a 109-105 overtime defeat to conference newcomer Northeast Nebraska CC against them inside the Student Activity Center.

“We’re still the same team we always were: unselfish, we play together, they’re playing extremely hard,” Brynjarsson said. “We’ve had a couple tough breaks, but we still need to figure out how to play when things don’t quite go our way.

“A couple points of focus for us will be rebounding and transition defense. If we can do those things, we’re going to have a great chance in this game.”

Saturday’s conference clash should bring in a crowd because of the basketball, but Brynjarsson is hoping more fans come out just to help the cause.

“They’re raising ticket prices to $10 but half of that is going to the American Cancer Society,” he said. “Our two main sponsors are MechDyne and Emerson Process Management, plus we’re going to have an honorary coach sit on the bench with us.”

Terry Geiken is an Emerson Process Management employee and a cancer survivor. The Marshalltown native and Reinbeck resident will sit alongside the Tigers during the game.