The way Samantha Hughes was playing inside, Marshalltown girls' basketball coach Stacy O'Hare wanted to get her the ball as much as possible Tuesday in the Bobcats' home opener at the Roundhouse.
Unfortunately, Hughes' career-high 20 points went for naught as the rest of the Marshalltown lineup struggled from long range and forced too many outside shots in a loss to Des Moines Hoover.
The Bobcats stayed close through three quarters but Mikayla Larson was too tough down the stretch as Hoover outscored MHS 32-18 in the second half and went on to win 53-36 at the Roundhouse.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown sophomore Tabby Steffensen (30) drives to the hoop for her only field goal against Des Moines Hoover on Tuesday during the Bobcats’ 53-36 loss at the Roundhouse.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown junior Samantha Hughes, center splits two Des Moines Hoover defenders Tuesday during the Bobcats’ home opener at the Roundhouse. Hughes had a game-high 20 points but the Bobcats lost 53-36.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
"Our shot selection was pretty poor really," said O'Hare. "We want the kids to feel comfortable shooting the 3, but it needs to be in the flow of the offense."
Hughes' 20 points came on eight field goals and 3-of-4 from the line. But no other Bobcat had more than Emily Rebik's five points. Marshalltown made just six other shots from the floor and connected on just 7-of-13 from the line in the game. Hoover, on the other hand, was 17-of-22 from the charity stripe.
"We weren't attacking," O'Hare said in regards to the free throw difference. "We were content on shooting from the outside. We need to drive the ball to the bucket and make them move. We let their defense stand too much. We need to know when to shoot and when to drive and we just took way too many 3-pointers tonight."
Des Moines Hoover 53, Marshalltown 36
DM HOOVER (1-1) - Nyachristmas Puok 0 0-2 0, Brianna Hale 0 2-2 2, Artorria Jung 2 4-5 8, Lauren Provost 4 1-1 11, Malaysia Duncan 2 5-6 11, Mikayla Larson 7 5-6 19, Emily Hestbech 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 16 17-22 53.
MHS (1-1) - Karli McClure 0 1-2 1, Amanda Hughes 1 0-0 2, Ellyn Boland 0 1-2 1, Sam Hughes 8 3-4 20, Tabby Steffensen 1 0-0 2, Molly Major 1 0-0 2, Emily Rebik 2 1-2 5, Rachel Blagg 1 0-0 2, Kali Banks 0 1-2 1. TOTALS 14 7-13 36.
3-Point Goals-DMH 4 (Provost 2, Duncan 2), MHS 1 (S.Hughes). Total fouls-DMH 13, MHS 19. Fouled out-none.
Marshalltown (1-1) led 9-8 after one quarter but the Huskies led 21-18 at halftime.
The second half was when Larson decided to take over the game, though. The senior all-CIML guard scored three of Hoover's first four buckets in the third quarter and pushed the Husky lead to 11 and then put the game away in the fourth quarter with nine more points. Fifteen of Larson's 19 points came in the final two quarters.
"She is our senior leader, first-team all conference player," said Hoover coach Jason Karaidos. "We go like she goes. We play a lot better when she is on.
"We tried to force them to guard her on the dribble and when she is scoring, that is tough to do."
The main difference between Larson's effort and Hughes' effort was that the visiting Huskies (1-1) gave Larson some help.
"We have to have more balance than that," O'Hare said. "Sam was tremendous. She can play inside or outside. We had a height advantage in there with her. They weren't going to stop her in there. She was either going to get fouled or she was going to score. I thought we did an OK job of getting it to her, but we didn't get it to her enough."
Lauren Provost and Malaysia Duncan each buried two shots from long range and both finished with 11 points. Artorria Jung also scored eight points.
"We tried to go into a zone. That didn't work out real well," O'Hare said. "They spread us out in the man-to-man and we didn't have very good help position. It ended up being one-on-one with (Larson)."
The Bobcats will look to regroup when they take on Des Moines Roosevelt on Friday at the Roundhouse. The Riders though are led by 6-foot-2 center Meredith Burkhall, who is averaging 17 points per game in the team's first three games.
The MHS-Roosevelt game Friday tips off at 6:15 p.m. ... Roosevelt comes into the game 0-3 after suffering losses to preseason ranked Dowling Catholic as well as Ames and Waukee. ... A big difference in Tuesday's game was the free-throw line. Hoover came into the game shooting around 80 percent from the foul line in the early part of the season. "It is something we are doing well," Karaidos said. "If we get into the lane we know we are going to take contact and we have to finish at the line. And we were able to do that tonight." ... Hoover only beat Marshalltown by two last season in Des Moines.