Marshalltown offense struggles to score on Senior Night
The Bobcat girls’ basketball team did enough at the defensive end of the floor to win a basketball game Friday night.
Unfortunately for MHS, the offensive end of the floor is still lacking.
Hampered by two single-digit quarters and poor free-throw shooting, the Bobcats fell behind at halftime against Mason City and couldn’t recover in a 57-34 loss at the Roundhouse on Senior Night.
Creighton signee Myah Mellman scored a game-high 16 points for the Mohawks, who have now won four of their last five. Iowa commit Makenzie Meyer was held to just two makes from the floor and six points under her season average, but she still scored 10, while Allison Scott buried three 3-pointers for nine points for Mason City. The Mohawks buried eight 3-pointers in the game and were 17-of-28 from the line.
Marshalltown, on the other hand, did not make a 3-pointer, went 10-of-22 from the line and turned it over 30 times against the Mohawks’ aggressive half-court trap defense.
“We saw that the first time we played them and we addressed it in practice, but our issue right now is that we are not under control on offense,” said MHS coach Stacy O’Hare. “We try to get rid of it as quickly as we can or we want to put the ball on the floor. We don’t allow our press break to work and don’t allow kids to move. We panic a lot on offense. We just don’t do a good job of taking care of the ball.”
The Bobcats (4-18, 0-6) trailed 6-4 after one quarter, but Mason City outscored MHS 18-7 in the second and 20-11 in the third to win going away.
The key stretch in the second frame came when the Bobcats missed six consecutive shots from the line that could have kept things close at 17-14. Instead, Mason City took advantage at the other end and got a pair of a triples from Scott and another long ball from Mellman. Mellman added a layup and second 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to give the Mohawks a 24-11 lead at the break.
“We wanted the other kids to beat us,” said O’Hare of not letting Mellman or Meyer go off at the offensive end. “We did a really good job on Meyer. It looked like we frustrated her. We got defensive stops and we forced them to turn the ball over, but we can’t come down the floor and make a shot, or we turn the ball over or we miss free throws.”
Scott hit her final 3-pointer of the game on the first possession of the third quarter and Mellman canned three free throws, another 3 and a layup to put the visitors up 44-19 late in the period.
Mason City went to its bench for much of the fourth and still outscored the Bobcats, 13-12.
Rachel Blagg led the Bobcats with nine points and 11 rebounds, while Sam Hughes added eight points and six boards and Kali Banks chipped in four points and five rebounds.
“Definitely, the offense was the issue,” O’Hare said. “We did everything we had to do defensively to win a game, but if you don’t have it on the offensive end it usually doesn’t matter.
“We didn’t attack like we needed to and we put the ball on the floor when we don’t need to. We just made bad decisions with the ball.”
It was the second straight win for Mason City, which scored a 57-56 upset over No. 4 Waukee on Thursday night. The Bobcats were coming off a win against Ankeny on Monday but just couldn’t keep the momentum at the offensive end of the floor.
“We played better this time around than last time,” said O’Hare, whose Bobcats lost to the Mohawks in Mason City, 77-44, earlier this season. “We can see the improvement. We are a much better defensive team. We just struggled on the offensive end.”
The next time Marshalltown plays will be in the regional tournament. The Bobcats travel to No. 8 Ankeny Centennial on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Jaguars beat the Bobcats, 76-29, at the Roundhouse earlier this season. “We have to come in and think we can knock off a team,” said O’Hare. “If we come in thinking we lost, the game is over. Anything can happen. It’s high school basketball.” … Friday also was Coaches vs. Cancer night. The Mohawks donned pink uniforms, while Marshalltown wore its normal blue uniforms with pink letters, pink socks, pink shoelaces and pink head bands. … Amanda Hughes, Emily Rebik and Banks were among several senior basketball players, cheerleaders and managers honored for Senior Night between games.