YEAH, BUT …
Lynx tag Poky by 14, but defense draws coach’s ire
WEBSTER CITY — Marty McKinney might as well have been breathing fire as he huffed and puffed while the WCHS gymnasium emptied Tuesday night.
He was, is and always will be a defense-first basketball coach, so not even the finest offensive performance in a season opener during his tenure at the front of the Webster City boys’ program could subdue him.
“He was mad about our defense and he should be,” WCHS senior guard Cameron Moen said after he erupted for 21 points in the Lynx 76-62 thumping of Pocahontas Area. “We need to get a lot better.”
The defensive faults, and there were plenty of them, were overshadowed by the Lynx unrelenting offense though. It was the most points they’ve scored since an 82-47 win over Iowa Falls-Alden on Feb. 22, 2016, and the highest output to start a season since McKinney took over.
“I told the guys afterwards that that’s as well as we’ve executed offensively in a lot of years,” McKinney said. “Everybody was involved and it was really crisp, especially for a first game.”
Six-foot-6 junior center Henry Hoversten shined the brightest in his first career start. Despite sitting out the entire second quarter because of foul trouble, he dominated on the interior with a career-high 22 points and six rebounds.
Hoversten and Moen had eight points each in a first quarter that saw WCHS (1-0) race out to a 22-12 lead. Hoversten picked up right where he left off in the third with 10 more points as the Lynx built their advantage to as many as 23 points.
Surprisingly agile, Hoversten’s soft touch was on display every time he was fed the ball. He missed just two of his 12 field goal attempts before he fouled out with 1:54 remaining.
Not bad considering he was admittedly nervous prior to tip-off.
“I was pretty confident, but a lot of it was my teammates getting it to me when I was cutting,” Hoversten said. “It helped a lot that all of our shooters were knocking down shots.”
Yes they were.
Moen buried five of the Lynx 10 3-pointers. Noah McKinney knocked down two triples from the corner in the second quarter and finished with 11 points, and Jordan Tanner canned one from the top of the key on his way to 13 points.
The two-man game WCHS was able to play with Tanner and Hoversten forced PAC (0-1) to sink inside and that left Moen to tee off from long range.
Moen drilled a pull-up jumper on the opening possession of the game and then cashed in on a 3 from the corner a few possessions later and he was off to the races.
“Getting off to a good start is very key,” Moen said. “Our guys found the shooters and we knocked them down.”
After scoring 11 first-half points, Tanner was content to be the distributer in the second half. He finished with eight assists and Tyler Bultena dished out five more in addition to his four points.
WCHS had 22 assists on its 32 baskets and shot a dizzying 60 percent (32 of 53) from the field, including 48 percent from 3 (10 of 21).
“We got the ball in the post, which is what we wanted to do first and then everything worked off that,” Marty McKinney said. “We got Henry involved early and he dominated and then our shooters got a lot of good looks.”
Moen connected on back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter to push the cushion to 67-44.
But should that 23-point lead have been even bigger? Considering the Indians did the most damage on second-chance points by crashing the offensive glass, the obvious answer is yes.
And that’s what caused Marty McKinney’s frustration to bubble over. Scoring a lot of points is nice, he said, but there will be games where WCHS will have to rely on the lockdown defense it has been known for in the past.
“Defensively we’re nowhere near where we need to be and I don’t know if we relaxed with the lead or what, but we gave up so many second-chance points,” he said. “If we’re going to win games moving forward, we have to be better defensively and we have to be better rebounding the ball.”
PAC outscored the Lynx 17-2 at the free throw line. Jace Davidson led the Indians with 21 points and was 6 of 6 at the charity stripe.
WCHS did force a lot of turnovers though, 14 of them on steals. Moen collected a game-high five.
McKinney joked — or was he? — that his team may not practice with a ball in the days leading up to its next game at South Central Calhoun on Tuesday. His players received the message loud and clear, too.
“We know we’ve got to be better defensively than we were (Tuesday night),” Hoversten said. “We need to be better rebounding and we had way too many fouls.”
Webster City 76, Pocah Area 62
Tuesday at Webster City
Pocahontas Area (0-1) — Christian Davidson 0 0-0 0, Trey Oehlertz 2 0-0 4, Cooper Christians 1 0-0 3, Nathan Aljets 2 3-5 8, Cade Henrickson 0 0-0 0, Ryan Anderson 0 0-0 0, Trent Elbert 0 0-0 0, Chaiden Duitscher 0 0-0 0, Jace Davidson 7 6-6 21, Cameron Callion 2 2-2 6, Joe Hopkins 1 1-2 3, Nate Hanson 1 4-4 6, Braden Ehn 5 1-2 11. Totals: 21 17-21 62.
Webster City (1-0) — Noah McKinney 4 0-0 11, Cameron Moen 8 0-0 21, Nathan Ferrell 0 0-0 0, Jordan Tanner 6 0-0 13, Tyler Olson 0 0-0 0, Carter Neuroth 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bultena 2 0-0 4, Logan Duff 0 0-0 0, Dylan Steen 2 0-0 5, Drake Doering 0 0-0 0, Henry Hoversten 10 2-2 22, Nick Hackbarth 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 2-3 76.
Pocah Area 12 16 16 18 — 62
Webster City 22 21 18 15 — 76
3-point field goals — PAC 3 (Christians, Aljets, Davidson); WC 10 (Moen 5, McKinney 3, Tanner, Steen). Rebounds — WC 20 (Hoversten 6, Tanner 5). Steals — WC 14 (Moen 5). Assists — WC 22 (Tanner 8, Bultena 5). Turnovers — WC 8. Team fouls — PAC 12, WC 18. Fouled out — Hoversten.