Lynx inch closer towards NCC runner-up finish

Olson scores career-high 22, Hoversten matches his best night on glass

WCHS sophomore Tyler Olson (20) takes the ball to the rim against Humboldt’s Matt Miller (43) on Tuesday in Webster City. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WEBSTER CITY — Marty McKinney took a cautiously optimistic approach when he talked about his Webster City boys’ basketball team prior to the start of the season.

There was potential, but also a lot of work to be done, he said at the time.

The Lynx have clearly put in the work.

Expected to be a middle of the pack team in the North Central Conference back in November, WCHS has put itself in position to finish all alone in second place behind top-ranked (Class 3A) Clear Lake with one more victory against Algona on Friday.

And McKinney says all of the credit for that potential achievement should be pointed in only one direction.

Webster City guard Drake Doering (10) takes the ball to the bucket against Humboldt on Tuesday. He scored seven points and distributed three assists in the Lynx 53-38 victory over the Wildcats. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

“The kids have figured it out and I’ve got to give them all of the credit,” he said following the Lynx latest victory, a 53-38 beating of Humboldt Tuesday night. “It’s been a heck of a process and it’s been a fun group to coach. They come ready to go and they’re always willing to compete. You can’t ask for more.”

WCHS (13-6, 10-3 NCC) collected its fourth consecutive victory by putting the defensive clamps early on Humboldt and never loosening the grip. The Lynx led 14-3 after one quarter and 32-12 at the break. The Wildcats never came close to striking distance over the final 16 minutes.

After being tasked with stopping the league’s two most potent scorers — Iowa Falls-Alden’s Karson Sharar and St. Edmond’s Andrew Gibb — in back-to-back games, WCHS senior Dylan Steen was again called upon against Humboldt’s Jamison Heinz. Steen held him scoreless.

“Dylan was amazing, and he was sick,” McKinney said. “He was running a fever (Tuesday) morning and after his effort (Monday night) against Gibb, to come back and do it again was great. He shut (Heinz) down.”

Sophomore Tyler Olson continued his offensive surge by rattling in four 3-pointers and scoring a game- and career-high 22 points. The shooting guard also yanked down seven rebounds and came up with three steals.

Webster City’s Tavis Eklund (14) lets it fly from near the top of the key during the second half against Humboldt on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Olson averaged seven points a night over the first 14 games. He’s put up 14.8 an outing over the last five, and McKinney says it’s all about preparation.

“He’s coming ready to play every night and he has the mental part of it now,” McKinney said of Olson. “He’s getting into scouting reports, he’s watching film and he knows what we’re doing. If you’ve ever been around Tyler, he’s confident all the time. Add success on top of it and it’s been fun to watch.”

Henry Hoversten provided his 10th double-double of the season — 13 points and 17 rebounds — and tied his career high for caroms. He also grabbed 17 in a postseason loss to Charles City a season ago.

Steen finished with eight points, all in the first half, to go along with three assists. Drake Doering added seven points and three assists.

Calvin Carlson was the only Humboldt scorer in double figures; he had 13 points.

WCHS will be out to even the score against Algona when they meet Friday at 7:45 p.m. The Bulldogs knocked off the Lynx, 50-45 in overtime, in Algona on Jan. 15.

Webster City 53, Humboldt 38

Tuesday at Webster City

Humboldt (8-9, 6-6 NCC) — Austin Brant 0 0-0 0, Jamison Heinz 0 0-0 0, Calvin Carlson 5 1-3 13, Hudson Gargano 1 0-0 3, Jacob Thurm 0 0-0 0, Sawyer Savery 0 0-0 0, Jack Arndt 0 1-2 1, Gabe Gidel 1 2-4 5, Owen Terwilliger 4 0-0 8, Matt Miller 0 0-0 0, Grant Kuehnast 0 0-0 0, Sam Fischer 2 4-4 8. Totals: 13 8-13 38.

Webster City (13-6, 10-3 NCC) — Dylan Steen 3 0-0 8, Drake Doering 3 0-0 7, Nathan Ferrell 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 1 0-0 3, Tyler Olson 7 4-4 22, Carter Neuroth 0 0-0 0, Elijah Killian 0 0-0 0, Lincoln LaSourd 0 0-0 0, Henry Hoversten 6 1-2 13, Trey Lyons 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 5-6 53.

Humboldt 3 9 13 13 — 38

Webster City 14 18 11 10 — 53

3-point field goals — HUM 4 (Carlson 2, Gargano, Gidel); WC 8 (Olson 4, Steen 2, Doering, Eklund). Rebounds — WC 30 (Hoversten 17, Olson 7). Steals — WC 4 (Olson 3). Assists — WC 11 (Doering 3, Steen 3). Turnovers — WC 9. Team fouls — HUM 13, WC 11. Fouled out — none.