DES MOINES - Marshalltown coach Scott Smith feels like Des Moines Roosevelt should be ranked in the top five when the Class 4A rankings come out next week.
That Roughrider talent was on full display Friday night as the Bobcats didn't have a lot of answers on the road during a 76-49 loss.
"They looked bigger in person than they did on tape," Smith said. "And not only are they big, but they are athletic too. They were so tough defensively. I think they are one of the best teams we'll face this season."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS senior Hunter Hillygus shoots over the outstretched arms of Des Moines Roosevelt’s Nick Ross during the Roughriders’ win Friday night in Des Moines. Hillygus finished with a team-high 11 points in the loss.
The Roughriders have four legitimate future college scholarship players and all four had big moments during Friday's win.
The Bobcats hung around for the first five minutes and even led 9-8, but Roosevelt scored the game's next 18 points to begin what turned into a rout. The Roughriders led 24-9 after one quarter and took a 46-30 lead into the halftime recess.
Tate Larsen and Chris Bennett both reached double-figures by halftime, while Mario Manuel and Trey Burkhall added 15 more points in the first two periods. All four are good enough to play at the next level, which is why the Roughriders are the favorite to win the CIML Metro Conference title this season.
Des Moines Roosevelt 76, Marshalltown 49
At Des Moines
MHS (0-2) - Johnson 1 0-0 2, Judkins 3 2-5 9, Hillygus 5 0-0 11, Wirth 1 0-0 2, Gimbel 3 2-3 8, Kluver 2 2-3 7, McDowell 4 2-2 10, Guido 0 0-1 0. Totals 19 8-14 49
DM ROOSEVELT (1-1) - Johnson 3 0-0 7, Larsen 8 0-1 17, Burkhall 3 1-2 9, Bennett 7 5-5 20, Sullivan 0 1-2 1, Wells 2 2-2 6, Manuel 5 6-7 16. Totals 28 15-19 76.
3-Point Goals - MHS 3 (Judkins, Hillygus, Kluver), DMR 5 (Burkhall 2, Johnson, Larsen, Bennett).
"We still were not able to run like we wanted to tonight, but the credit there goes to Roosevelt," Smith said. "It is hard to run when the other team is making a lot of shots. They are an outstanding team."
Bennett, the top returning scorer in the CIML from last season, continued to score points in the third quarter, while a Manuel dunk brought the boisterous student section to their feet. The Riders led 66-35 after three quarters and put the continuous clock into effect following a three-point play by Manuel in the fourth quarter.
"They have a very potent inside-outside game," Smith said, "We battled and played hard, but I think we were just overmatched tonight."
The Bobcats outscored the Roughriders 14-10 in the final frame thanks to a few jumpers from senior Hunter Hillygus. He led Marshalltown (0-2) with 11 points, while senior De'Quan McDowell added 10. Senior Tyler Kluver also had a nice game off the bench as he finished with seven.
"I think Tyler and Hunter played great games tonight for us," Smith said. "And I think De'Quan was very active tonight. He rebounded really well and got us going a bit early. Blake (Gimbel) is going to be a marked man this year so it is big for other guys to step up for us."
Gimbel finished with eight points for the Bobcats, who next face West Des Moines Valley on Tuesday night. Blake Judkins also had nine points for Marshalltown.
"I think we play three of the toughest teams in the state in our first three games," Smith said, "That game on Tuesday won't be any easier for us.
"We'll continue to try to get better every day. We'll go back to work. I really love coaching these guys."
Bennett finished with 20 points to lead Roosevelt (1-1), while Larsen had 17 and Manuel finished with 16. The Roughriders made 28 field goals and were 15-of-19 from the line.
The Roughriders began the season with an eight-point loss to Dowling Catholic on Tuesday. Bennett has scored at least 20 points in each of the first two games this season. MHS senior Luke Madsen suffered two broken bones in his leg last Tuesday against Des Moines Hoover and is still hospitalized at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Smith said he visited his captain Friday and Madsen is expected to be released on Sunday. Marshalltown made 9 field goals but was just 8-of-14 from the line. Junior Mason McCarville made his first varsity start Friday as he replaced Madsen in the lineup.