WCHS girls fall apart in second half, lose to Algona

ALGONA — Nicole Muhlenbruch doesn’t have an answer for what exactly happened to her Webster City girls’ basketball team in the second half here Tuesday night.

The truth is, the Lynx head coach is just as confused as everybody else.

“One point in a half, that’s pretty sad,” Muhlenbruch said after WCHS was clubbed by Algona, 66-28, keyed by a second half in which the Bulldogs outscored the Lynx 25-1. “That third quarter was just unbelievable … we just didn’t get out on the 3-point shooters and then we didn’t even look to shoot. You can’t score any points if you don’t shoot the ball.”

Devyn VanKooten scored the Lynx lone second-half point on a free throw with under four minutes remaining in the final period. WCHS (0-6, 0-3 NCC) didn’t shoot terribly (37 percent), but took just 27 attempts thanks in large part to 21 turnovers. Algona (5-1, 2-1 NCC) had no such problems and took 58 shots with a success rate of 45 percent. The Bulldogs also connected on half of their 3-point attempts (9 of 18).

The most difficult part to explain? WCHS played quite well in the opening quarter and led Algona by one point, 17-16, entering the second.

“I know my girls are working hard and I know my girls care,” Muhlenbruch said. “The girls are frustrated and hurting. We’re all frustrated. We’re not sure what the answer is, but I told them that we’re going to find it together.”

Cassidy Nerland scored eight points and yanked down seven rebounds to lead the Lynx. Taylor McKinney and Halle Mason both pitched in five points.

Maddie Miller had a big outing for Algona with 22 points and two of the team’s talented freshmen, Abbey Holmes and Aliyah Buscher, combined to bury seven triples and scored 14 and 11 points, respectively.

WCHS will again try to earn its first win on Friday back out on the road against Clarion-Goldfield-Dows. Tip-off from Clarion is set for 6:15 p.m.

Algona 66, Webster City 28

Tuesday at Algona

Webster City (0-6, 0-3 NCC) — Haley Flaws 1 2-8 4, Taylor McKinney 1 3-4 5, Halle Mason 2 0-0 5, Rihanna Wood 0 0-0 0, Nicole Sweazey 1 0-0 2, Zoey Woodle 0 0-1 0, Sarah Vogelbacher 1 0-2 4, Cynthia Whitehill 0 0-0 0, Devyn VanKooten 0 1-2 1, Atlanta Hopp 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Nerland 4 0-0 8. Totals: 10 6-16 28.

Algona (5-1, 2-1 NCC) — Emma Hjelle 1 0-1 2, Aliyah Buscher 4 0-0 11, Baylyn Johnson 0 0-0 0, Emily Deal 0 0-0 0, Janna Julius 2 0-0 4, Abbey Holmes 5 0-0 14, Nicole Smidt 4 0-0 8, Kameryn Etherington 0 0-0 0, Maddie Miller 9 2-2 22, Molly McCauley 0 1-2 1, Halie Bleich 0 0-0 0, Ari Prothman 2 0-0 4. Totals: 27 3-5 66.

Webster City 17 10 0 1 — 28

Algona 16 25 20 5 — 66

3-point field goals — WCHS 2 (Mason, Vogelbacher); ALG 9 (Holmes 4, Buscher 3, Miller 2). Rebounds — WC 23 (Nerland 7). Steals — WC 7 (Flaws 2, Vogelbacher 2). Assists — WC 4 (McKinney 2). Team fouls — WC 7, ALG 16. Fouled out — none.

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