MCC sparkplugs push back at Pirates, 67-58

Steve Garber knows inconsistent energy on the defensive end will catch up with his team at some point.

Jamerka Martin and?Courtney Williams-Perry provided enough of a spark off the bench to ensure it didn’t happen Tuesday.

Martin scored all 13 of her points in the second half and Williams-Perry added seven rebounds in 13 minutes to help the Marshalltown Community College women’s basketball team hold off North Central Missouri College 67-58 at the Student Activity Center.

Jasmine Howe led a quartet of Tigers in double figures with 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as MCC (5-1) won its third straight. Ashley Salgado added 12 points, eight assists and seven steals, while Mackenzie Gott tallied 14 points, eight boards and two blocks.

“It’s easy to create energy when we’re scoring and to get excited at the defensive end,” said MCC coach Steve Garber. “But when we’re not scoring, it kind of tells a tale of what’s your attitude on the defensive end. Can you be just as enthusiastic or even more enthusiastic if you’re not knocking down your (shots)?”

Martin provided energy at both ends and scored five straight to give MCC some breathing room when the Pirates (4-4) closed within 50-48 on Lexi Hope’s layup with 10 minutes to play.

Martin’s two free throws and a trey sparked a 7-0 run for the Tigers, as NCMC never drew closer than seven down the stretch. The Pirates pulled within that mark on four occasions, the last coming at 65-58 on a Sydnee Rounkles bucket with 2:13 remaining though MCC didn’t allow another basket.

Samone Redditt finished with a game-high 22 points, but had just six after the break as Martin and Williams-Perry limited her open looks in the second half.

“Just putting some more athleticism and quicker players on (Redditt) helped considerably,” said Garber. “We oftentimes have mismatches with our post players coming out. If Mackenzie (Gott) or Danielle (Montgomery) have to come out and guard a little bit on the perimeter, we’re not real effective unless that person can’t shoot from outside.”

Redditt certainly could.

The sophomore struck from inside and out, pouring in 16 of the Pirates’ 24-point output in the first half to keep her team within striking distance. MCC’s lead grew as high as 13 with on Howe’s layup at the 3:37 mark in the opening frame before back-to-back buckets from Redditt capped a 7-0 run for the Pirates.

NCMC shot just 11-of-30 in the first half and turned the ball over 16 times, though a 26-16 rebounding edge helped them stay within 34-24 at halftime.

Redditt struck again with two quick baskets as the Pirates pulled within 38-32 early in the second half, before Martin came in to keep NCMC’s top scorer in check. The Tiger freshman nailed a pair of 3s over a 2:30 span before adding her five-point surge after the Pirates twice cut the lead to two.

“Coach always tells me that offense will come with playing defense,” said Martin, who showed no hesitation on her trigger once the Pirates tightened the score.

“I’m a good shooter off of pressure. If they don’t fall, coach tells me to just keep shooting, so I just keep shooting.”

Garber credited both Martin and Williams-Perry with their second half sparks, while Howe did the same with 10 points in the first half in her first game off the bench. While balance has been an early strength for the Tigers, uneven efforts at the defensive end remain a sore spot.

“There were so many lapses in energy on the defensive end,” said Garber. “It will catch up to us and it will catch up to us fast down the road. I’m aware of that, they’re not aware of that. We’ve got to get them aware of that.”

Hope and Oetterer each had nine points and seven rebounds for NCMC, while Brooke Parton added seven points and six assists.

MCC will travel to Kansas City to compete in the MCC-Penn Valley Classic this weekend. The Tigers will face Lewis & Clark CC on Friday at 2 p.m., before taking on the host school Saturday at noon.