After the high of the quick start dissipated, the Marshalltown girls' basketball team dug in, gritted it out and came out of its home opener with a victory.
The Bobcats held on to defeat Des Moines Hoover, 51-44, in overtime Friday night in their first game of the season inside the Roundhouse.
MHS (1-2) jumped all over the Huskies (1-2) early, but soon found itself in a dogfight and trailed heading into the fourth quarter.
T-R PHOTO BY travis hines
Marshalltown High School’s Lauren Mazour shoots over Des Moines Hoover defender Mikayla Larson (25) during the first half of Friday’s cross-CIML girls’ basketball game at the Roundhouse. The Bobcats picked up their first win of the season, winning 51-44 in overtime.
The Bobcats quickly regained the lead, but Mikayla Larson's basket with under a minute to play pushed the game into overtime.
There, MHS dominated, scoring seven of the extra frame's first eight points and outdueling DMH, 11-4, to earn its first win of the season and first at home in nearly 2 years.
"It felt great. It was amazing to go out there, play our hardest and actually get a W," said MHS' Rachel Mattox, who finished with 13 points.
HOOVER (1-2) -Sunday Duop 4 0-1 8, Kia Wells 0 2-2 2, Malaysia Duncan 1 0-2 3, Mikayla Larson 6 2-3 15, McKenna Brown 1 0-0 3, Natalie Clark 0 0-0 0, Savana Robinson 0 0-0 0, Amasha Manyfield 0 0-0 0, Nyakat Diew 4 5-10 13. TOTALS - 16 9-18 44.
MARSHALLTOWN (1-2) - Madi Bellile 2 0-0 5, Eisha Oden 3 2-8 8, Taylor Wagner 5 3-4 15, Rachel Mattox 6 0-3 13, Lauren Mazour 3 0-0 6, Amanda Hughes 0 2-2 2, Amanda Schrempf 0 1-2 1.TOTALS - 19 9-20 51.
"I was getting nervous there," she added, "but we pulled it out."
Close contests, let alone victories, have been a rare occurance for MHS the past few seasons as it sports a 6-37 mark the past two years.
But the Bobcats looked like old pros pulling through adversity this night, shaking off a sloppy second quarter to keep pace with Hoover and eventually overtake the Huskies.
"I think over the years here we've learned how to battle no matter what the score is, and I think that came in to play tonight," said MHS head coach Tim Johnson. "Us being able to battle no matter what happens and coming out on top, I think that shows what we've learned over the last few years here."
Marshalltown looked poised to cruise to an easy victory early, leading 15-3 less than a minute in to the second quarter, but the Huskies quickly went on an 8-0 run to close the gap and then took the lead when another 8-0 run followed a pair of free throws by MHS' Eisha Oden.
Lauren Mazour's basket 2 minutes before halftime tied the game going into the break, with MHS on the short end of a 16-4 run.
Where in years past the Bobcats may have folded under momentum's pressure, this squad went basket-for-basket with Hoover, taking a 34-31 lead a minute in the final frame on a pair of Oden baskets.
Still, MHS couldn't get a good shot off in its final two possessions after Larson's equalizer, forcing OT.
A bucket from Oden and a 3-pointer from Madi Bellile to start overtime quickly gave the Bobcats a five-point cushion.
The Huskies closed within three with 30 seconds to play, but a free throw from Taylor Wagner, who had a team-high 15 points, pushed the lead back to four while the defense kept Hoover off the board for the remainder.
Oden finished with eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Lauren Mazour had six points and eight boards as MHS outrebounded the Huskies 42-30.
"Even if we do miss, we have somebody to clean up. Mazour is boxing out and so is Oden. Great on the boards," said Johnson, whose team travels to Urbandale on Tuesday for its next test.
The win also snaps a lengthy home losing streak for the Bobcats, who did not win a game at home last season.
MHS last won at the Roundhouse on Jan. 19, 2010 against Des Moines Roosevelt.
"It is special, especially for these girls and these seniors that have stuck with it every single day," Johnson said. "Every single thing that I've ever asked them, they competed and they got to do that in front of their home crowd.
"I love it. I'm glad the girls got to do that."