EAGLE GROVE - Down two starters and on the road, it took the Webster City boys' basketball team a half to find its footing in a tougher-than-expected North Central Conference battle against Eagle Grove Friday night.
But the Lynx had one key ingredient that the Eagles didn't possess - Mason Myers.
Myers, a junior shooting guard, rattled off 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to help WCHS overcome a one-point deficit and extinguish the game Eagles, 62-50. It was the Lynx second straight victory and it came without the services of senior point guard Trey Tesdahl and sophomore forward Colt Richardson. Tesdahl broke his foot in last Tuesday's win over Bishop Garrigan and will miss the rest of the season, while Richardson was absent because of a concussion also sustained against the Golden Bears.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS junior Mason Myers (right) swats away the shot of Eagle Grove’s Zach Ploeger (24) on Friday.
"It took us a while to adjust without those two guys on the floor, but at the same time you have to give Eagle Grove credit because they came out and played hard and played well," WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. "We had a hard time finding the rhythm ... it was definitely a struggle."
Eagle Grove (0-10, 0-9 NCC) scored 10 of the final 12 points of the first quarter to jump ahead and maintained the edge at intermission, 26-25. The Eagles sagged back in a 2-3 zone and dared WCHS to bomb away from the outside, and that's exactly what the Lynx did - without much success.
WCHS (4-5, 4-4 NCC) connected on just 5 of 20 3-point shots (25 percent). The Lynx shot 39 percent (21 of 54) overall.
WEBSTER CITY 62, EAGLE GROVE 50
Friday at Eagle Grove
Webster City (4-5, 4-4 NCC) - Mason Myers 9 5-6 27, Alec Fuhs 4 2-3 10, Ben Mossman 0 3-4 3, Avery Fuhs 5 0-0 10, Logan Yates 0 2-2 2, Landon Daniels 1 2-2 5, Sean Vogelbacher 2 1-1 5. Totals: 21 15-18 62.
Eagle Grove (0-10, 0-9 NCC) - Jake Wilde 3 0-0 6, Jordan Wieth 2 1-2 5, Josh Morris 1 0-0 2, Graeham Schope 2 0-0 4, Dylan Thielen 4 1-1 10, Maxx Asche 0 0-0 0, Zach Ploeger 4 3-4 11, Brian Yackle 5 2-3 12. Totals: 21 7-10 50.
Webster City10 15 18 19-62
Eagle Grove12 14 11 13-50
3-point goals - WCHS 5 (Myers 4, Daniels); EG 1 (Thielen). Rebounds - WCHS 16 (Myers 4, Al. Fuhs 3, Mossman 3, Yates 3). Steals - WCHS 15 (Vogelbacher 4, Av. Fuhs 4). Assists - WCHS 11 (Myers 4). Team fouls - WCHS 14, EG 16. Fouled out - Mossman.
"They had a good game plan and we relied on the 3-point shot too much," McKinney said. "We drove to the basket a little bit early in the first quarter, but then we kind of got tentative."
But the 10-minute halftime break gave Myers time to find his offensive game and he was simply too much for Eagle Grove over the final 16 minutes. He reeled off nine points in the third quarter - a stretch in which WCHS outscored the Eagles 18-11 to jump in front for good. Sophomore guard Alec Fuhs was instrumental in the seizure as well with six of his 10 points in the third.
"Mason did get it going and he carried us offensively," McKinney said. "Alec had a good game too; he got to the rim quite a bit in the second half and that actually helped get Mason open on the perimeter."
Myers canned two of his four triples in the fourth quarter; the final one extended the Lynx lead to 53-46 with 2:40 remaining. Avery Fuhs followed it up with a drive to the hoop and bucket, and Myers finished off the eight-point run with three free throws to up the advantage to 58-46 with 51 ticks remaining.
Eagle Grove had one last gasp when Dylan Thielen nailed a 3 from the corner and was fouled. He completed the four-point play, but Landon Daniels and Myers both hit a pair of free throws late to turn out the lights on the Eagles.
Avery Fuhs joined his twin brother with 10 points. Daniels and Sean Vogelbacher both netted five.
Zach Ploeger scored 11 points and Thielen added 10 for the Eagles, who owned a 24-16 edge on the glass - a glaring statistic in the eyes of McKinney.
"They were just a little more aggressive than we were and they rebounded the ball much better," he said. "You're not going to win too many games with 16 rebounds."
Richardson's absence certainly hurt the Lynx on the boards. They hope he'll be back in time for Friday's game at Algona, followed by Saturday's non-conference home date with Waverly-Shell Rock.