IF-A opens game on 10-0 run, WCHS girls never able to catch up

McKinney, Nerland combine for 31 points in loss

WCHS forward Halle Mason (10) drives around Iowa Falls-Alden’s Katie Meyer (33) during the second half on Tuesday in Webster City. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — The first three minutes of a game are every bit as important as the last three minutes.

Iowa Falls-Alden proved that point Tuesday night.

The Cadets stormed out to a 10-0 lead by the five-minute mark of the first quarter and never saw their lead dip below three points the rest of the way in a 48-43 North Central Conference girls’ basketball win over Webster City.

Katie Meyer scored seven of those initial 10 points and finished with 13 points. Rookie Darby Dodd did her part as well with 16 points and Grace Renaud chipped in 10 for IF-A (8-6, 5-3 NCC) before she fouled out late.

It was a frustrating contest of constantly playing catch-up for WCHS (6-7, 4-4 NCC). The Lynx eventually righted the ship and outscored the Cadets by four points over the final three quarters, but they were never able to overcome the 10-0 start or the 15-6 advantage IF-A owned after the opening period.

Lynx sophomore Grace Hoversten (34) tosses up a runner over the Cadets’ Lauren Juhl during the girls’ game on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“Not practicing since last Wednesday, that’s tough,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said when asked about her team’s sluggish start. “How do you get a fire in your fanny if you haven’t touched a basketball in a couple days or been able to walk through anything?

“We talked a lot before we hit the court about how we can’t be flat-footed because they’re going to come after us. But I thought we were pretty flat until about the end of the third quarter.”

Taylor McKinney led WCHS with 17 points and Cassidy Nerland provided a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. McKinney canned a 3-pointer from the corner to pull the Lynx within three points, 46-43, with eight seconds remaining, but Meyer iced the game away with a pair of free throws.

McKinney sat for nearly four minutes of the first quarter after picking up two quick fouls and IF-A pounced. The Cadets forced eight turnovers in the stanza.

WCHS also hurt itself by failing to capitalize at the foul line. The Lynx went 12 of 22 at the line, while the Cadets knocked down 12 of 14 attempts. Darby buried four consecutive shots from the charity stripe in the closing minutes.

Cassidy Nerland (50) scores two of her 14 points from the paint against Iowa Falls-Alden on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Haley Flaws added six points in the loss. Halle Mason finished with four points and six rebounds.

IF-Alden 48, Webster City 43

Tuesday at Webster City

Iowa Falls-Alden (8-6, 5-3 NCC) — Madalyn Juhl 0 0-0 0, Grace Juhl 1 0-0 2, Lauren Juhl 0 0-0 0, Taylor Vanatter 3 1-2 7, Katie Meyer 4 3-4 13, Grace Renaud 3 4-4 10, Jenny Wibholm 0 0-0 0, Darby Dodd 5 4-4 16. Totals: 16 12-14 48.

Webster City (6-7, 4-4 NCC) — Haley Flaws 2 2-4 6, Taylor McKinney 6 4-5 17, Halle Mason 2 0-5 4, Sarah Vogelbacher 0 0-0 0, Zoey Woodle 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 1 0-0 2, Adalie Schwandt 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Nerland 4 6-8 14. Totals: 15 12-22 43.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

IF-Alden 15 12 8 13 — 48

Webster City 6 13 8 16 — 43

3-point field goals — IF-A 4 (Meyer 2, Dodd 2); WC 1 (McKinney). Rebounds — WC 32 (Nerland 13, Mason 6, Hoversten 4). Steals — WC 7 (Nerland 2). Assists — WC 10 (Nerland 4, McKinney 3). Turnovers — WC 14, IF-A 17. Team fouls — IF-A 20, WC 18. Fouled out — IF-A: M. Juhl, Renaud.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning