Things got off to a great start for the Marshalltown girls' basketball team Tuesday.
However, turnovers spoiled any hopes the Bobcats had at pulling off an upset against Class 5A No. 8 Southeast Polk.
Despite leading 7-2, the Bobcats gave up 31 straight points to the Rams and lost their third straight game in a 59-17 loss at the Roundhouse.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS senior Eisha Oden, left, scored the Bobcats’ first 12 points on Tuesday against Southeast Polk, but freshman Allee Ira (44) and the Rams got the win at the Roundhouse.
"We just made some bad decisions tonight," Marshalltown coach Tim Johnson said. "We've been working on taking care of the ball, but you can't stand still on offense and you have to throw the pass when they are open."
MHS senior Eisha Oden put the Bobcats up 7-2 early after scoring all seven of the Bobcats' points.
However, Southeast Polk all-state guard Caitlin Ingle scored 13 points in the first quarter and guided the Rams to a 31-0 run that did in the Bobcats. When Ingle wasn't driving past Bobcat defenders and scoring easy buckets, her teammates were drilling shots from outside.
SE POLK (6-3) - Jacey Huinker 3 0-0 6, Dakota Taylor 1 0-0 2, Ashton Donels 4 0-0 9, Caitlin Ingle 10 1-2 21, Jessica Cole 1 0-0 3, Jessica Gardner 2 0-0 4, Victoria Bricker 0 0-2 0, Annie Penquite 5 0-0 12, Abby Penquite 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 1-2 59.
MHS (2-8) - Samantha Hughes 0 1-2 1, Eisha Oden 5 2-3 12, Emily Rebik 1 0-0 2, Rachel Blagg 1 0-0 2. Totals 7 3-5 17.
3-Point Goals-SEP 4 (An.Penquite 2, Cole, Donels).
"She took us to the hole at will," Johnson said. "She is going to get her points. We just hoped those points wouldn't come right at the rim."
The Rams led 19-7 after one quarter and then grabbed a 37-10 lead at halftime. Ingle finished the first half with 17 points and ended up with 21 in the game for the Rams, who were the preseason Class 5A No. 1 team.
"She makes everyone else better, but we have to move our feet better," Johnson said. "We needed better team defense against her tonight."
The Bobcats turned the ball over 27 times in the loss and many of those miscues were turned into easy layups at the other end by the Rams, who improved to 6-3 on the year.
Oden scored the first 12 Bobcat points and those came in the first three quarters as Marshalltown (2-8) trailed 53-12 heading into the fourth.
The Bobcats lost their fourth straight game and are still playing without starting point guard Taylor Wagner. Johnson said Amanda Hughes and Sam Hughes both played under the weather Tuesday.
"We just need to get to the break and try to get healthy," he said.
Oden finished with 12 points and three rebounds to lead the Bobcats. The only other players to score were Rachel Blagg (2), Emily Rebik (2) and Sam Hughes (1). Hughes also had a team-high four rebounds.
"She has a high motor and won't stop working for us," Johnson said of Oden. "She stayed out of foul trouble and that is good because we have to have her on the floor. We probably could have gotten the ball to her more, but we turned it over too much."
Annie Penquite also finished in double-figures for the Rams as she had 12 points, while freshman Ashton Donels had nine points off the bench.
Southeast Polk began the season No. 1 but has lost three games to new No. 1 Mason City, No. 4 Des Moines East and No. 5 Ankeny. The Rams' win over the Bobcats was their third straight victory, including a one-point win over No. 3 Waukee. ... Ingle came into the game averaging 14 points per contest. She did not play at all in the fourth quarter as the running clock went into effect midway through the third frame. ... Marshalltown next plays Jan. 5 at Urbandale. The Bobcats return to the Roundhouse on Jan. 8 when they take on 5A No. 3 Waukee.