Lynx miffed by another close call vs. top-10 team

No. 6 Algona hangs on, McKinney stays hot with 25 points

WCHS junior point guard Taylor McKinney (4) hits a floating shot over Algona’s Nicole Smidt (25) on Friday. McKinney scored 25 points in the Lynx 51-48 loss. In the first half she connected on the 100th 3-pointer of her career and through three games she’s averaging nearly 28 points. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WEBSTER CITY — Disappointed doesn’t cut it. Upset isn’t correct either. At this point, after two close, but no cigar performances, the members of the Webster City girls’ basketball team are straight up mad.

For the second time in three outings, the Lynx pushed a top-10 team deep into the fourth quarter and had chances to prevail inside the WCHS gymnasium Friday night, but sixth-ranked (Class 3A) Algona was able to hold on late for a 51-48 victory in the North Central Conference opener for both teams.

Up by eight after three quarters, Algona (3-0, 1-0 NCC) saw its lead dwindle all the way down to one in the fourth. Trailing by three in the waning moments, WCHS (1-2, 0-1 NCC) got a look at a potential game-tying shot, but Taylor McKinney’s 3-pointer bounced off the front of the rim.

And there was no looking at the bright side of things afterwards.

“We’re all angry, the players and the coaches,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “We’re not upset with how we played, we’re just mad because we feel like we should win those games.”

WCHS guard Atlanta Hopp (10) has her shot challenged by Algona’s Aliyah Buscher (21) on Friday. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

WCHS outscored Algona 15-10 in the fourth period behind 12 points from McKinney. The leading scorer in Class 4A, McKinney poured in 25 on the night, 20 of them coming in the second half.

The Bulldogs attempted to shut down McKinney’s outside game, but the junior still canned three 3-pointers. Her first triple of the game in the opening quarter was the 100th of her career.

“They didn’t want her to shoot the 3, so she used the screens to attack the basket,” Muhlenbruch said. “She was getting to the rim and drawing fouls, and then that freed up a few things for other kids.”

Grace Hoversten added her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Zoey Woodle finished with five points, five rebounds and three assists.

Muhlenbruch was also pleased with the contributions of Kelly Stoakes, just a freshman, and Jenna Miller off the bench, who had three and two points, respectively.

DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

“Kelly and Jenna played so well,” she said. “The more (Stoakes) is out there, the more her confidence will build.”

WCHS shot 44 percent from the floor (18 of 41), but was hampered by 16 turnovers.

Algona, which led 24-18 at the half, relied on nine 3-point buckets to ignite the offense. Aliyah Buscher cashed in on four of them and led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Kim Etherington (15 points) and Abbey Holmes (13 points) combined for the other five triples.

The Lynx will face another highly-ranked team on Tuesday when they host No. 7 (2A) South Central Calhoun at 6:15 p.m. They’ll finish the week on Friday with a road trip to Fort Dodge for a conference clash against St. Edmond.

Algona 51, Webster City 48

DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Friday at Webster City

Algona (3-0, 1-0 NCC) — Ashlyn Young 0 0-0 0, Baylyn Johnson 0 0-0 0, Abbey Holmes 5 1-2 13, Aliyah Buscher 5 1-2 15, Nicole Smidt 2 2-2 6, Kim Etherington 6 0-0 15, Molly McCauley 1 0-0 2, Kate Beenken 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 4-6 51.

Webster City (1-2, 0-1 NCC) — Taylor McKinney 9 4-5 25, Atlanta Hopp 1 1-2 3, Zoey Woodle 2 1-2 5, Jenna Miller 1 0-0 2, Kelly Stoakes 1 0-0 3, Grace Hoversten 4 0-0 10, Adalie Schwandt 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 6-9 48.

Algona 15 9 17 10 — 51

Webster City 13 5 15 15 — 48

3-point field goals — ALG 9 (Buscher 4, Etherington 3, Holmes 2); WC 6 (McKinney 3, Hoversten 2, Stoakes). Rebounds — WC 29 (Hoversten 13, Woodle 5, McKinney 4). Steals — WC 3 (Hoversten 2). Assists — WC 5 (Woodle 3, Hopp 2). Turnovers — WC 16. Team fouls — ALG 14, WC 8. Fouled out — none.