MARCUS - The improving Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn girls basketball squad split two recent games against tough opponents here, defeating Sioux City West 56-45, and succumbing 77-55 to Sergeant Bluff-Luton on January 26.
Balanced scoring led the Eagles past West last week, with Samantha Taylor leading the way with 16 points, followed by Kaylee Dreckman 15, and Caitlin Johnson 10. Steph Evans led West with 29 points.
Johnson, Anna Klingenberg, and Andrea Doeden paced the winners in rebounding with six apiece, while Evans grabbed 15 to lead West. Klingenberg also led MMC in steals with three, and in assists with five.
MMC sank 21-54 field goals for 39 percent, and cashed in 19-26 free throws. West made just 15-67 shots for a dismal 22 percent, and converetd 17-27 free throws in the foul-plagued game that saw a whopping 53 free throws shot by the two teams.
MMC trailed 14-9 after one quarter, and 25-22 at halftime, before taking a 36-31 lead after three periods with a 14-6 scoring run in the third.
"I would like to find some answers for our poor starts," said MMC coach Shane Williams. "It is difficult to right back every night when you are in the hole as much as we are to start games. Our decision making in passing, and our poor shooting to start games in our Achilles right now."
In the loss to Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Taylor led the Eagle scoring with 18 points, and Klingenberg added 11. Kristen Martinson led the Warriors with 21 points, Trace Bode added 14, and Leah Neilson 11.
Johnson led MMC on the boards with nine, and Taylor grabbed six. Taylor also led in steals with four, and Klingenberg had four assists.
MMC sank 21-57 field goals for 37 percent, and was 15-21 from the line. SB-L made 32-64 shots for a warm 50 percent, and netted 17-26 free throws in another foul-plagued game that saw 47 free throws shot by the two teams.
SB-L jumped to a 26-14 lead in the first quarter, and led 47-28 at halftime, before taking a 59-35 lead into the final frame.
"SB-L stole the game early with an impressive full-court trapping defense that led to numerous baskets off of MMC miscues and missed opportunities," noted Eagle coach Williams. "Poor starts have been our forte lately. We had numerous shot opportunities to keep the game close early if it wasn't for missed lay-ups off the press break. We will continue to work on these things."
The MMC girls and boys teams host non-conference foe Ruthven-Ayrshire Thursday night, and travel to War Eagle Conference rival Le Mars Gehlen Friday night.