MASON CITY | The Mason City boys basketball team put together a solid first half on Friday against Marshalltown, but the Mohawks hit a dry spell midway through the third quarter and the Bobcats capitalized and pulled away late for a 64-56 victory.
The Mohawks, who led by a single point at intermission, built a 43-38 advantage in the third quarter only to see Marshalltown erupt for an 18-2 run to put the Mohawks in a hole from which they could not recover.
“Overall, we played really well,” Mason City coach Nick Trask said. “But we started to miss some shots, and we had no answer for Luke Appel.”
Appel, the Bobcats’ 6-foot-7 post player, went off for 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the floor.
Unofficially, Appel also had 16 rebounds.
The Mason City offense started solidly on the strength of seven 3-point baskets over the first 18 minutes of play.
Marshalltown made some effective defensive adjustments in the third quarter that helped the Bobcats challenge the Mohawks’ outside shooting while relying of the size of Appel in the lane.
Marshalltown’s offense followed suit as the Bobcats’ offense started to get some scoring from its backcourt.
The result was a run that put Marshalltown up by as many as 15 points over the final moments.
Dylan Miller, Mason City’s leading scorer on the season, finished with 19 points, but the junior was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Avery Mellman finished with 14 points for the Mohawks, nine of which came in the fourth period.
Javorious Toney and Jeff Skogen, jr., had eight and seven points, respectively.
In addition to Appel, Jacob Smith had 14 for Marshalltown.
Mason City (3-13) returns to the court on Tuesday when it plays host to Des Moines North.