The Maquoketa Cardinals boys basketball team found out it is going to be hard to hold onto its No. 1 ranking in class 3A.
The 4-6 Benton Community Bobcats gave the undefeated Cardinals all they could handle Friday night, Jan. 4, in front of a full house in the Cardinals gym.
Macklin Shanahan got the loud and enthusiastic crowd on their feet from the start, grabbing the opening tip and racing in for a layup in the first two seconds of the contest.
The Cardinals continued the fast start, taking a 21-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Maquoketa scored quickly at the top of the second quarter, forcing the Bobcats to call a timeout in the first 38 seconds to slow the Cardinals’ momentum.
Both teams were in foul trouble most of the game; the Cardinals were whistled for 22 fouls, the Bobcats 20.
With the score tied at 52 with just over 2 minutes left in the third, Kane Kopp scored eight points for the Cardinals on two three-pointers and a steal and break-away layup to end the quarter leading 60-54.
With 4:11 to go in the contest, the Bobcats called another timeout trailing by only two 62-60. Shanahan came back in the game with four fouls. It took him just 50 seconds to pick up his fifth foul, disqualifying him for the last 3:21 of the game.
The Cardinals made enough free throws to push them to a 72-67 victory.
Four Cardinal players scored in double figures, with Shanahan leading the way with 16, Kopp adding 15, Conner Becker with 12, and Abe Becker with 10. Caiden Atienza added 9 points for a balanced attack.
The Cardinals could not stop Benton’s Nathan Michels as he poured in 38 points, shooting 4-9 from three-point range and 10-13 at the free throw line.
The Maquoketa basketball team has a busy week, traveling to Solon Friday night then to Clinton Saturday.
B (4-6)9182713 — 67
M (10-0)21142512 — 72
Points — Macklin Shanahan 16; Kane Kopp 15; Connor Becker 12; Abe Becker 10; Caiden Atienza 9; Nicholas Ehlinger 7; Nathan Watters 2; Clayton Widel 1. Rebounds — Atienza 11; A. Becker 6; C. Becker 5; Shanahan 4; Watters 2; Kopp 1. Assists — C. Becker 5; Shanahan 5; Ehlinger 2. Steals — Shanahan 3; Kopp 2; C. Becker 1; Ehlinger 1. Blocks — A. Becker 1 FG — 27-51. FT — 13-22. 3PT — 5-19.
Easton Valley 74
(At Preston Jan. 4)
L13519 9 — 46
EV19261811 — 74
Stats were not available at press time.