A slow start doomed the Ankeny boys’ basketball team.
The Hawks fell behind in the first quarter, 19-1, and went on to suffer a 60-44 loss at fifth-ranked Des Moines Hoover on Friday.
“We were down by 18 points after the first quarter and we lost by 16,” said Ankeny coach John Petersen. “We can play with teams like (Hoover), but we can’t have a bad quarter like that one.”
The Huskies (9-0) scored the first 14 points of the game before Ankeny’s Chris McLeod made the second of two free throws with 2 minutes 11 seconds left in the opening period.
The Hawks did not score their first basket until Skylar Scott banked in a shot about 2 minutes into the second quarter.
“They do play defense, and they can shoot the ball,” Petersen said of the Huskies, who are allowing just 41 points per game. “But at the same time, in that first quarter we had our chances to stay in that game. We just didn’t finish when we had chances.
“We weren’t strong with the basketball when we needed to be,” he added.
Hoover built a 34-13 halftime lead. Ankeny then closed the gap to 13 points in the second half before the Huskies pulled away.
Hoover’s Chris King poured in 29 points, including 16 of his team’s 26 points in the second half. He had four 3-point goals.
Conor Riordan led the Hawks (5-5) with 14 points. He had both of his team’s 3-pointers.
“Other than the first quarter, we played them a pretty even game,” Petersen said. “We even cut into the lead a little bit, so we were making progress. We’re going to take this game to learn what we did wrong, and we have to believe that we can play with teams like that.”
Ankeny 75, Marshalltown 40
The Hawks jumped out to a 22-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to a victory over visiting Marshalltown on Jan. 6, allowing them to surpass last year’s win total after just nine games.
Ankeny finished with a 4-18 record last season.
“We played real steady throughout the game,” Petersen said. “We didn’t have that lapse, so I was real happy with our execution.”
Drew Maschoff sparked the Hawks with a trio of 3-point goals in the first quarter. He finished with 12 points, all of them from behind the arc.
Riley McCoy led four Ankeny players in double figures with 13 points. He also had six rebounds and seven assists.
Trystan Cummins and Cole Whitaker each added 11 points. Riordan contributed seven rebounds and four steals.
Aaron Hauser led Marshalltown (1-8) with 11 points.
Ankeny 70, Johnston 68
The visiting Hawks built a 14-point lead after three quarters and then held on for a narrow victory Jan. 3, defeating Johnston for the second time this season.
The Dragons (2-5) nearly overcame a 52-38 deficit with a 30-point fourth quarter, but Ankeny made just enough plays down the stretch to snap a two-game losing skid.
“We gave up 17 points in the last 2 minutes,” Petersen said. “We just did a bad job of executing at the end of the game. We made some turnovers right under our hoop, which allowed them to get some real easy shots real quickly. But hopefully we learned a lot from this.”
Johnston scored a basket in the final seconds to close the gap to two points, then got the ball back when Ankeny turned it over on the ensuing inbounds pass. The Dragons missed a shot that could have tied the score, but Regen Siems was fouled on the rebound with 0.3 seconds left.
Siems then missed both free throws, allowing the Hawks to escape with the win.
“That was a crazy finish,” Petersen said.
McCoy and Riordan each had 16 points to lead Ankeny. Riordan also had four assists and four steals.
Whitaker added 11 points and four assists. Cummins grabbed a team-high six rebounds before fouling out.
Nick Neumann paced the Dragons with 20 points and seven assists. Siems, who sat out most of the first half due to foul trouble, had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks opened the game with a 10-0 run. McCoy started the run with a 3-point goal, and Cummins finished it with another 3-pointer.
Johnston battled back and tied the score on three different occasions in the second quarter before Ankeny closed out the first half on a 14-6 run. Riordan and Scott each made a 3-pointer as the Hawks built a 34-26 advantage.