Lynx know an ugly win is still a win
McKinney scores 11, breaks another record against Gaels
WEBSTER CITY — Nicole Muhlenbruch has watched her Webster City girls’ basketball team play well, only to come up on the short end of the stick plenty of times this season.
A win, any win, makes her smile. If it comes on a night that isn’t perfect, that’s fine.
WCHS didn’t have its best performance, probably not even close on Monday, but it found ways to survive and sweep the two-game season series from North Central Conference rival Fort Dodge St. Edmond.
“To not play our best and to still come out with a win, you have to be happy about that,” Muhlenbruch said after the Lynx fended off the Gaels, 32-26. “It was a tough game. It’s a Monday and the last two weeks haven’t been normal with the schedule, but we got it done.”
With Erin Flattery doing it all, St. Edmond (2-17, 1-12 NCC) stayed within striking distance until the bitter end. The Gaels fell behind by as many as eight points on multiple occasions, but each time found a run behind Flattery’s game-high 18 points to keep WCHS on its toes.
Flattery’s final bucket of the game, a bank from the right block, pulled St. Edmond within four points with just over a minute remaining. But Zoey Woodle answered for WCHS (6-13, 4-8 NCC) at the other end with a drive and kiss off the glass to push the margin back to six.
St. Edmond got only one more look at the basket with under 20 seconds remaining.
Woodle scored six points and collected a team-high five rebounds. Taylor McKinney led the Lynx with 11 points and five steals. Atlanta Hopp, Jenna Miller and Adalie Schwandt all added four points.
Miller and Schwandt came down with four rebounds each.
McKinney became the WCHS all-time leader (5-player) in field goals made at the 5:03 mark of the first quarter. A steal underneath the St. Edmond basket started a coast-to-coast layup for career make No. 324, which pushed her past Kayleigh Epps.
The first of McKinney’s two 3-pointers from the top of the key with under five seconds remaining in the first half gave WCHS an 18-15 lead at the break.
McKinney’s triple ignited an 8-0 run that carried over into the third quarter that gave WCHS its biggest lead of the night. But St. Edmond scored seven of the final nine points to close to within 25-23 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Lynx played more than 18 minutes of the game without junior forward Grace Hoversten, who is second on the team in scoring behind McKinney. Hoversten picked up her second foul midway through the first quarter and then watched the final 13-plus minutes of the half from the bench.
Hoversten was whistled for her fourth foul early in the final period and was forced to take a seat for five more minutes.
Her absence took a toll at both ends of the court. Her scoring and rebounding were both missed.
“When you sit half of the first quarter and all of the second quarter, you get out of sync,” Muhlenbruch said. “So it was hard for her.”
A total of 28 fouls were called and neither team was able to play the aggressive defense they desired.
“If was hard,” Muhlenbruch said. “We’re not a real physical team, but we try to be up in their face, but we couldn’t because (the referees) were calling everything a foul.”
WCHS was back at home last night to take on Humboldt. The Lynx have also added a non-conference home game against South Hamilton on Thursday. The freshman/junior varsity/varsity tripleheader will get underway at 4:30 p.m. The varsity contest is expected to tip-off around 7:30 p.m.
Webster City 32, St. Edmond 26
Monday at Webster City
St. Edmond (2-17, 1-12 NCC) — Abby Landwehr 0 0-0 0, Macey Mason 0 0-0 0, Jacque Oberg 1 0-0 2, Cambrie McBride 2 0-0 4, Erin Flattery 7 4-7 18, Leah Neverman 0 0-0 0, Devyn Scott 1 0-0 2, Brea McNeil 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 4-7 26.
Webster City (6-13, 4-8 NCC) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 4 1-2 11, Atlanta Hopp 2 0-0 4, Zoey Woodle 2 2-2 6, Jenna Miller 2 0-0 4, Leah Kasch 0 0-0 0, Kelly Stoakes 1 0-1 2, Morgan Gallentine 0 1-2 1, Grace Hoversten 0 0-0 0, Adalie Schwandt 1 2-5 4. Totals: 12 6-12 32.
St. Edmond 8 7 7 4 — 26
Webster City 12 6 7 7 — 32
3-point field goals — WC 2 (McKinney 2). Rebounds — WC 19 (Woodle 5, Miller 4, Schwandt 4). Steals — WC 9 (McKinney 5). Assists — WC 6 (Hoversten 3). Turnovers — WC 10. Team fouls — SE 16, WC 12. Fouled out — none.