Lynx rebounding struggles continue in loss to Titans

Tough night shooting also contributes to setback; Steen and Eklund score 14, 12

Webster City sophomore Tavis Eklund scores in transition following a steal during the second half against South Central Calhoun Tuesday night. Eklund poured in 12 points in a 56-44 loss to the Titans. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — Rebounding is all about grit, will and want more than anything else. And, right now, the Webster City boys’ basketball team is still trying to find all three.

For the second time in as many outings, the Lynx had a tough time crashing the glass and were overwhelmed by a larger, more physical opponent inside the WCHS gymnasium Tuesday night.

South Central Calhoun (4-1) attacked the boards at both ends relentlessly and turned nine offensive rebounds into a slew of points in its 56-44 win over the Lynx. The Titans owned a 26-18 rebounding advantage overall.

“That’s two games in a row that’s happened to us,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. “We’re not huge … Henry (Hoversten) is big and Dylan (Steen) has got some size, but the rest of our guys aren’t real big. But it’s not an excuse we’re going to be able to use. It’s a huge key that is keeping us from being successful.”

With so many new faces on the court for WCHS, there’s still a tentativeness, particularly when it comes to the boards. McKinney says too many guys are watching rather than attacking when the ball comes off the rim.

WCHS guard Carter Neuroth drives the baseline while being defended by South Central Calhoun’s Zane Neubaum on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“We’ve got to have five guys and right now I don’t think we’ve got the mentality of five guys going to the boards,” he said. “We were much better in the second half (Tuesday night), but in the first half they were getting three and sometimes four looks.”

South Central Calhoun rode those rebounds to a 31-20 halftime lead. The Titans went on a 9-2 run over the final 31⁄2 minutes of the second quarter after WCHS (0-2) had pulled to within four on a driving bucket by Steen.

It was a tough outing at the offensive end for the Lynx as well. They shot just 33 percent (15 of 45) overall and 18 percent (4 of 22) from behind the 3-point arc.

South Central Calhoun collapsed two and three defenders on Hoversten inside the paint and that left the Lynx with the option to chuck it up from long distance. Tavis Eklund buried two 3-pointers in the first quarter, the second at the buzzer to pull WCHS within 15-12, and Drake Doering added two more triples.

“We’ve got to be better offensively,” McKinney said. “About half of our 3’s were good looks and the other half were forced and quick. We’re going to take a lot of 3’s with the attention Henry is going to get, but they’ve got to come off ball movement, kick-outs and drives and kicks.”

WCHS sophomore Tyler Olson (20) sails in for an uncontested layup following a steal in the first half against South Central Calhoun on Tuesday. It was Olson’s only bucket; he led the Lynx on the glass with seven rebounds. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Hoversten was noticeably frustrated down low. The 6-foot-6 senior was limited to just one free throw in the first half and only two field goals on the night. He finished with eight points.

“Henry knows he’s going to get a lot of attention,” McKinney said. “The good thing is he’s going to come back from this and he’s going to work his butt off. He’s not going to pout about it.”

Steen led WCHS with 14 points and Eklund turned in a career-high 12. Tyler Olson had just one bucket, but the sophomore guard was the most active Lynx player on the glass with seven rebounds.

Behind a monster 24-point performance from Zane Neubaum, South Central Calhoun built its lead to as big as 18 points by the end of the third quarter.

WCHS slowly whittled away and reduced its deficit to nine points on three occasions in the fourth, but could get no closer. Three straight points from Hoversten, followed by an Eklund steal and layup made it 47-36 with four minutes remaining. Steen banked in a jumper from the right wing to get the Lynx within 49-40 with 2:55 to go.

Henry Hoversten (40) takes an off balance shot from the paint during the first quarter against South Central Calhoun on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Jared Birks (13 points) also scored in double figures for the Titans, who have only a 72-58 blemish against what is sure to be a highly-ranked (Class 2A) South Hamilton team when the initial Associated Press poll is released next week.

WCHS will travel to Fort Dodge to take on St. Edmond on Friday.

SC Calhoun 56, Webster City 44

Tuesday at Webster City

SC Calhoun (4-1) — Landon Schleisman 0 0-0 0, Matthew Clark 2 2-3 7, Cole Corey 0 0-0 0, Zane Neubaum 10 2-5 24, Jared Birks 6 1-1 13, Jacob Nicholson 1 0-0 2, Sam Musselman 1 0-0 2, Homer Martz 0 0-0 0, Brennan Holder 3 0-0 8. Totals: 23 5-9 56.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Webster City (0-2) — Dylan Steen 4 6-6 14, Drake Doering 2 0-0 6, Nathan Ferrell 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 5 0-0 12, Tyler Olson 1 0-0 2, Carter Neuroth 1 0-0 2, Henry Hoversten 2 4-6 8. Totals: 15 10-12 44.

SC Calhoun 15 16 14 11 — 56

Webster City 12 8 7 17 — 44

3-point field goals — SCC 5 (Neubaum 2, Holder, Clark); WC 4 (Doering 2, Eklund 2). Rebounds — WC 18 (Olson 7, Steen 4). Steals — WC 10 (Neuroth 3). Assists — WC 10 (Olson 3). Turnovers — WC 11. Team fouls — SCC 10, WC 11. Fouled out — none.