For about 26 minutes, the Marshalltown boys basketball team played really good basketball against Southeast Polk.
It was the other 6 minutes that were the issue Tuesday during a CIC cross-division battle at the Roundhouse.
The Rams drilled three straight 3-pointers during a short run spanning the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth and pulled away from the Bobcats 66-54.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS senior Riley Wirth, left, puts up a shot against Southeast Polk junior Tucker Kamman on Tuesday during the Bobcats’ loss to the Rams at the Roundhouse. Wirth scored a team-high 13 points for MHS, while Kamman had 15 for Southeast Polk.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
"They shoot the ball really well, and that is always a tough guard," MHS coach Scott Smith. "They just have so many guys who can beat you out there."
Southeast Polk drilled 10 triples in the game and turned a 42-41 advantage into a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter and never looked back in handing the Bobcats their second straight defeat.
"That run was the difference in the game," Smith said. "They went on a nice run and we just never really got extremely close after that."
SE POLK (5-2) - Tucker Kamman 6 0-0 15, Lucas Hassman 1 0-0 2, Kody Williams 1 0-0 2, Nick Jeffries 6 5-7 19, Caleb Pavon 4 0-1 9, Nick Arnold 3 0-0 9, Ryan Curtis 3 3-4 10. Totals 24 8-12 66.
MHS (3-5) - Austin Kluver 1 0-0 2, Mason McCarville 2 0-0 6, Blake Judkins 3 5-5 12, Hunter Hillygus 2 1-1 5, Riley Wirth 5 0-0 13, Blake Gimbel 3 3-5 11, Tyler Kluver 1 0-0 2, De'Quan McDowell 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 10-13 54.
3-Point Goals-SEP 10 (Kamman 3, Arnold 3, Jeffries 2, Curtis, Pavon), MHS 8 (Wirth 3, McCarville 2, Gimbel 2, Judkins).
Hunter Hillygus' floater trimmed the Bobcat deficit to 42-41 but an 8-0 run by the Rams turned things the other direction. During that span, Nick Arnold and Ryan Curtis each canned a 3-pointer and then another trey by Arnold gave the Rams a nine-point cushion. The Bobcats (3-5) never got closer than seven the rest of the way, and Southeast Polk scored seven of the final nine points to put the victory away.
"We had a nice transition game going tonight, but when they got the lead they slowed it way down," Smith said. "They just never let us get going again."
The Bobcats trailed 8-1 to start the game but rallied to tie it at 15 before heading into the second frame down just three.
Mason McCarville and Riley Wirth hit two of the Bobcats' eight 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to tie the contest at 27.
After the Rams rebounded to go back up seven, Hillygus converted a three-point play and Blake Judkins buried a 3 at the horn to make it 34-33 at the break.
The Bobcats held a lead briefly in the third quarter following a 3 by Blake Gimbel and then a layup by Wirth.
However, every time the However, every time the Bobcats gained some sort of advantage, Tucker Kamman and Nick Jeffries would hit big shots for the Rams. Back-to-back buckets by those two and then a 3 by Arnold at the end of the frame pushed the Southeast Polk lead back to six heading into the final quarter.
"The good thing is that the stuff we are struggling with are all fixable," Smith said. "And we'll work on it over the break."
Wirth led the Bobcats with 13 points, while Gimbel added 11 points and six boards. Judkins also finished in double-figures with 12.
Jeffries scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Rams, while Kamman had 15 points in the win. Arnold and Caleb Pavon each added nine as the Rams improved to 5-2 on the season. Ryan Curtis also scored 10 points off the bench.
Southeast Polk's two losses came at the hands of state-ranked Ankeny and West Des Moines Valley. ... Jeffries came into the game averaging just more than 20 points per game. ... The Bobcats do not play again until after the holiday break. The Bobcats travel to Boone on Jan. 3 before hosting Des Moines East at the Roundhouse on Jan. 4. ... Marshalltown has now lost two straight games after winning its previous three.