Meyer, Mason City too much for Bobcats to handle
Working the glass, attacking in transition, or setting up his teammates outside, Matt Meyer left his mark all over the floor Friday.
The Mason City senior scored a game-high 26 points including eight during a 15-2 blitz in the third quarter as the Mohawks broke away for an 86-61 victory in a Central Iowa Conference Northern Division game Friday on Senior Night at the Roundhouse.
The Bobcats trailed just 45-41 after Austin Kluver’s free throws midway through the third frame before Meyer followed Jareese Williams’ triple, with three buckets in transition including a three-point play and 3-pointer, before grabbing a steal and assisting on the final basket of the run as Mason City opened a 60-43 lead.
“Meyer is a great player. He’s been a three-year starter in that program and he really showed his talent tonight,” MHS coach Scott Smith said.
“We just really had no answer for him and then things flowed off of that he was able to dish and he just had a great all-around game. Everything kind of runs through him.”
Meyer has averaged 27 points in his last three games and Mason City fed off his energy to start the fourth. The Mohawks (5-15, 2-4) quickly pushed the lead to 20 and never saw its lead dip below 13 to snap a five-game skid, while handing the Bobcats (3-17, 0-6) their 11th straight loss. Jared Lichman scored 19, Shandon Green had 14 and Austin Hemmen 11 as Mason City earned the season sweep.
Mason McCarville paced the Bobcats with 16 points including three treys, while Brady Arment and Austin Kluver each drilled a pair to score 12 and 11 respectively.
Marshalltown opened a 12-3 advantage 3 1/2 minutes in with a 7-0 spurt, though Mason City responded with the next nine in a high-octane first quarter. McCarville and Arment buried back-to-back 3s late in the frame but Dylan Diveney picked up his second foul soon after and was plagued by foul trouble much of the game.
Meyer’s 3-pointer knotted the score before Aaron Hauser beat the buzzer with another triple to give MHS a 21-18 edge after the first. The lead changed hands four times in the second as Arment’s corner trey put the Bobcats ahead 27-25 before Mason City scored the next eight points. Connor Johnson stemmed the tide with a 3-pointer to bring MHS within 33-31 at the half.
“The first half our kids did so many things well offensively rotating the ball, making the extra pass, taking it to the rim,” Smith said. “We hung in there defensively, but again our nemesis of trying to get consecutive stops and stop the bleeding was hard to do. They went on a run and we missed some shots and they’re a very good transition team.
“We had to go out of our matchup zone and we struggle at times in man-to-man matchups and they really exposed that going to Meyer. We did some good things offensively but again, no matter how well we play offensively, we’ve just got to find a way to protect that paint.”
The teams traded shots early in the third with consecutive 3s by Hemmen leading up to Diveney’s fourth foul on a charge at the 4:41 mark.
Johnson was assessed a technical following the play for apparently throwing the ball back too hard to the official and Meyer hit both free throws to give the Mohawks a 45-39 advantage.
Marshalltown made just one more field goal in the quarter as Mason City did most of the damage on its big run in transition to pull away.
“Dylan is such a vital part of our team at both ends,” Smith said. “He’s such a great off-ball defender because he can slide over and help, block shots and alter shots. With him picking up the fourth early on, that really changed our ability on both ends of the floor. He’s our leading scorer and our leading rebounder and when you lose both of those on the floor that’s just irreplaceable. That was a big part of that run as well.”
Diveney had seven points and Johnson tacked on six as 12 different players took the floor the Bobcats.
All eight seniors saw game action for Marshalltown and Smith commended the group for working together through a difficult season.
“This senior class has stuck together,” Smith said.
“They have great chemistry and camaraderie and I’ve really appreciated their attitudes throughout the year. We haven’t gotten as many wins as we’d like but they’ve come to practice and worked hard everydayOur seniors have been spectacular for us all year long both on and off the court.”
The Bobcats battle Bondurant-Farrar on the road today at 2:30 p.m. The Bluejays received four votes in the latest Class 3A poll.
The Bobcats’ eight seniors were recognized before the game including Arment, McCarville, Diveney, Johnson, Jacob Shirar, Hunter Chamberlin, Austin Lovin and Christian Guido. Friday’s contest was also the Coaches vs Cancer game. Marshalltown made a school-record 16 3-pointers in a 75-68 loss to the Mohawks in Mason City on Jan. 24. They had nine on Friday.