Bulldogs breeze past Postville before losing thriller to Turkey Valley

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Senior Cayden Ball had a game-high 15 points in the loss to Turkey Valley. Twelve of those came from behind the arc. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Kaden Stocker was a big contributor off the bench last week, tallying seven points at Postville and eight against Turkey Valley.

Gavin Meana skirts around a Turkey Valley defender during the Jan. 12 loss. The Bulldogs started the game down 14-0 before unleashing a second-quarter comeback. They couldn’t hold off the Trojans in the final period, though, losing 59-55.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

The MFL MarMac boys basketball team went 1-1 last week, breezing past Postville before losing a hard-fought thriller to Turkey Valley.

The Bulldogs faced the winless Pirates Jan. 11, taking the game easily, 62-31. They jumped out to a 20-9 lead in the first quarter alone, and only increased the advantage to 32-17 at halftime. The MFL MarMac defense then held Postville to just 14 combined points in the third and fourth periods, en route to the 31-point victory.

MFL MarMac shot nearly 44 percent in the game and drained 10 of 26 attempts from behind the arc. The Bulldogs also got to the free throw line nearly twice as often as Postville and won the rebounding and turnover battles.

Gavin Meana led the Bulldogs with 13 points, and also picked up four rebounds and an assist. Carver Blietz-Bentien tallied 11 points, six rebounds and one steal, while Wyatt Powell added 11 points and two rebounds. His four assists and four steals were both team highs. Cayden Ball’s stat line included 10 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Kaden Stocker chipped in seven points, two rebounds and an assist off the bench.

The Bulldogs had hoped their offensive output would continue the following night, Jan. 12, against Turkey Valley. But the first quarter was a struggle, as MFL MarMac gave up 14 Trojan points before finally scoring. They trailed 16-4 after the first quarter. 

Momentum changed quickly in the second period, though, with the  slick-shooting Bulldogs going on a 26-13 run to go up 30-29 at the break. They increased the lead further in the third quarter, but Turkey Valley hung around. The Trojans sunk 19 fourth-quarter points compared to just nine from the Bulldogs, and clung to a 59-55 win.

MFL MarMac shot well from the field, at 47.7 percent, but Turkey Valley did even better, finishing the night with a 53.8 percentage. The Bulldogs did a lot of their damage from behind the arc, sinking eight of 14 three-pointers while Turkey Valley was just 2-7. The Trojans made up for it at the free throw line, however, making 15 of 23 attempts. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, shot just nine free throws, completing five of them.

Ball had a game-high 15 points—12 of which came from behind the arc. He also totaled three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Blietz-Bentien earned 12 points and fell just short of a double-double, with nine rebounds. His stat line included two steals and one assist, as well. Meana contributed 10 points, a rebound, an assist and MFL MarMac’s only block, while Stocker had another big night off the bench with eight points and a rebound. Powell pitched in six points and a rebound, and his three steals and six assists were again team highs.

MFL MarMac now sits at 4-6 overall and 4-5 in the Upper Iowa Conference. The team will be busy with four games this week. First up is a home match-up with South Winneshiek on Tuesday, Jan. 19, then to Waukon on Thursday, Jan. 21. The Bulldogs will finish up the week at West Central on Friday, Jan. 22, then visit Wapsie Valley on Saturday, Jan. 23.

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