MASON CITY — With a roster full of inexperienced players, Mason City and Nick Trask know it’s going to take a little while to get up to speed.
Tuesday in a game at home against Southeast Polk, the Mohawks experienced a few more growing pains as a poor second half spelled their demise in a 55-52 loss.
“This is a team who is a little inexperienced at playing together and it’s going to take us a few games to get into it, and it has. It’s hurt us in the last few games as well,” Mason City coach Nick Trask said. “As soon as we can get on the same page and we’re all running the system like we were in the first half, this is going to be a really tough team and I’m really excited for them.”
The Mohawks showed flashes of that kind of team through much of the first 16 minutes. They were getting to the rim, drawing fouls, and finding the open man on the perimeter.
Mason City built up an 11-point lead at one point during the second quarter behind the scoring output of Dylan Miller, but then Southeast Polk began its march. Mason City led 26-20 at half and Miller had 10 points to lead the Mohawks.
In the third, most of what Mason City did well started to go away and the Rams took advantage, building up an 11-point lead in the third.
“Defensively, we just got lax,” Trask said. “Our communication got poor, we didn’t switch when we were supposed to and we were giving up easy stuff, we weren’t doubling the post like we were supposed to — all of our staple things that we hang our hat on, we just kind of took a step back from.”
Mason City found itself a little bit in the fourth, crawling to within four points with just under two minutes to play, and then got it to three with less than five to go on a layup by Miller, but time ran out on their comeback attempt and they had to settle for a third straight loss.
Miller led the Mohawks with 16 points and senior Jake Rood tossed in 14. Ben Pappas and Ryan Smuck added eight and seven points, respectively.
Grant Arnold led three Southeast Polk players in double figures with 13.
For Mason City, it just proved as another early lesson for a team which has only held eight practices with a load of games mixed in.
“I’m not worried for the future, but I just feel bad for them now because I do feel that they’re a lot better than the way we’re performing,” Trask said.