Bobcats fall victim to Waukee’s quick start

WAUKEE – Marshalltown’s resilience was no match for Waukee’s fast start, as the Class 4A No. 8-ranked Warrior boys’ basketball team buried the Bobcats early on its way to a 69-35 triumph in Central Iowa Conference action Tuesday night.

Waukee (8-2) led 25-10 after the first quarter and continued to pile on, though MHS coach Scott Smith couldn’t fault his squad’s effort. The Warriors, behind 6-foot-10 Pepperdine commit Nate Gehring, were simply too big for the Bobcats.

“But we can’t use that as an excuse because that’s going to be the case in most of our games this season,” Smith said of Waukee’s size. “They have all the pieces of the puzzle. They have the biggest front line I may have ever coached against. They’re the real deal, one of the best teams we’ve played all year.”

Gehring scored a game-high 21 points for the Warriors, going 9-of-12 from the field (including a 3-pointer). Michael Winger made five 3-pointers on his way to 15 points, and Michael Jacobson had 14 points. Anthony Nelson had a game-high eight rebounds, while Gerhing and Jacobson had seven boards apiece.

“They jumped on us early and we never really recovered,” said Smith. “But I can’t fault the kids’ heart. They kept battling back.”

Dylan Diveney led Marshalltown (2-8) with 14 points and four rebounds, and Aaron Hauser had four 3-pointers for 12 points.

The Bobcats are back at home for a pair this weekend, hosting Johnston on Friday and Urbandale on Saturday.

“You’ve got to have a short memory in this league,” Smith added. “Those are both outstanding teams. Our guys need to believe they can play with anybody. We have to learn that no matter who we play, we can’t back down.”

Both varsity boys games start at 7:45 p.m.