STATE CENTER Offensive inconsistency and rebounding struggles doomed the South Tama boys basketball team Friday night.
STC committed nearly 20 turnovers and was out-rebounded by 18 boards in the North Iowa Cedar League contest. West Marshall's defense and rebounding helped the home team beat South Tama. West Marshall (4-1) won the game 57-39 and South Tama dropped to 2-2 on the season.
"I thought we were ready for the game tonight," said STC assistant coach Justin Gates, who filled in for head coach Lonnie Hammond as he was out of town for the weekend. "Practice went well yesterday. We just didn't play well and I think it's the same issues we've dealt with the first three games, but they just caught up with us tonight. We need to close out better on defense and we need to block out. Offensively, we weren't running our offense."
South Tama senior Daryl Bidwell, right, goes up for a layup between three West Marshall defenders during the second quarter Friday night. South Tama lost the game 57-39, falling to 2-2 on the season.
South Tama's offense struggled most of the night. STC never scored more than 14 points during any quarter of the game and it didn't reach double-digits for two of the four quarters.
STC made 16-of-39 field goals as it shot 41 percent from the field and it also made 3-of-6 free throws. Meanwhile, West Marshall sank 27-of-55 field goals and 3-of-4 foul shots. However, STC did make four three-pointers and West Marshall missed all four of its attempts from three-point range.
"They hit some good shots," Gates said. "They're also an athletic team. They're a good team. They're always a good team."
The first quarter was low-scoring for the first three minutes, as West Marshall clung to a 6-2 lead. STC senior Vinny Lasley hit a three-pointer to quickly close the lead, but West Marshall answered with an 8-0 run to end the quarter. The home Trojans led 14-5 after the first period.
West Marshall continued to control the game in the second quarter. STC kept the lead at 10 points after a basket from sophomore Grant Koch. During the next three minutes, STC committed four turnovers and West Marshall increased its lead to 16 points. WM led by 15 at the half, 29-14.
"There are times that we need to be a little bit more patient," Gates said. "We also need to look inside more and not force the ball."
The two teams continued much of the same during the third quarter. The lead went up to 18 points, but South Tama closed it back to 14 points late in the period. Senior Jose Fonseca scored five points during the third quarter.
West Marshall increased its lead to 23 points late in the game as STC scored only six points during the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Lasley helped closed the final gap with five points before the game ended with West Marshall winning 57-39.
"We need to be more consistent offensively," Gates said. "We've got to move the ball around and run our offense."
Lasley led the Trojans with 12 points as no other STC player scored more than seven points in the loss. As a team, STC grabbed 15 rebounds for the entire game, while West Marshall 33 boards, including seven offensive rebounds.
STC hosted South Hardin on Tuesday night and will travel to Conrad to play BCLUW on Friday. The game will start at 7:45 p.m.
"We got a home game on Tuesday night," Gates said. "Hopefully, we can turn this around."