Turnovers the death knell for Lynx girls against ’Dogs
WCHS trims 22-point deficit to 9 in fourth quarter
HAMPTON — It was an opportunity for success, one Webster City let slip through its fingers under a torrent of turnovers Friday night.
When the Lynx cleaned up the mess, they made a run. But it was too little, too late.
Losers of eight of nine games entering the night, Hampton-Dumont jumped all over WCHS and built a 22-point third-quarter lead on its way to a 51-38 North Central Conference victory.
“I just thought we were maybe a step slower than them,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch surmised. “We didn’t recognize the opportunities we had out there.”
The Lynx (4-11, 2-8 NCC) piled up 20 turnovers on the night, 18 of them in the opening three quarters. They finally righted the ship in the fourth and closed to as close as nine points, but H-D (7-9, 6-4 NCC) never let it get closer.
Taylor McKinney scored a game-high 19 points for WCHS, eight of which came during a 12-2 fourth-quarter run that turned the seeming runaway into an interesting clash. The Lynx had three chances to trim their deficit to seven, but came up empty.
McKinney cashed in on five 3-point baskets, two of them in a 50-second span early in the fourth. She followed with a steal and layup to pull WCHS within 46-34 with 3:11 remaining.
The Lynx outscored H-D 13-7 in the final period and that allowed them to turn the tables with their own pressure defense. It was effective.
“In the fourth quarter we were the first ones to the ball,” Muhlenbruch said. “We disrupted them instead of them disrupting us.”
However, over the opening 24 minutes, it was a different story.
Utilizing a 1-2-2 trapping press and half-court defense, H-D had WCHS back on its heels throughout the first half. The Lynx didn’t register a field goal until a Kelly Stoakes 3 from the wing with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and they started 0 for 5 from the floor in each of the first two periods.
Muhlenbruch said the struggles came back to a lack of attack.
“If they trapped, we had to have somebody open and we had to attack the openings,” she said. “But we didn’t have girls driving to the basket and we didn’t have girls breaking to the open areas. We just kind of sat back and hoped someone would create something.”
WCHS connected on just 3 of 18 first-half shots — all three were triples, two of them by McKinney — and tallied 10 turnovers, as the Bulldogs took a 27-10 advantage into the break behind a slew of uncontested buckets off steals and five 3s.
The margin grew to 20 points for the first time on a steal and layup by Calista Polk with 3:45 remaining in the third. Polk paced H-D with 13 points and Briana Grove added 11 in her team’s victory.
Zoey Woodle notched seven points for WCHS, all of them coming in the second half. Grace Hoversten, who sat for much of the second quarter with two fouls, pitched in four points, seven rebounds and two assists. McKinney also had five steals and two assists.
Muhlenbruch knows it would be easy to linger on the loss, but she says that can’t happen if WCHS wants to try to rebuild itself prior to the start of the postseason in a few weeks.
“If we don’t put it behind us, it could dictate the rest of our season,” she said. “We can’t dwell on it too much. We have to learn from it and pick ourselves up.”
The next opportunity to do so will be Tuesday night when the Lynx host Clarion-Goldfield-Dows at 6:15 p.m.
Ham-Dumont 51, Webster City 38
Friday at Hampton
Webster City (4-11, 2-8 NCC) — Tatum Goings 0 1-2 1, Taylor McKinney 6 2-3 19, Atlanta Hopp 0 0-0 0, Zoey Woodle 2 3-4 7, Jenna Miller 0 0-0 0, Leah Kasch 1 0-0 2, Kelly Stoakes 1 0-0 3, Grace Hoversten 2 0-2 4, Adalie Schwandt 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 6-11 38.
Hampton-Dumont (7-9, 6-4 NCC) — Kaci Arjes 0 2-2 2, Alana Johnson 0 0-0 0, Maci Arjes 0 0-0 0, Calista Polk 5 0-2 13, Courtney Miller 2 1-3 6, Jalissa Moore 0 0-0 0, Avery Hanson 1 0-0 2, Briana Grover 3 5-8 11, Paige Springer 3 0-0 8. Totals: 18 9-17 51.
Webster City 4 6 15 13 — 38
H-Dumont 11 16 17 7 — 51
3-point field goals — WC 6 (McKinney 5, Stoakes); H-D 6 (Polk 3, Springer 2, Miller). Rebounds — WC 24 (Hoversten 7, Schwandt 6). Steals — WC 10 (McKinney 5). Assists — WC 7 (McKinney 2, Hoversten 2). Turnovers — WC 20. Team fouls — WC 13, H-D 13. Fouled out — none.