Southeast Polk ends Bobcats’ season

Given a second chance to make a winning impression, the Marshalltown boys’ basketball team’s season came to an abrupt end at the hands of Southeast Polk, 60-44, in their Class 4A Substate 8 quarterfinal inside the Roundhouse.

The Rams (10-12) prevailed on Marshalltown’s home court for the second time this season to eliminate the Bobcats (6-16), duplicating their Dec. 16 performance at MHS with 10 3-pointers again Monday night.

An early basket from De’Quan McDowell and a free throw from Blake Gimbel gave the Bobcats an early 3-0 lead before the Rams dialed in from long distance, making three long 3-pointers during an 11-0 run in the middle of the first quarter for an 11-3 lead.

Nick Jefferies with two trifectas and Caleb Pavon with another led the Rams charge. The Bobcats managed to cut the lead to 14-11 before Jefferies connected on a couple more treys to make the margin nine, 20-11, after one quarter.

Aaron Hauser opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the margin to 20-14 and Tyler Kluver’s layup made it 22-16 with just more than six minutes to play in the half before Jefferies took over again for the Rams.

Jefferies’ seven second-quarter points included five in the final 45 seconds staked the Rams to a 31-20 halftime advantage.

Jefferies, with 19 first half points, did the majority of the damage.

Trading blows in a slow-starting second half, the Bobcats trailed by nine at 33-24 with five minutes left in the third quarter before a 10-0 Ram run put the game away at 43-27 after three.

The ‘Cats never got closer than 14 in the final quarter in suffering season-ending defeat.

“(Southeast Polk) really shot the ball well tonight,” MHS coach Scott Smith said. “That is the third or fourth game in a row they have made double digit 3-pointers. Sometimes with a hand in the face, other times they did a good job with screens and we didn’t fight through them well.

“Give them all the credit, they really executed the passing well. They are a deceptive 10-12 team with the league they play in.”

Kluver paced the Bobcats with 14 points. McDowell and Blake Gimbel chipped in 8 each.

Jefferies led Southeast Polk with 21 points, netting five 3-pointers. Lucas Hassman added 12 points and Nick Arnold 10.

“We wanted to get inside and go to the free-throw line, but only shooting two free throws obviously that didn’t work out for us,” Smith said. “I want to thank the seniors for really fighting hard this season. They came to practice every day and worked hard, never complained and were true leaders.

“If you look at the won-lost record maybe we weren’t very successful, but if you look at character and attitude we had a successful season.”