WEBSTER CITY - Iowa Falls-Alden already had the North Central Conference championship in its grasp prior to its visit to the WCHS gymnasium Friday night.
The Cadets' most recent performance was just icing on the cake.
With no one capable of containing Iowa Falls-Alden 6-foot-8 swingman Casey Schlatter, Webster City was dealt a 51-37 loss by the opponent it will face again next Monday in a Class 3A district semifinal.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
WCHS guard Mason Myers (4) fires from the outside while being defended by Iowa Falls-Alden’s Jake Campbell on Friday in Webster City.
Schlatter - the leading scorer in 3A at 25.4 points per game - knocked down 12 of 24 shots from the field and all three of his free throw attempts on his way to a game-high 28 points. He had 19 in the first half when the Cadets (17-3, 16-2 NCC) raced out to a 30-18 lead.
"You've got to give (IF-A) credit and you've got to give (Schlatter) credit because they ran a high-low game with him and got him some good looks in the first half," WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. "It was good basketball by them."
Senior forward Austin Myers drew the unenviable defensive assignment on Schlatter, but giving up six inches in height left him limited.
Iowa Falls-Alden 51, Webster City 37
Iowa Falls-Alden (17-3, 16-2 NCC) - Jake Campbell 0 1-2 1, Parker Reynolds 3 1-1 7, Casey Schlatter 12 3-3 28, Nick Jensen 3 0-0 6, Kort Redmond 1 0-0 3, Brayden McDaniel 3 0-0 6. Totals: 22 5-6 51.
Webster City (9-10, 9-8 NCC) - Mason Myers 2 0-0 4, Austin Myers 1 2-2 4, Colby Larson 0 0-0 0, Eric Coleman 1 0-0 2, Ben Mossman 1 0-0 2, Nick Olmstead 4 1-2 9, Boone Myers 7 2-2 16, Trey Tesdahl 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 5-6 37.
Quarter scores - IF-A led 16-14, 30-18 and 44-32. 3-point field goals - IF-A 2 (Schlatter, Redmond). Rebounds - WC 15 (B. Myers 6, A. Myers 5). Steals - WC 5 (Mossman 2, Olmstead 2). Assists - WC 6 (M. Myers 3). Team fouls - IF-A 9, WC 9. Fouled out - none.
"Austin absolutely battled and played his tail off," McKinney said. "They've got a guy that's 6-8 and we've got a guy 6-2 that's guarding him, so that's tough."
IF-A outscored WCHS (9-10, 9-8 NCC) 14-4 in the second quarter to take command for good, and the Cadets were able to maintain their cushion by going to a deliberate offense in the second half.
Boone Myers led the Lynx with 16 points and six rebounds. Nick Olmstead pitched in nine points.
Now 0-2 against the Cadets this season, McKinney says his team needs to kick it up a notch in the third meeting next week, particularly at the offensive end of the floor. Otherwise the lights will go out permanently on the season.
"You're not going to win scoring 37 points, so we've got to do a better job on offense," he said. "Obviously we want to try to hold Schlatter under 28 points, but at the same time we know he's going to get his."
WCHS will close out the regular season this week, first at Algona on Tuesday, followed by a non-conference home game against Boone on Thursday.