IOWA FALLS - At 6 feet, 8 inches tall, it's tough to lose Iowa Falls-Alden junior swingman Casey Schlatter on the basketball floor, and Webster City didn't - not once - here Friday night.
The Lynx problem was they couldn't keep track of the other four Cadets.
Schlatter - a first-team all-North Central Conference pick a season ago - got his points, 24 in all, but that was to be expected. What WCHS head coach Marty McKinney didn't expect were the too-many-to-count backdoor layups and wide open shots from point blank range the Cadets converted during their 61-41 rout of the Lynx in the battle of the last two league champions.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City’s Ben Mossman (22) and Boone Myers converge on Iowa Falls-Alden’s Brayden McDaniel in the paint during the first half on Friday in Iowa Falls. Mossman, who appears to get all ball, was whistled for the foul on the play.
Brayden McDaniel was the recipient of a couple unguarded buckets and so was Parker Reynolds, as they scored 10 and eight points, respectively, to help the Cadets avenge a pair of losses to the Lynx last winter.
"The scheme we had set up was we were going to have a lot of guys helping on screens set for Schlatter, and I thought we did a pretty decent job on that," McKinney said after his club fell to 0-2 overall, 0-1 in the NCC. "But we had way too many mental lapses where we got out of position and left guys open, and we gave up way too many easy baskets."
Even with the defensive lapses, the Lynx found themselves trailing by only six points, 31-25, after a Boone Myers offensive rebound and put back with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Iowa Falls-Alden 61, Webster City 41
Webster City (0-2, 0-1 NCC) - Mason Myers 2 0-0 5, Nick Thilges 0 1-2 1, Austin Myers 2 0-0 5, Colby Larson 2 0-0 4, Eric Coleman 2 0-0 6, Ben Mossman 2 0-0 5, Brody Foster 0 1-2 1, Nick Olmstead 0 1-2 1, Trey Tesdahl 0 0-0 0, Cody Chambers 0 0-0 0, Boone Myers 7 0-1 14. Totals: 17 2-4 41.
Iowa Falls-Alden (2-0, 2-0 NCC) - Caleb Dagit 0 0-0 0, Jake Campbell 2 0-0 4, Parker Reynolds 4 0-0 8, Casey Schlatter 7 9-11 24, Brandon Qualley 0 0-0 0, Kort Redmond 2 1-2 6, Nicholas Jensen 1 1-2 3, Colin Johnson 0 0-1 0, Quinn Gritsch 1 0-0 2, Logan Rieks 0 0-0 0, Brayden McDaniel 5 0-2 10, Hunter Heitland 0 0-0 0, Leath Fecht 0 0-0 0, Noah Oelmann 2 0-0 4. Totals: 24 11-18 61.
Quarter scores - IF-A led 13-6, 25-16 and 39-25. 3-point field goals - WCHS 5 (Coleman 2, M. Myers, A. Myers, Mossman); IF-A 2 (Schlatter, Redmond). Team fouls - WCHS 14, IF-A 8. Fouled out - none.
And then the entire gymnasium caved in around them.
IF-A (2-0, 2-0 NCC) scored the final eight points of the third quarter and the first nine of the final period during a stretch that lasted 6 minutes, 21 seconds, erasing any chance WCHS had of rallying from behind.
It was 48-25 in the Cadets' favor when Eric Coleman ended the 17-0 spurt with his second 3-pointer of the game with 5:39 left on the clock.
The Cadets outscored WCHS 30-16 over the final 16 minutes of play.
"We just didn't score enough points, plain and simple," McKinney said. "We can't expect the defense to hold good teams and not score points.
"Our guys haven't learned how to deal with adversity yet. When the other team goes on a little bit of a run, I don't know if we panic or what it is, but that's two games now where we haven't been able to regroup and get ourselves calmed down. That's on me as a coach; I've got to do a better job there."
Myers scored 14 points and rejected six shots to lead the Lynx. He's the last vestige from last year's 20-3 team, so McKinney concedes it will take time for his inexperienced group to get acclimated to the varsity stage. Still, he knows that needs to happen sooner rather than later.
"I'm not going to fault the effort. We've got a lot of kids playing that don't have a lot of varsity experience," he said. "There are going to be some growing pains, but at the same time we've got to grow up in a hurry because teams in the conference aren't going to feel sorry for us."
Ben Mossman and the Myers brothers - Austin and Mason - all scored five points in the loss. Mossman and Coleman both knocked down 3s in the first quarter to account for all of the Lynx points as they fell behind 13-6. The Cadets scored the game's first nine points before Mossman got WCHS on the board with a bomb from the corner with 3:49 left.
Schlatter, who torched Clear Lake for 41 points in the Cadets' season opener last Tuesday, was limited to just two field goals and nine points in the first half. Austin Myers earned the defensive assignment on Schlatter and didn't make it easy on the lanky gunner.
"Austin executed the game plan really well," McKinney said. "He got tired a little bit at the end, but for the most part he played fundamental defense and made Schlatter work for everything he got."
Coleman, who collected six points, also earned the praise of his coach after coming off the bench to provide a spark in each half.
"Eric Coleman did a great job giving us energy," McKinney said. "We didn't get loose balls for the majority of the night, but when we did get them it was him and we've got to have everybody buy into that mentality. It's going to take a team effort."
WCHS will make its home debut on Tuesday when it hosts Clear Lake (1-1, 1-1 NCC) at 7:45 p.m.