Hoversten scores career-high 29 points in Lynx first win of season

Henry Hoversten drops in two of his career-high 29 points during Webster City's 59-56 win over St. Edmond on Friday. Messenger photo/Tom Vogt

FORT DODGE — Henry Hoversten proved many things on the basketball court here Friday night, one of them being that he can handle constructive criticism and learn from it.

Three nights after turning in what Webster City boys’ head coach Marty McKinney felt was a subpar performance in a 56-44 loss to South Central Calhoun, Hoversten responded with a career outing in leading the Lynx to their first win of the season in one of the toughest North Central Conference environments for opposing teams.

Hoversten, a 6-foot-6 senior center, poured in a career-high 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds to carry WCHS across the finish line against St. Edmond, 59-56.

“Henry played like a man,” McKinney said after Hoversten connected on 14 of 17 shots, all from inside the paint. “(St. Edmond) tried to double-team and triple-team him, they were all over him all the time, but he picked his spots.”

McKinney got in Hoversten’s ear after he managed just two field goals and eight points in the loss to South Central Calhoun. The coach put out a challenge and the player responded.

Dylan Steen (4) fires up a short jumper against St. Edmond on Friday. He scored 10 points in the Lynx 59-56 road victory. Messenger photo/Tom Vogt

“I challenged Henry pretty good because I thought he was trying too many different finishes and I told him to go back and watch the tape,” McKinney said. “I wanted him to focus on power and to finish off two strong feet. He got after it right away (Friday night) and the guys found him. We rode him throughout.”

It was exactly what WCHS (1-2, 1-0 NCC) needed after two demoralizing losses to start the season. The Lynx still made their share of mistakes with 16 turnovers, but they also hit the boards hard and missed just two of 19 shots from in the lane. They connected at a 64 percent clip overall (25 of 39).

“It was a huge win,” McKinney said. “It wasn’t pretty the whole game, but we never got rattled and that was the big thing. We never gave up the big runs and we never went (scoreless) for four or five minutes. The guys went out and competed all night.”

Dylan Steen joined Hoversten in double figures with 10 points to go along with four rebounds. Tyler Olson added eight points and five assists. Carter Neuroth chipped in six points, Drake Doering had four and Tavis Eklund drained a pair of free throws.

St. Edmond (2-2, 1-1 NCC) had its own points guzzler in Andrew Gibb, who led all scorers with 30. He went 12 of 13 at the charity stripe, but no other Gael attempted a free throw.

Tied at 27 at the half, WCHS outscored St. Edmond 18-12 in the third to build a 45-39 advantage. The Lynx never gave up the lead over the final eight minutes.

WCHS will return home to face Clear Lake on Tuesday.

Webster City 59, St. Edmond 56

Friday at Fort Dodge

Webster City (1-2, 1-0 NCC) — Dylan Steen 4 2-3 10, Drake Doering 2 0-0 4, Nathan Ferrell 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 0 2-2 2, Tyler Olson 3 0-1 8, Carter Neuroth 2 1-3 6, Henry Hoversten 14 1-3 29. Totals: 25 6-12 59.

St. Edmond (2-2, 1-1 NCC) — Connor Bocken 2 0-0 6, Mitchell Rasmussen 0 0-0 0, Jerris Duncan 3 0-0 6, Jed Tracy 1 0-0 3, Drew Schaeffer 2 0-0 5, Andrew Gibb 9 12-13 30, Jackson Kochendorfer 2 0-0 6. Totals: 19 12-13 56.

Webster City 12 15 18 14 — 59

St. Edmond 16 11 12 17 — 56

3-point field goals — WC 3 (Olson 2, Neuroth); SE 6 (Bocken 2, Kochendorfer 2, Tracy, Schaeffer). Rebounds — WC 20 (Hoversten 9, Steen 4). Steals — WC 3. Assists — WC 11 (Olson 5, Doering 3). Turnovers — WC 16. Team fouls — WC 12, SE 15. Fouled out — none.