H-D gambles and loses with tricked-out D, Flaws scores 12 points

Webster City senior Haley Flaws puts up a jumper from the free throw line against Hampton-Dumont on Friday in Hampton. She scored 12 points in the Lynx 41-35 victory. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

HAMPTON — It’s a gamble that every opponent of Webster City seems to take. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Hampton-Dumont falls into the “doesn’t” category.

One junk defense after another is what the Lynx and their all-conference point guard Taylor McKinney face on a nightly basis, and that didn’t change Friday night. The Bulldogs face-guarded her from one end of the floor to the other and threw a second defender at her whenever she touched the ball.

The goal? To make someone other than McKinney beat them, and WCHS obliged.

Haley Flaws scored a team-high 12 points, Cassidy Nerland pitched in 10 and Halle Mason added seven to help the Lynx win their fourth North Central Conference game in their last five outings, 41-35.

WCHS senior Halle Mason buries a 3-pointer from the corner just 13 seconds into the game against Hampton-Dumont on Friday in Hampton. She hit another 3 in the quarter and finished with seven points in the Lynx 41-35 win. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

And even with the spotlight directly on her, McKinney still managed to score 10 points. It was a far cry from the single-game school-record 37 she went off for against Manson-Northwest Webster three nights earlier, but the sophomore never forced the issue. She knocked down all four of her field-goal attempts, including a third-quarter 3-pointer.

“We knew it was coming, but it’s really been hard to prepare for in practice,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said of the box-and-one defense played by the Bulldogs. “You want to have those set plays and everything, but then something like that throws it all out the window.”

WCHS (6-5, 4-3 NCC) did a better job of navigating against the zone in the second half. After committing 11 turnovers in the opening 16 minutes, the Lynx made just four more after the break and were able to score easy baskets from close range because they had the numbers advantage as McKinney gobbled up the attention outside.

“At halftime we talked about how if Taylor has two or three girls on her then somebody else is open, so we needed to keep the ball moving,” Muhlenbruch said. “It took us a couple quarters to relax and see those openings.”

Mason made Hampton-Dumont (4-8, 3-4 NCC) pay early with back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner to give WCHS a quick 6-0 lead. Despite the fact that the Lynx let Hampton-Dumont hang around, they never trailed in the game.

WCHS sophomore guard Taylor McKinney scores on a reverse layup during the first half against Hampton-Dumont Friday night in Hampton. She finished with 10 points. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

McKinney didn’t get her first shot up — a running reverse layup that went in — until the 5:30 mark of the second quarter. Flaws and Mason combined for 13 first-half points to push WCHS out to a 20-17 edge at the break.

The Lynx lead ballooned to seven points, 29-22, on McKinney’s 3 from the left wing in the third quarter and they entered the final period with the same margin, 32-25.

Hampton-Dumont got as close as three points and had multiple 3-point looks to knot the score, but they all missed the mark. Three consecutive points from Nerland built the lead back to six points and Flaws put the game on ice with a baseline jumper with 30 seconds remaining.

Nerland added 10 rebounds and two steals in the win. McKinney collected four boards and three steals, and Mason dished out five assists.

Kaci Arjes led Hampton-Dumont with 13 points.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS will look to maintain its hot streak in the NCC on Tuesday when it hosts Iowa Falls-Alden. Muhlenbruch says her team can’t let its foot off the gas now.

“We’ve just got to stay focused,” she said. “We don’t talk very much about the game we just played. We’re always talking about who is coming next.”

Web City 41, Hamp-Dumont 35

Friday at Hampton

Webster City (6-5, 4-3 NCC) — Haley Flaws 4 3-4 12, Taylor McKinney 4 1-3 10, Halle Mason 2 1-2 7, Sarah Vogelbacher 1 0-0 2, Zoey Woodle 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Nerland 4 2-4 10. Totals: 15 7-13 41.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Hampton-Dumont (4-8, 3-4 NCC) — Kaci Arjes 5 0-0 13, Patti Teggatz 1 0-0 2, Maci Arjes 0 0-0 0, Courtney Miller 2 1-2 5, Ally Hanson 1 0-0 2, Claire Wragge 2 0-0 4, Makayla Severs 4 1-1 9. Totals: 15 2-3 35.

Webster City 10 10 12 9 — 41

Hamp-Dumont 9 8 8 10 — 35

3-point field goals — WC 4 (Mason 2, Flaws, McKinney); H-D 3 (K. Arjes 3). Rebounds — WC 30 (Nerland 10, Woodle 5, McKinney 4). Steals — WC 6 (McKinney 3, Nerland 2). Assists — WC 11 (Mason 5). Turnovers — WC 15, H-D 11. Team fouls — WC 6, H-D 12. Fouled out — none.