Hawks dominate paint to best Bobcats
Marshalltown boys’ basketball coach Scott Smith didn’t have many negative things to say about his team’s offensive performance against Ankeny on Monday night.
The issue for the Bobcats was on the defensive end of the floor.
Ankeny used big offensive performances from Cole Whitaker and Jordan Saddoris and the Hawks dominated the paint during an 81-66 Central Iowa Conference cross-division contest at the Roundhouse.
“These were two evenly matched teams,” said Marshalltown coach Scott Smith. “I think the game came down to two stretches – one in the second quarter and one in the third. It was a fun game to watch, and we did a lot of good things offensively. In the end, we just couldn’t defend the paint.”
The game was tied after one frame but Ankeny outscored the Bobcats 19-11 in the second and 25-15 in the third to pull away.
The Bobcats got within six midway through the fourth quarter thanks to a 16-2 run but then ran out of gas. Ankeny scored six straight after the furious comeback to push the lead back to double-digits and the Bobcats never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
“We got down and battled our way back. That does exert a lot of energy and we just hit the wall a little bit,” said Smith. “They had a few run outs to get it back to double digits and then you’re in scramble mode.
“If we could have gotten a stop and got another bucket, we would have had them on the ropes. It just didn’t happen though.”
Whitaker scored 24 points off the Ankeny bench to lead the Hawks (4-14), while Saddoris added 19 in the win. Connor Riordan (11), Vince Walker (11) and Zach Morrissey (10) also finished in double-figures and the Hawks ended a four-game skid with the win.
Marshalltown (3-16) has now lost nine in a row. The Bobcats were led by Mason McCarville’s 16 points, while Aaron Hauser and Dylan Diveney each scored 14 and Brady Arment chipped in 10.
“We took the ball hard to the hole. That was a good thing. Offensively, I am very pleased,” Smith said. “We had good spacing and got to the line. We just have to shore up that defensive end.
“They got a lot of layups. We have to dig down deep. Maybe the answer is easy, but it’s a hard thing to do. We have struggled with that all year, but we have to be tougher inside.”
Ankeny’s run in the second quarter started right away as the Hawks scored 13 of the first 15 points to go up 28-17. They led 34-26 at halftime and then used an 11-4 spurt and a 14-3 run in the third to go up 59-37.
“You can’t put a lot of stocks in records,” said Smith. “Every team in this league has talent. It was a hard-fought basketball game.”
Marshalltown will try to regroup Friday as the Bobcats welcome Mason City to the Roundhouse for Senior Night and the Coaches vs. Cancer game. The Bobcats sank 16 3-pointers but lost 75-68 in the first meeting back on Jan. 24. Marshalltown hit five 3-pointers and was 15-of-21 from the line, while Ankeny hit four triples and connected on 17-of-23 from the charity stripe.