WEBSTER CITY - Sam Mossman is sometimes the forgotten man in Webster City's run to the top of the North Central Conference boys' basketball standings.
But where would the Lynx have been last night around 9:30 p.m. without Mossman? They would have been sitting with a loss in the conference, that's where.
Simply put, the Lynx senior shooting guard had the game of his life in front of a raucous Jefferson Gymnasium crowd, as he lit up ninth-ranked (Class 2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond for a game-high 19 points to lead the seventh-ranked (3A) Lynx back from a sizable deficit and to a 56-53 overtime victory.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City senior point guard Jonny Davis (4) goes over St. Edmond’s Neil Flattery and connects on a mid-range baseline jumper in overtime last night in Jeff Gym. The No. 7 Lynx survived, 56-53, against the No. 9 Gaels.
Mossman rained in four of his five 3-point baskets over the final 12:02 of the game, and he buried a pair of clutch free throws with 6.3 ticks left in the extra session to give Webster City (11-2, 11-0 NCC) a three-point lead.
St. Edmond's Neil Flattery got a good look at a potential game-tying 3-pointer from the right wing as the horn sounded, but it went halfway down and came back out.
"Neil's 3 looked good, it really did," WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. "But I thought we defended really well on that last play."
Webster City 56, St. Edmond 53 (OT)
St. Edmond (10-4, 9-4 NCC) - Nick Clark 3 5-6 12, Ryan Yung 0 0-0 0, Aaron Chalstrom 0 0-0 0, David Flattery 5 0-0 13, Alex Mericle 2 3-6 8, Neil Flattery 6 0-0 14, Eddie Doyle 1 0-0 2, Robby Burke 2 0-0 4, Hank Lentsch 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 8-13 53.
Webster City (11-2, 11-0 NCC) - Jonny Davis 5 2-4 12, Sam Mossman 6 2-4 19, Bryan Swon 3 5-6 11, Ben Mossman 0 0-0 0, Nick Olmstead 0 0-0 0, Andrew May 3 1-3 7, Boone Myers 3 1-4 7, Garrett Gourley 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 11-22 56.
St. Edmond15 13 8 9 8-53
Webster City11 7 13 14 11-56
3-point field goals - SE 7 (Clark, D. Flattery 3, Mericle, N. Flattery 2); WC 5 (S. Mossman). Rebounds - WC 23 (B. Myers 7, Swon 6). Steals - WC 4. Assists - WC 10 (Davis 6). Team fouls - SE 22, WC 19. Fouled out - none.
The Lynx would have been run out of the gym long before the overtime had it not been for Mossman.
He knocked down a 3 from the corner with 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter to pull the Lynx to within 36-31, and he was only getting started.
Another 3 at the 6:40 mark of the fourth quarter drew WCHS even at 36 - the first time the Lynx hadn't trailed since the first minute of the game. He connected on another triple that put the Lynx ahead 43-38 with 2:40 to go.
"Without Sam we'd be sitting with one loss in the conference, that's for sure," McKinney said. "He stepped up big, and we needed somebody to step up and give us some offense because St. Edmond did a great job guarding Jon (Davis) and taking away Andrew (May) inside."
WCHS led 45-40 with under a minute left in regulation, only to watch the Gaels reel off five straight to force overtime.
St. Edmond actually went on a 9-0 run, punctuated by a David Flattery 3 that put the Gaels in charge 49-45 early in OT.
It was 53-49 in the Gaels' favor with a minute to go when Mossman struck again, this time from the right wing to cut the deficit to 53-52.
Following a timeout, Lynx reserve Garrett Gourley came up with a steal, and Jonny Davis made it count with a bucket on a turnaround jumper to push WCHS back in front 54-53 with 22 ticks remaining.
Neil Flattery appeared to be in prime position to put the Gaels back ahead with under 10 seconds to go, as he took a pass from Nick Clark right under the basket and went up for an easy look. But Lynx senior Bryan Swon came out of nowhere and partially deflected the shot into the arms of Mossman to preserve the lead.
WCHS trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half. It was 28-18 at the intermission following a bank 3-pointer by the Gaels' Alex Mericle just before the buzzer.
"We were getting out hustled in the first half," McKinney said. "At halftime I basically challenged the guys. I asked them, 'Is this how it's going to go?'"
The teams traded third quarter runs. WCHS opened on an 8-0 surge, St. Edmond answered with its own eight-point spurt, and the Lynx closed the quarter with the final five points.
Davis finished with 12 points and six assists for the Lynx, who remained a game in front of No. 4-ranked (3A) Iowa Falls-Alden in the NCC standings. Swon chipped in 11, and May and Boone Myers both had seven.
Neil Flattery had 14 for the Gaels, David Flattery had 13 and Clark finished with 12. Clark entered the game as the conference's leading scorer at better than 21 points per game, but foul trouble and Davis dogging him all over the floor limited his opportunities.
WCHS also nipped the Gaels, 51-50, last month. The Lynx swept the season series and have now won three straight, dating back to January of 2011.