WCHS boys suffer growing pains in loss to Indians
Hoversten puts up a double-double in season opener
POCAHONTAS — Marty McKinney knows it’s a marathon and not a sprint, which is why he’s working on something that doesn’t necessarily come natural to him: Patience.
Webster City’s veteran boys’ basketball coach was aware of the deficiencies, but he chose to focus on the positives from his team’s season kickoff, a 67-56 loss to Pocahontas Area Tuesday night.
With just one returning starter and only two players who have played significant varsity minutes back on the roster, McKinney was prepared for the mistakes and inconsistent stretches, and they are what ultimately cost the Lynx.
“I thought we battled, but we’ve just got to be more consistent,” McKinney said. “But I’ll definitely take the effort and we’re better right now than we were at 7:30 when we tipped off.”
Pocahontas Area (1-0) did the most damage early and late. The Indians jumped out to a 10-2 lead just a few minutes into the game and then put together a 21-5 run over a 61⁄2-minute stretch of the fourth after WCHS (0-1) had climbed to within one point.
“We took our lumps early, but we came back and made it a ballgame,” McKinney said. “They’re a nice team. They’ve got some tough match-ups, they’re really strong and really physical. They came out and punched us in the mouth early.”
Jace Davidson landed the biggest blows, as he led Pocahontas Area and all scorers with 25 points, 16 of which came in the first half to help the Indians build a 10-point lead, 33-23, at the break. Nate Hanson supplied 14 points on the interior, and Christian Davidson and Nathan Aljets added 10 each.
Pocahontas Area attacked the rim like it was a Thanksgiving turkey and the players hadn’t eaten for a month. Dribble drives led to a slew of easy buckets, and when the shots didn’t fall the Indians were in position to clean it up on the offensive glass. They hauled down 13 offensive boards, eight of them by Hanson, and both teams finished with 23 total boards.
Strictly a man-to-man team since McKinney took over at the helm, WCHS played zone for long spurts on Tuesday. But regardless of the strategy, the coach says on-ball defense has to be better.
“A lot of those offensive rebounds were because of dribble penetration where we had to help,” McKinney said. “Whatever (defense) you play, you still have to be able to guard the ball.”
WCHS also committed 22 turnovers, 14 of which came in the first half.
A strong third quarter offensively, particularly from Drake Doering, closed the Lynx deficit to 46-40. Doering canned a pair of 3-pointers from the left side of the floor, and dropped in a traditional three-point play to help close the gap.
Doering finished with 12 points, just two off the team lead of 14 by Henry Hoversten. Tyler Olson chipped in 11 more and Tavis Eklund dropped in nine.
WCHS buried eight triples; Doering and Eklund both hit three.
“We’ve got some guys that can shoot it,” McKinney said. “With the attention that Henry is going to get, our shooters have got to step up and knock some shots down.”
An Olson trey from the corner, followed by a Hoversten baby hook from just outside the lane, pulled WCHS to within one, 46-45, with 6:25 remaining in the fourth. But Pocahontas Area answered with eight straight points to ignite the late flurry.
The Indians led by as many as 17 points before Eklund cashed in on a pair of 3’s in the final 45 seconds.
Hoversten also corralled 12 of the Lynx rebounds.
WCHS will be off until Tuesday when it hosts South Central Calhoun.
Pocahontas Area 67, Webster City 56
Tuesday at Pocahontas
Webster City (0-1) — Dylan Steen 3 0-0 7, Drake Doering 4 1-1 12, Nathan Ferrell 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 3 0-1 9, Tyler Olson 4 2-4 11, Carter Neuroth 1 1-4 3, Henry Hoversten 7 0-0 14. Totals: 22 4-10 56.
Pocahontas Area (1-0) — Christian Davidson 3 3-4 10, Trey Oehlertz 1 0-0 2, Cooper Christians 1 0-0 2, Nathan Aljets 3 3-3 10, Cade Henrickson 0 0-0 0, Ryan Anderson 2 0-0 4, Jace Davidson 9 5-6 25, Luke Vanderham 0 0-0 0, Joe Hopkins 0 0-0 0, Nate Hanson 5 4-9 14. Totals: 24 15-22 67.
Webster City 14 9 17 15 — 56
Poca Area 20 13 13 21 — 67
3-point field goals — WC 8 (Doering 3, Eklund 3, Steen, Olson); PAC 4 (J. Davidson 2, C. Davidson, Aljets). Rebounds — WC 23 (Hoversten 12, Steen 5). Steals — WC 6 (Olson 5). Assists — WC 13 (Steen 5). Turnovers — WC 22. Team fouls — WC 17, PAC 17. Fouled out — none.