ALGONA - And ... exhale.
Webster City girls' basketball coach Nicole Muhlenbruch and her pupils were able to walk off the floor smiling for the first time this season here last night, as the Lynx jumped ahead at halftime and built upon the lead in the second half in a 41-35 North Central Conference victory over Bishop Garrigan.
"Winning on the road is huge and now we'd like the one at home Friday night (against Eagle Grove)," Muhlenbruch, Webster City's first-year head coach said after her squad improved to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the NCC. "The girls are starting to believe, and this victory is for all the people that practice with us. If you don't have people pushing you in practice, then you won't do well in games."
WCHS played without starting sophomore forward Hannah Myers because of an ankle injury, but plenty of other players were there to pick up the slack. Sophomore Mikaleh McCoy pumped in a team-high nine points to go along with seven rebounds, and Emily Elm added eight points and three assists.
Cambria Hoffmann scored all seven of her points in the first half to help WCHS move in front, 16-15.
Kristin Condoleon led Garrigan (4-4, 3-3 NCC) with 14 points. She canned two of her team's three 3-point field goals.
Webster City 41, Bishop Garrigan 35
Webster City (1-5, 1-4 NCC) - Emily Elm 3 1-2 8, Kelsey Lindmark 2 0-0 4, Mikaleh McCoy 4 1-2 9, Cambria Hoffmann 3 0-0 7, Erin Anderson 1 0-0 2, Alex Dinsdale 2 0-2 4, Rachel Kauffman 2 0-1 5, Mikala Harrill 1 0-0 2, Emma White 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 2-7 41.
Bishop Garrigan (4-4, 3-3 NCC) - Nicole Behr 2 0-1 4, Aubrie Meyers 2 1-4 5, Emily Marlow 2 0-0 5, Haley Froehlich 0 0-0 0, Aisha Miller 0 0-3 0, Kristin Condoleon 5 2-2 14, Chelsi Lanus 1 3-4 5, Taylor Hovey 0 2-2 2. Totals: 12 8-21 35.
Quarter scores - Garrigan led 8-7, WC led 16-15 and 28-21. 3-point field goals - WC 3, (Elm, Hoffmann, Kauffman); BG 3 (Condoleon 2, Marlow 1). Rebounds - WC 27 (McCoy 7, Harrill 6, Dinsdale 4, White 4). Steals - WC 10 (Lindmark 3, Kauffman 2). Assists - WC 13 (Elm 3, White 3, Kauffman 3). Team fouls - WC 18, BG 13. Fouled out - none.
WCHS outscored the Golden Bears 12-6 in the third quarter to build a 28-21 edge, and it ballooned to nine - the Lynx biggest lead of the season - on a Kelsey Lindmark jumper with 4:30 left in regulation.
Garrigan trimmed the deficit to four and had a chance to make it a one possession game with just over a minute left, but Aisha Miller missed a pair of free throws, and 30 seconds later Lindmark put the win on ice with another jumper.
Lindmark and Alex Dinsdale both finished with four points in the win. Lindmark also had three steals, and Dinsdale yanked down four boards.
Rachel Kauffmann chipped in five points, three assists and two steals.
Muhlenbruch said a balanced effort for 32 minutes was instrumental in the team's success.
"We told the girls before the game that the key was we couldn't have any bad quarters, and we didn't," she said.
Friday's clash with Eagle Grove will tip off from the WCHS gymnasium at 6:15 p.m.