WEBSTER CITY - Young and inexperienced isn't a nice way of saying soft and intimidated, not in the case of the sophomores that step onto the floor for the Webster City boys' basketball team anyway.
Tough. Gritty. Talented. That's what Lynx head coach Marty McKinney sees when he watches his 10th graders.
"Those guys, for the most part, don't back down. That's a big plus for them that they've got the right attitudes," McKinney said after his four starting sophomores combined to score 37 points in Webster City's 69-54 victory over Clarion-Goldfield in North Central Conference action on Friday. "They're going to improve a ton over the next couple of years, too."
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS sophomore Sean Vogelbacher (40) climbs the back of Clarion-Goldfield’s Phil Johnson (41) in search of a long rebound on Friday. The Lynx won, 69-54.
Lefty forwards Sean Vogelbacher and Colt Richardson pumped in 13 and 11 points, respectively, and the Fuhs twins - guards Alec and Avery - combined for 13 more to help lift WCHS (2-2, 2-1 NCC) back to .500 on the season.
Richardson, a 6-foot-5 interior player who also likes to pop out and shoot the mid-range jumper, had a team-high seven points during a first half that saw the Lynx pull ahead 27-19. He also collected five rebounds.
And what does Richardson think of making his home at the varsity level at such a young age?
WEBSTER CITY 69, CLARION-GOLDFIELD 54
Friday at Webster City
Clarion-Goldfield (1-3, 1-3 NCC) - Chris Staudt 3 6-7 12, Trenton Sann 7 3-3 18, Cody Kapka 1 0-0 2, Kirby Simmons 1 0-0 2, Austin Keller 1 1-3 3, Kenton Waters 1 0-0 2, Spencer Peterson 0 0-0 0, Kolton Carpenter 0 0-0 0, Phil Johnson 3 4-5 10. Totals: 19 15-21 54.
Webster City (2-2, 2-1 NCC) - Trey Tesdahl 3 10-13 19, Alec Fuhs 3 0-0 8, Doug Stoakes 1 0-0 2, Ben Mossman 1 6-6 8, Avery Fuhs 2 0-0 5, Logan Yates 0 2-2 2, Landon Daniels 0 1-2 1, Sean Vogelbacher 5 3-5 13, Colt Richardson 5 1-2 11. Totals: 20 23-31 69.
Clarion-Goldfield10 9 10 25-54
Webster City10 17 17 25-69
3-point goals - C-G 1 Sann; WCHS 6 (Tesdahl 3, Al. Fuhs 2, Av. Fuhs). Rebounds - WCHS 27 (Mossman 6, Richardson 5). Steals - WCHS 8 (Mossman 3). Assists - WCHS 13 (Tesdahl 4, Yates 3). Team fouls - C-G 26, WCHS 24. Fouled out - Kapka, Richardson.
"It's a challenge, but I like challenges," he said. "I expected this to be tough, but I think we're starting to get the hang of it."
Vogelbacher entered the game as the Lynx assists leader. He amped up his offensive output against the Cowboys (1-3, 1-3 NCC), particularly in the second half when he went off for 11 of his points.
"Sean's a great team guy and he's just now starting to show the offensive player that he can be," McKinney said. "He could turn into a pretty good scorer."
Alec Fuhs drained a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points. Avery Fuhs canned one 3 and scored five.
WCHS held the Cowboys at bay over the final quarter at the free throw line. The Lynx last 16 points came at the charity stripe; they were 16 of 18 over the final eight minutes, 18 of 20 in the second half and outscored Clarion-Goldfield 23-15 in the game.
The two teams racked up a combined 50 fouls. Neither was able to find its optimum offensive rhythm, which is why knocking down free throws became so important for the Lynx.
"Our goal was to get (to the free throw line) 20 times and we obviously did that," McKinney said. "We got into the bonus early and guys knocked down shots."
Senior Trey Tesdahl was the biggest beneficiary of the closely-called contest. He went 10 of 12 at the line in the final period and scored a career-high 19 points. He also drilled three triples.
Ben Mossman added eight points - he was a perfect 6 of 6 at the stripe - to go along with six boards and three steals. Tesdahl distributed five assist and Logan Yates finished with four assists and two points.
Trenton Sann (18), Chris Staudt (12) and Phil Johnson (10) all scored in double figures for the Cowboys, who have lost three straight.
WCHS took control with a 10-0 run late in the second quarter that broke a 16-all tie. The run started with a pair of Mossman free throws, Alec Fuhs rained in a corner 3 on the next possession and Mossman followed it up with his only field goal - a 16-foot baseline jumper. Richardson capped off the surge with 2:17 left before the half when he snared his own miss, scored and drew a foul for a traditional three-point play.
Up next for the Lynx is the difficult task of trying to take down fifth-ranked (Class 2A) and unbeaten Fort Dodge St. Edmond (3-0, 3-0 NCC) on Tuesday inside the WCHS gymnasium. McKinney and company will welcome back talented junior shooting guard Mason Myers; the former all-conference performer will make his season debut against the Gaels.
"We don't expect (Myers) to come in and score 20 or 25 points right away, but he's a great basketball player so we're really looking forward to having him back," McKinney said. "I like the chemistry of this team and that's including Mason. His attitude has been great and he mixes in with the guys well."