No. 9 IF-A spreads wealth, disposes of Lynx
4 Cadets score in double figures; McKinney gets back on track with 20 points
WEBSTER CITY — The new year began much like the old year ended.
Another top-10 opponent. Another mountain too steep to climb.
One difference though, perhaps not noticeable to the naked eye, was a fire that was reignited, something that was stifled in the final dark days of 2018.
For the fifth time in nine outings, the Webster City girls’ basketball team succumbed to a ranked team Friday night, as No. 9 (Class 3A) Iowa Falls-Alden showed off an array of offensive weaponry for a 64-42 victory inside the WCHS gymnasium.
A fourth consecutive setback wasn’t what Lynx head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch had in mind, but finding the positives weren’t that difficult. She felt her team show a competitive flare that it had lacked, quite frankly, in its final three games before the break and that’s something WCHS (2-7, 1-5 NCC) can build from moving forward.
“Us coaches didn’t think the girls played bad,” Muhlenbruch said. “I thought the girls were getting back to where we were at the beginning of the season and, you know, sometimes a win isn’t on the scoreboard. Sometimes a win is when you’re down and you rebound. I thought we played like we hadn’t lost (three straight) games before (the break).”
Taylor McKinney returning to form at the offensive end and topped the reasons for optimism. After averaging just seven points per game in the previous five contests, the junior guard popped off for 20 points to share the top scoring effort with IF-A’s Katie Meyer.
McKinney, who led 4A in scoring early in the season before the drop off, found her extra gear. She attacked the basket, she connected on a pair of contested 3-pointers, and produced five rebounds and three steals.
“She played really well,” Muhlenbruch said of McKinney, who increased her career points total to 750, leaving her just 145 shy of the Lynx all-time 5-player mark. “I liked that she created things and that she looked to attack the basket.”
It was anything but easy for McKinney to free herself from the face-guarding she received from Grace Juhl from one end of the floor to the other. And the few times Juhl took a rest, Allison Ford stepped in as a defensive pest that helped to sap McKinney’s energy as she worked to get free.
Zoey Woodle pitched in a season-high 12 points. Grace Hoversten added five points and six rebounds.
“That was really good to see from Zoey,” Muhlenbruch said. “She looked really confident out there.”
But they were no match for the Cadets high-octane offense that featured four double-digit scorers led by Meyer. IF-A (10-1, 5-1 NCC), which has lost to only fourth-ranked (3A) Clear Lake, received 13 points from Darby Dodd, 12 more from Grace Juhl and an additional 10 from Madalyn Juhl.
IF-A cashed in on eight 3-pointers, seven of them in the first half to help it build a 36-22 advantage at the intermission. The Cadets closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run and then notched eight of the final 10 points of the second quarter to seize command for good.
Quarter-ending spurts continued in the second half, as IF-A finished the third on an 8-1 surge to extend its lead to 47-32.
“They have four girls that can shoot from the outside and it’s hard to defend,” Muhlenbruch said.
McKinney rained in a step-back 3 from the wing to pull WCHS with 13 with 6:25 remaining, but the Cadets answered by scoring the next 14 points to put the finishing touches on the lopsided outcome.
The Lynx offensive options were limited down the stretch after Hoversten picked up her fourth and fifth fouls in a span of 56 seconds early in the final period. Woodle was also relegated to the bench with four fouls midway through the stanza.
IF-A took advantage of the Lynx foul issues by rolling up a 16-6 scoring advantage at the charity stripe. The Cadets shot 24 free throws to just 10 for WCHS.
The Lynx will be back at home Tuesday night for a non-conference date with Manson-Northwest Webster at 6:15 p.m.
IF-Alden 64, Webster City 42
Friday at Webster City
Iowa Falls-Alden (10-1, 5-1 NCC) — Abby Redmond 0 0-0 0, Allison Ford 0 0-0 0, Madalyn Juhl 4 0-0 10, Grace Juhl 1 0-0 3, Lauren Juhl 1 0-0 2, Ellie Meyer 0 0-0 0, Grace Renaud 2 7-10 12, Chloe Fagerlind 0 0-0 0, Katie Meyer 6 6-8 20, Marlee Lancaster 0 0-0 0, Jenny Wibholm 2 0-0 4, Darby Dodd 4 3-4 13, Madison Warschkow 0 0-0 0, Emma Harding 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 16-24 64.
Webster City (2-7, 1-5 NCC) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 8 2-2 20, Atlanta Hopp 0 0-0 0, Zoey Woodle 4 3-4 12, Jenna Miller 2 0-0 4, Leah Kasch 0 0-0 0, Kelly Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 2 0-0 5, Adalie Schwandt 0 1-4 1. Totals: 16 6-10 42.
IF-Alden 20 16 11 17 — 64
Webster City 13 9 10 10 — 42
3-point field goals — IF-A 8 (M. Juhl 2, Meyer 2, Dodd 2, G. Juhl, Renaud); WC 4 (McKinney 2, Woodle, Hoversten). Rebounds — WC 23 (Hoversten 6, McKinney 5). Steals — WC 5 (McKinney 3). Assists — WC 5 (Hopp 3). Turnovers — WC 11. Team fouls — IF-A 12, WC 15. Fouled out — WC: Hoversten.