WCHS never trails Cougars, ends month-long skid
WEBSTER CITY — Adalie Schwandt tipped the ball right to Grace Hoversten, who quickly fired a dart to a streaking Zoey Woodle down the right side of the court.
Two dribbles and a layup. And Webster City was off to the races before five seconds had even ticked off the clock.
WCHS led 5-0, and then 10-2, and never looked back in a wire-to-wire 47-31 victory over Manson-Northwest Webster Tuesday night. It was the Lynx first win since Dec. 7 and ended a four-game slide where, at times, the players started to question themselves.
But the smile on Woodle’s face as she embraced head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch on the sideline in the closing moments of the rout said everything. WCHS (3-7) is no longer troubled by the past. It’s onward and upward from here.
“All of the teams we’ve played have been really tough, so it’s good to finally play well for the whole game and not just short periods of time,” Woodle said after producing nine points, five rebounds and three assists. “We’re not really worried about the past. It’s a new year, so we’re trying to look forward.”
The turn of the calendar provided Woodle, a senior guard, with an opportunity to reshape her game. Since the Lynx returned from break, she’s found a new level of aggressiveness at the offensive end that has served her and the team well.
“During the Christmas break, the coaches met with us and told us what they’d like us to do, and they wanted me to try to contribute more on the offensive end,” Woodle said. “So that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Adalie Schwandt picked up her production as well on the interior and notched seven points to go along with five rebounds in the win.
“I really like it when both (Woodle and Schwandt) attack the basket because then it gives them opportunities to score and it frees up Taylor (McKinney) and Grace (Hoversten),” Muhlenbruch said. “It was nice to see both of them rebounding like that as well.”
McKinney led all scorers with 16 points and the junior also was a defensive menace with seven steals. The Cougars (3-7) hounded her on the perimeter, but that left open driving lanes for her to exploit. McKinney got to the free throw line six times and was perfect.
“We told (McKinney) that they weren’t going to let her shoot the 3, so she attacked the basket and she shoots free throws extremely well,” Muhlenbruch said. “Points are points.”
McKinney also dished out three assists.
Hoversten added eight points, six coming from outside the arc, and a game-high eight boards.
WCHS led 12-5 after one quarter and 22-11 at the break thanks to a 7-2 run over the final two minutes of the second period. The lead grew to as big as 14 in the third on one of McKinney’s steals and a breakaway layup.
Manson-Northwest Webster (3-7) had trouble with the Lynx 2-2-1 full-court press and was never able to find a rhythm at the offensive end.
“We wanted to disrupt them and make sure they couldn’t get anything set up,” Muhlenbruch said. “In our previous games, we hadn’t been able to run much of a press, but we thought this might be an opportunity.”
Schwandt scored twice from close range, Kelly Stoakes rained in a 3 from the corner, and Woodle dropped in a shot on a drive to the bucket to help push the Lynx advantage to 22 points in the fourth quarter before Muhlenbruch emptied her bench for the final two minutes.
WCHS shot just 31 percent from the floor (16 of 51), but turned the ball over only 10 times and limited the Cougars to single digits scoring in three of the four quarters.
“The girls needed the win and the coaches needed the win,” Muhlenbruch said. “It was nice to capitalize on playing well.”
Manson-Northwest Webster was led by Sadie Snell and Sarah Peters, who scored six points each.
WCHS will head to Humboldt for a North Central Conference contest Friday night.
Webster City 47, Man-NW Web 31
Tuesday at Webster City
Manson-NW Webster (3-7) — Emma Wood 0 0-0 0, Samantha Ruhland 1 1-2 3, Savannah Michalski 1 1-2 4, Ashley McLuckie 0 0-0 0, Chloe Troshynski 1 0-0 3, Natalie Pearson 0 0-0 0, Sadie Snell 3 0-0 6, Bailey Kenyon 1 2-2 4, Briley Condon 0 0-0 0, Sophie Herzberg 1 0-0 3, Sarah Peters 3 0-0 6, Autumn Marsh 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 4-6 31.
Webster City (3-7) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 5 6-6 16, Atlanta Hopp 1 0-0 2, Zoey Woodle 2 5-6 9, Jenna Miller 1 0-0 2, Leah Kasch 0 0-0 0, Kelly Stoakes 1 0-0 3, Morgan Gallentine 0 0-0 0, Kaylyn Anderson 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 3 0-0 8, Allie Carr 0 0-0 0, Adalie Schwandt 3 1-3 7. Totals: 16 12-15 47.
M-NW Web 5 6 9 11 — 31
Webster City 12 10 10 15 — 47
3-point field goals — MAN 3 (Michalski, Troshynski, Herzberg); WC 3 (Hoversten 2, Stoakes). Rebounds — WC 23 (Hoversten 8, Woodle 5, Schwandt 5). Steals — WC 12 (McKinney 7). Assists — WC 10 (Woodle 3, McKinney 3). Turnovers — WC 8. Team fouls — MAN 16, WC 13. Fouled out — none.