Bobcats make most of second chances

MASON CITY – Offensive rebounds by De’Quan McDowell turned into six critical second-chance points inside the final minute and the Marshalltown boys’ basketball team ended a four-game losing streak with a 60-59 triumph over Mason City on Friday night.

Two of McDowell’s team-leading seven rebounds came when his Bobcats needed them most. MHS trailed 57-54 when McDowell put back a miss and was fouled, making his free throw to tie the game at 57-all.

After a pair of Mason City free throws returned the lead to the hosts, McDowell was there to chase down another off-target shot for the Bobcats. He then flipped to Blake Gimbel, who buried his fourth 3-pointer of the night to put Marshalltown (6-14, 3-3) in front 60-59 with 12 seconds remaining.

Gimbel was also there to contest Matt Meyer’s final shot attempt, which ricocheted off the side of the backboard to hand Mason City (2-16, 0-6) its 16th consecutive loss.

Marshalltown earned the season sweep of the Central Iowa Conference Northern Division pairing, having won 57-51 inside the Roundhouse in the first meeting.

“I don’t think either team had more than a five-point lead in the entire game,” said MHS coach Scott Smith. “Today was really about our senior leadership, they started and finished the game.

“Our seniors really have been great lately. We haven’t gotten as many wins as we would have liked, but they’ve remained coachable and they’re a tight-knit group. I’m happy to see the boys win, it was a happy locker room after the game.”

Gimbel finished with a game-high 27 points – two shy of his season high – while Tyler Kluver contributed 11 points with three 3-pointers. Blake Judkins added seven points, Austin Hauser had six, Hunter Hillygus added five and McDowell four for the Bobcats.

Meyer scored 22 to pace Mason City, Jason Key contributed 18 and T.J. Rottinghaus 12 for the Mohawks. The trio accounted for 52 of the team’s 59 points, with Key connecting on four 3-pointers.

Marshalltown returns to the Roundhouse for Senior Night with Tuesday’s regular season finale, a home game against Des Moines North.