Lynx open postseason against Nevada tonight
WEBSTER CITY – Which Webster City boys’ basketball team shows up for the postseason will determine whether the journey is extended and successful or quick and painful.
Over the past three months the Lynx have proven they can compete with and even beat some of the state’s premier teams when they execute at both ends of the floor.
And when they bring less than their best game? Refer back to quick and painful.
Coming off a 52-42 victory over Boone in its regular season finale on Thursday, WCHS (12-9) will stay at home to host the Class 3A District 3 semifinals this evening. Humboldt (14-6) – the district’s top seed – and Iowa Falls-Alden (1-20) will meet in the opener at 6:30 p.m., followed by WCHS against Nevada (11-9) at approximately 8 p.m.
The winners will advance to Thursday’s district final, which will be in Fort Dodge if the Lynx win tonight. It will stay in Webster City if Nevada comes out on top.
“We’ve got to play our best game, we’re not going to survive if we don’t,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said of tonight’s test. “Consistency is something that we’ve really been trying to get, and we’re confident we’re going to come out and play well. The kids are excited and they’re ready.”
It’s been a topsy-turvy season up to his point for WCHS, stocked with plenty of highs and lows. The Lynx opened with five straight wins and then dropped six in a row. The ship was righted again with six consecutive victories, but then three more losses followed prior to the triumph against Boone.
If the trend continues then WCHS should be on the upswing.
Enter Nevada, the fourth-place finisher in the Heart of Iowa Conference. The Cubs posses a dangerous scorer in junior Cole Gidel, who averages 16.9 points per game. He’s been at his best lately with 37 and 29 points in wins over South Hamilton and Colfax-Mingo at the end of the regular season.
Zach Hansen (9.7 points per game) and AJ Strottman (7.7) are also scoring options for the Cubs.
“The Gidel kid is very good. He’s lit it up the last couple games and he’s definitely going to have our attention,” McKinney said. “They’re fairly similar to us in what they want to do. They want to get up and down, they attack the rim and they shoot lots of 3s.”
WCHS has improved dramatically at the defensive end of the floor since the holiday break, but staying hungry will be key in the postseason. The Lynx allowed just 44.5 points per game in their 12 wins, but opponents put up 62.6 on average in their nine losses.
Senior shooting guard Mason Myers will look to extend his prep career as long as possible while he chases a personal milestone. He’ll take the floor tonight with 956 career points, just 44 shy of 1,000.
Only three players to ever put on a Lynx uniform – Jared Josten (1,458 points), Brock Jacobson (1,387) and John Ptacek (1,085) – are currently members of the prestigious 1,000 points club.
McKinney says his veteran guard isn’t worried about personal accomplishments at this point though.
“I’m sure if you’d ask Mason right now, he’d say he wants to play in the state tournament,” McKinney said. “At this point Mason and the team are concerned about winning.”
The team’s leading scorer since he came onto the scene as a sophomore, Myers averages 16.6 points while shooting 47.1 percent this season. Twins Avery Fuhs and Alec Fuhs, junior starting guards, provide balance by averaging 12.8 and 7.8 points an outing, respectively.