Lynx look to break out of funk, extend season against Decorah tonight

Class 3A Substate 2 quarterfinal at Charles City High School, tip at 6 p.m.

WEBSTER CITY — Two teams that traveled in opposite directions as the regular season wound down will meet in a Class 3A Substate 2 quarterfinal this evening.

And Webster City is the crew that needs to turn things around.

The Lynx (13-8) will put their season on the line against Decorah (11-10) inside the Charles City High School gymnasium at 6 p.m. The winner will advance to the semifinal round to play either Charles City (16-4) or Iowa Falls-Alden (8-12) on the same court Thursday night at 7 p.m.

WCHS enters the postseason with a three-game skid strapped its back. Decorah, meanwhile, has won five consecutive outings, including a 79-66 romp over the substate’s top seed Charles City just 10 days ago.

“They’re playing well and they got hot at the right time, so we’re going to have our hands full,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. “They’re very athletic, they’ve got some guys that can shoot the ball and they’ve got guys that can attack the basket.”

The Vikings rely on a trio to provide the bulk of their scoring led by 6-foot guard Nick Bockman, who averages 12.1 points per game. Six-foot-6 big man Jerod Redenius is a load inside at 12 points and 7.7 rebounds an outing, and 6-foot-1 perimeter player Jonah Johnson provides 10.2 points per night.

Slowing Redenius down in the paint will be key, McKinney said, and that will start with the Lynx own 6-6 big man Henry Hoversten. Keeping Hoversten on the floor and out of foul trouble will be vital.

“Redenius is a good post-up player and he’s strong,” McKinney said. “We have to be able to guard in the post without fouling.”

Usually a fairly competent defensive team, WCHS has spent the bulk of its preparation time working at the offensive end, which has been hit or miss all season. It sounds obvious, but it’s still true: when the Lynx shoot the ball well, they can compete with almost any team.

But it’s the offense that was let WCHS down in its recent slide. A 32-percent shooting team from behind the 3-point arc on the season, the Lynx connected on just 14 percent in their most recent loss to Boone on Thursday.

“Our defense has been good enough to win us the last few games,” McKinney said. “We’ve just got to hit shots and we’ve got guys capable of doing it. When we’re knocking down shots, we can be tough.”

WCHS has its own offensive triple threat and it starts with point guard Jordan Tanner, who averages a team-best 15.5 points per game. Three-point specialist Cameron Moen scores 11.7 a night and Hoversten pitches in 11.3 from the interior. Noah McKinney is also more than capable of hurting opponents from the perimeter as well; he averages 8.0 points per game.