Hovrsten notches double-double; WCHS girls rally in fourth quarter for win

Grace Hoversten scores from close range against St. Edmond on Friday. The WCHS junior finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the Lynx 38-28 win. Messenger photo/Tom Vogt

FORT DODGE — Nothing came easy offensively for the Webster City girls’ basketball team until it forced the issue with its defense here Friday night.

And in just a few minutes, a potentially confidence-sapping loss turned into a sigh of relief victory for the Lynx.

In an offensive fog and trailing 22-21 after three quarters, WCHS turned to a full-court press defense to force turnovers during the fourth quarter against Fort Dodge St. Edmond. Five field goals and seven free throws later, the Lynx had put 17 points on the scoreboard over the final eight minutes to escape with a 38-28 win over the winless Gaels.

“The girls just stepped up and got some turnovers, and that got the momentum for us,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said after her club put the brakes on a two-game slide.

Grace Hoversten scored five of her game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter for WCHS (2-3, 1-1 NCC). Jenna Miller pumped in five of her seven points during the same stretch, and Zoey Woodle added five more to reach double figures for the game.

WCHS junior Taylor McKinney (right) blocks the shot of St. Edmond’s Abby Landwehr during Friday’s NCC game in Fort Dodge. Messenger photo/Tom Vogt

Taylor McKinney, who entered the contest averaging 23.8 points per game, was held without a field goal and to just two fourth-quarter free throws against a suffocating Gaels’ defense that hounded her from one end of the floor to another.

“They were relentless on her. They were not going to let her get a shot off,” Muhlenbruch said of McKinney, who took just seven shots in the game. “They were very physical on her.”

But Hoversten, Woodle, Miller and Adalie Schwandt, who notched six points, picked up the slack, which is exactly what Muhlenbruch wanted to see.

“That’s what you want from your team,” she said. “When somebody doesn’t get their points or get their rebounds or get their steals, that’s when you have other kids step up. Winning is about the team.”

Hoversten registered her second double-double of the season; the junior forward yanked down 12 rebounds to go along with her points.

“It was nice to see Grace step up and be an offensive threat for us,” Muhlenbruch said of her daughter. “It was nice to see Zoey do that as well and then Adalie finished some nice shots. Jenna stepped in and did a nice job too.”

Woodle (seven) and Miller (four) combined for 11 more boards.

McKinney played the role of distributor with a team-high five assists.

St. Edmond (0-4, 0-2 NCC) received six points from Erin Flattery and Jocy Timmerman.

The Gaels led 11-8 after one quarter. The two teams combined for just seven second-quarter points and St. Edmond took a 14-12 advantage into the intermission.

WCHS knows it will need to be much better on Tuesday when it welcomes second-ranked (Class 3A) Clear Lake to town for a 6:15 p.m. game. The Lions, who beat 13th-ranked (3A) Iowa Falls-Alden 59-44 on Friday, have won 21 consecutive conference games.

Webster City 38, St. Edmond 28

Friday at Fort Dodge

Webster City (2-3, 1-1 NCC) — Taylor McKinney 0 2-2 2, Atlanta Hopp 0 0-0 0, Zoey Woodle 2 6-10 10, Jenna Miler 2 3-5 7, Leah Kasch 0 0-0 0, Kelly Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 6 1-1 13, Adalie Schwandt 3 0-0 6. Totals: 13 12-16 38.

St. Edmond (0-4, 0-2 NCC) — Abby Landwehr 0 3-4 3, Macey Mason 1 2-2 5, Jacque Oberg 1 0-0 2, Cambrie McBride 2 0-0 6, Erin Flattery 3 0-0 6, Jocy Timmerman 3 0-0 6, Devyn Scott 0 0-0 0, Brea McNeil 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 5-6 28.

Webster City 8 4 9 17 — 38

St. Edmond 11 3 8 6 — 28

3-point field goals — SE 3 (McBride 2, Mason). Rebounds — WC 28 (Hoversten 12, Woodle 7, Miller 4). Steals — WC 3. Assists — WC 10 (McKinney 5, Woodle 2, Hoversten 2). Turnovers — WC 9. Team fouls — WC 10, SE 17. Fouled out — none.