Knockin’ off rust
Hoversten key off bench, Lynx roll past H-D
WEBSTER CITY — Nobody was happier to see 6-foot-5 sophomore center Henry Hoversten step onto the scene and control the paint more than teammate Connor Shannon Friday night.
Shannon, a 6-foot-6 senior, is not really a post player. The truth is, he’s much more comfortable on the wing knocking down 3-pointers and Hoversten’s play against Hampton-Dumont allowed him to do just that.
Hoversten came off the bench to pop off for 10 points and Shannon buried four 3-pointers for 12 points to go along with 15 rebounds, as they helped Webster City fly by the Bulldogs, 52-32, inside the WCHS gymnasium.
Hoversten’s performance came as a surprise to some, but not Lynx head coach Marty McKinney.
“Henry earned his time in practice. He’s been working hard all year,” McKinney said. “He’s young and he’s still got a lot of room to grow and get better, so we wanted to bring him along slowly. He’s a really good post presence who works hard every minute.
“We need Connor to play inside, too, but at the same time he’s a little more comfortable outside. Having Henry in there allows us to be more flexible.”
Hoversten made his first appearance in the second quarter and his impact was felt immediately. He scored six points in the period and helped the Lynx rattle off 10 consecutive points late to turn what was a close contest into a 12-point WCHS lead, 29-17, at the break.
The margin remained 12 points, 39-27, after three quarters, but the Lynx opened the final period on a 7-0 spurt that included one of Shannon’s triples to put the game on ice.
Jordan Tanner, the Lynx unquestioned junior leader at the point, had yet another well-rounded performance. He poured in 12 of his game-high 18 points in the first half, but he also came down with eight rebounds to go along with five steals and five assists.
Tanner is the Lynx best option out top and, just maybe, inside the paint, too.
“He’s definitely our floor general,” McKinney said. “There are going to be some games where he won’t come off the floor because he does so much for us. He’s probably one of our better post players, if not our best post player. He finishes inside and he’s a good defender, too.”
Tanner got the assignment on Justin Kent, one of the leaders for Hampton-Dumont (0-9, 0-6 NCC) and limited him to 12 points. Tyler Bultena shadowed Bulldogs’ leading scorer Logan Gooder and held him to 11 points.
Still, the Lynx know there were plenty of mistakes to correct.
“There were definitely some rusty parts,” Tanner said. “We still have a lot to work on. We only gave up 32 points, but we can still play better defense.”
Hampton-Dumont shot just 33 percent (13 of 40). WCHS cashed in on 40 percent of its chances (19 of 47). Neither team particularly tore it up from behind the arc; they combined to go 12 of 38 (32 percent).
Noah McKinney canned a pair of 3’s and finished with six points. His second bomb extended the Lynx lead to 21 points, 50-29, with 2:30 remaining. An offensive rebound and put back by Hoversten 30 seconds later gave WCHS its biggest lead of the contest, 52-29, and capped a 13-2 run over the opening six minutes of the period.
Cameron Moen added five points and Bultena distributed three assists.
WCHS will face an important stretch of games this week and it will get started this evening with a NCC date with Clarion-Goldfield-Dows in Clarion. The Lynx will return home to host Manson-Northwest Webster on Tuesday and will then head out on the road on back-to-back nights to tackle Clear Lake and top-ranked (Class 3A) Waverly-Shell Rock on Friday and Saturday.
“Coach (McKinney) tells us that we can’t relax, we can’t back off,” Tanner said. “We’ve got some really good teams (this) week and we’ll have to play our best every time out.”
Webster City 52, Hampton-Dumont 32
Friday at Webster City
Hampton-Dumont (0-9, 0-6 NCC) — Cesar Demas 0 0-2 0, Branden Ho 0 0-0 0, Justin Kent 5 0-0 12, Wyatt Sutter 0 0-0 0, Ethan Spurgeon 2 0-0 4, Max Albers 2 0-0 4, Dakota Harms 0 0-0 0, Joe Vondra 0 1-3 1, Logan Gooder 4 0-0 11, Brady Ringleb 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 1-4 32.
Webster City (4-2 3-1 NCC) — Noah McKinney 2 0-0 6, James Van Diest 0 0-0 0, Nick Wallen 0 0-0 0, Jordan Tanner 7 4-5 18, Romel Martinez 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bultena 0 0-0 0, Tristan Vesterby 0 0-0 0, Cameron Moen 2 0-0 5, Connor Shannon 4 0-0 12, Henry Hoversten 4 2-2 10, Tyler Anderson 0 1-2 1, Ty Eklund 0 0-0. Totals: 19 7-11 52.
H-Dumont 10 7 10 5 — 32
Webster City 11 18 10 13 — 52
3-point field goals — H-D 5 (Gooder 3, Kent 2); WC 7 (Shannon 4, McKinney 2, Moen). Rebounds — WC 39 (Shannon 15, Tanner 8). Steals — WC 9 (Tanner 5). Assists — WC 12 (Tanner 5, Bultena 3). Team fouls — H-D 9, WC 11. Fouled out — none.