EAGLE GROVE - These last nine quarters have been the best nine quarters, and now the Webster City boys' basketball team is hoping it can keep lightning in a bottle.
The recent surge continued Friday night, as the Lynx overwhelmed North Central Conference rival Eagle Grove from the opening tip in a 66-43 rout.
Since it trailed Clarion-Goldfield 44-37 entering the fourth quarter a little more than a week ago, WCHS (7-8, 7-6 NCC) has outscored its opponents by 57 points (149-92) over the last nine quarters and the result has been three consecutive victories.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
WCHS senior center Boone Myers (50) goes over Eagle Grove’s Trevor Berning to put up a shot on Friday in Eagle Grove.
"The difference has been that we've turned into a team and are playing a team game now," WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. "We've definitely picked it up defensively, too. The guys have bought into the defensive philosophy and we're executing that."
The rout of the Eagles (2-15, 1-14 NCC) pushed the Lynx over .500 in the conference for the first time this season, and McKinney says it gives his squad a renewed sense of confidence entering a crucial week where it will host league powers Fort Dodge St. Edmond and Humboldt.
"You get to this part of the season, you want to be peaking," he said. "It's taken us a while to get where we want to be and I think we're going to get even better if we continue to do the things we need to do.
Webster City 66, Eagle Grove 43
Webster City (7-8, 7-6) - Mason Myers 6 0-0 15, Nick Thilges 1 0-0 2, Austin Myers 5 1-2 11, Colby Larson 1 0-0 2, Eric Coleman 0 0-0 0, Ben Mossman 2 0-0 4, Brody Foster 0 0-0 0, Nick Olmstead 5 1-1 12, Trey Tesdahl 0 0-0 0, Doug Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Lucas Daniels 1 0-0 2, Cody Chambers 0 0-0 0, Boone Myers 8 2-4 18, Jake Daniels 0 0-0 0, Joe Sierra 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 4-7 66.
Eagle Grove (2-15, 1-14 NCC) - Oscar Hernandez 3 0-1 6, Jake Wilde 1 1-2 4, Brennon Cameron 3 2-3 8, Brandon Johnson 4 0-0 9, Zach Ploeger 1 5-6 7, Logan Poncin 0 0-0 0, Trevor Bering 1 1-1 3, Brian Yackle 2 0-2 4. Totals: 16 9-16 43.
Quarter scores - WC led 23-14, 45-22 and 57-29. 3-point field goals - WC 4 (M. Myers 3, Olmstead); EG 2 (Wilde, Johnson). Rebounds - WC 24 (A. Myers 10). Steals - WC 10 (M. Myers 4). Assists - WC 14 (Olmstead 6, Mossman 5). Team fouls - WC 14, EG 8. Fouled out - none.
"St. Edmond is definitely the focus right now. We want to prove we're one of the better teams in the conference."
Fresh off his commitment to the University of Iowa football program on Thursday, Boone Myers - a 6-foot-5 WCHS senior - celebrated by dumping in 18 points from the paint in Friday's victory. Brothers Mason and Austin Myers scored 15 and 11, respectively, and Austin Myers produced the lone double-double with 10 rebounds.
"Austin has stepped up and taken on that rebounding role for us and that's big," McKinney said. "We talked about keeping the momentum going and the kids came out and played well."
Nick Olmstead gave the Lynx a fourth double-digit scorer with 12 points; he also dished out six assists, and Ben Mossman finished with four points and five assists.
Brandon Johnson (nine), Brennon Cameron (eight) and Zach Ploeger (seven) were Eagle Grove's top scorers.
WCHS jumped out to a 23-14 first-quarter lead and extended the margin to 23, 45-22, by the half. It was 57-29 after three quarters and McKinney was able to substitute liberally over the final 8 minutes.
St. Edmond will travel to Webster City on Tuesday. The Gaels edged the Lynx by a bucket, 44-42, when they met in Fort Dodge on Dec. 18.