MASON CITY | While the record may not show it, the Mason City boys basketball team continues to quietly improve as the season progresses.

On Tuesday, Mason City put together another solid defensive effort against Ankeny Centennial, but the Mohawks couldn’t quite hold up on the offensive end as the Jaguars earned a hard-fought 52-39 win.

“I have been so impressed with the defensive effort over the last couple of games,” Mason City coach Nick Trask said. “We’re a young team. We’re only going to get better.”

Mason City, which starts sophomores Avery Mellman and Jeff Skogen in the backcourt and juniors Dylan Miller and Jarvorious Toney in the frontcourt, has now allowed 65 or fewer points in eight of its past 10 games.

The Mohawks took an 18-17 lead late in the second quarter, but the key stretch of the contest was an 8-0 run by Centennial to close out the second quarter.

The Jaguars extended the lead to double digits in the third quarter, and Mason City was unable to get any closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Cold shooting plagued Mason City as the Mohawks shot just 33 percent from the floor and 55 percent from the free-throw line.

Miller was the lone Mohawk in double figures with 11 points.

Toney overcame early foul trouble to finish with eight points — all in the fourth quarter — eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Hunter Strait led all scorers with 13 for Centennial.

Mason City (3-12) returns to action on Friday when it plays host to Marshalltown in the Mohawks’ Coaches v. Cancer Night.

The Bobcats edged Mason City 63-59 in their meeting earlier this season.