TANNER TIME: Senior hits game-winner with 3 ticks left against Gaels

Lynx stay alive in hunt for third straight NCC?title

Jordan Tanner (back) buries a jumper over St. Edmond’s Sean Flaherty (55) and Jed Tracy (23) with under 4 seconds remaining to give Webster City the lead and win, 39-38, Tuesday night inside the WCHS gymnasium. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — Marty McKinney really didn’t know what Jordan Tanner was going to do as the clock ticked under five seconds in a one-point game Tuesday night.

But the Webster City head coach did know one thing — the ball was in the hands of the guy he wanted.

And Tanner delivered. Boy, did he ever.

The first-team all-North Central Conference point guard took two dribbles, stopped, rose above two defenders and buried a 14-foot jumper from just inside the free throw line with under four seconds remaining to give WCHS a heart-stopping 39-38 victory over Fort Dodge St. Edmond.

The 350th field goal attempt and 128th make of Tanner’s career was no doubt his biggest in a Lynx uniform. It avenged a 66-61 loss to the Gaels back on Dec. 19 and kept WCHS (12-5, 8-3 NCC) in the conversation for a third straight conference title.

WCHS junior Henry Hoversten saves the ball from going out of bounds during the first half against St. Edmond on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“Yeah, that was big,” Tanner said after scoring a modest six points against a St. Edmond defense that pestered him for 32 minutes. “I honestly thought they were going to collapse in the middle on me like they had all game and I knew Noah (McKinney) would be on the wing wide open. But when they didn’t I just decided to shoot it.”

Good decision.

“We wanted the ball in Jordan’s hands and we let him attack and do what he does,” Coach McKinney said after his team outscored St. Edmond 16-7 in the fourth quarter. “Finish if he can, or he’ll find a shooter and hopefully they’ll knock it down.”

Tanner’s bucket gave WCHS its first lead since it was 1-0 in the opening minutes of the contest. St. Edmond (10-8, 8-4 NCC) got off a desperation heave from inside half-court at the buzzer, but it didn’t come close to the rim.

It wasn’t pretty, far from it. But Tanner expected a slugfest where points would be at a premium.

Webster City’s Cameron Moen (10) and Dylan Steen (32) force St. Edmond’s Drew Schaeffer to pass out of a double team during the fourth quarter on Tuesday. The Lynx pulled out a 39-38 win to improve to 12-5 on the season. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“They play tough defense and they’re tough to score on,” he said.

WCHS connected on just 15 of 42 shots (36 percent) and half of its attempts were from behind the 3-point arc. It made just five.

But when the Lynx needed a 3 in the worst way, they got it. Down eight early in the fourth quarter, Tyler Bultena buried his first triple of the season to breathe life into the team.

It was 38-34 St. Edmond with just 42 ticks remaining when Cameron Moen rained in a 3 from the wing to cut the deficit to one.

“We’re just struggling to shoot the ball right now, but we got a few of them to go,” McKinney said. “Tyler Bultena hit a really big shot when we needed it.”

WCHS senior Tyler Bultena (24) guards St. Edmond’s Jackson Kochendorfer (35) closely and forces a pass during Tuesday’s NCC contest. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

St. Edmond had two chances to extend the lead at the free throw line over the final 39 seconds, but missed the front end of the one-and-one on both occasions. The second miss allowed Tanner to bring the ball up the floor with 16.9 seconds remaining and 13 seconds later he drained the game-winner.

WCHS had no players score in double figures. Noah McKinney and Moen led the way with eight each. Henry Hoversten registered seven points and 10 rebounds and had a solid performance defensively where he limited the Gaels’ Will Woodruff to just one point.

Bultena joined Tanner with six points and Dylan Steen scored four crucial fourth-quarter points.

Andrew Gibb poured in 16 points for the Gaels. Bultena limited long-distance specialist Jackson Kochendorfer to just seven points and his only 3 came in transition in the first half.

“Tyler did a great job against Kochendorfer,” McKinney said. “Every time he caught the ball Tyler was in his grill. He just worked his tail off defensively.”

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The winners of four straight, WCHS will look to keep it rolling against Hampton-Dumont on Friday.

Webster City 39, St. Edmond 38

Tuesday at Webster City

St. Edmond (10-8, 8-4 NCC) — Mitchell Rasmussen 0 0-0 0, Isaac Lursen 1 0-0 2, Drew Schaeffer 2 0-0 5, Jed Tracy 0 0-2 0, Andrew Gibb 7 1-1 16, Sean Newell 1 0-0 2, Jackson Kochendorfer 3 0-0 7, Will Woodruff 0 1-2 1, Sean Flaherty 2 1-1 5. Totals: 16 3-6 38.

Webster City (12-5, 8-3 NCC) — Noah McKinney 3 0-0 8, Cameron Moen 2 2-2 8, Jordan Tanner 3 0-0 6, Tyler Bultena 2 1-2 6, Dylan Steen 2 0-0 4, Henry Hoversten 3 1-2 7. Totals: 15 4-6 39.

St. Edmond 9 10 12 7 — 38

Webster City 6 9 8 16 — 39

3-point field goals — SE 3 (Schaeffer, Gibb, Kochendorfer); WC 5 (McKinney 2, Moen 2, Bultena). Rebounds — WC 21 (Hoversten 10, Bultena 4). Steals — WC 3. Assists — WC 10 (Moen 4). Team fouls — SE 12, WC 11. Fouled out — none.