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Lynx cough up 12-point first-half lead, fall to Carroll in opener

Turnovers, rebounding big problems; McKinney scores 18, inches within 11 of 1,000

Webster City sophomore Kelly Stoakes (right) scraps with Carroll’s Gabriella Hammer for a loose ball during the first half on Monday in Carroll. The Lynx opened their season with a 49-42 loss to the Tigers. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

CARROLL — Coulda shoulda woulda.

Webster City coulda rebounded the ball better than it did in its season opening girls’ basketball game Monday night. It shoulda been more secure with the ball.

The Lynx woulda won had they done both of those things. Instead, they exited the Carroll High School gymnasium with a 49-42 loss to the Tigers and plenty of valuable lessons learned following the first step of what will be a three-month long trek.

“This just gives us something to work on,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said as she sat in the empty gymnasium and decompressed following the contest. “It’s like I told the girls, this is one of 20-something ballgames and they have to have short-term memories on some things.”

WCHS (0-1) led 18-6 with 2:40 remaining in the second quarter, but then crumbled against Carroll’s full-court pressure defense that keyed a 20-0 Tigers’ flurry over the next 51⁄2 minutes. Carroll ended the first half on an 8-0 run to build momentum and then reeled off the initial 12 points of the second half to take the lead for good.

WCHS guard Taylor McKinney cans a running floater over Carroll’s Kennedy Lein (14) in the first half on Monday. McKinney scored 18 points to move to within 11 points of 1,000 for her career. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Foul trouble played a big role in the Lynx woes. Their own press created scoring opportunities early in the second period, but it also led to plenty of whistles. Starters Grace Hoversten, Adalie Schwandt and Kelly Stoakes, as well as reserves Morgan Gallentine and Jenna Miller were all forced to the bench with two fouls over the final three minutes of the first half and Carroll took advantage.

“It’s a catch-22 where you’re darned if you do and you’re darned if you don’t,” Muhlenbruch said when asked if she contemplated putting her starters back on the floor late in the first half. “When you have Schwandt and Grace and Kelly on the bench, that’s tough. It’s not that the other girls don’t do a great job, but we need them out on the court.

“We’ve got to move our feet better and play more with our feet rather than our hands or body.”

Carroll came up with 16 steals and forced WCHS into more than 30 turnovers. The Tigers also controlled the boards, sometimes getting four and five cracks at the basket. They collected 16 offensive rebounds on the night.

An offensively challenged first quarter ended with WCHS in front, 4-3. After an 0 for 5 start from the floor, Lynx senior guard Taylor McKinney caught fire in the second and lit the Tigers up for 10 points to help WCHS build its 12-point cushion. McKinney tossed in a pair of running floaters and also rained in two 3-pointers as part of a 14-1 run.

WCHS forward Jenna Miller (40) attempts to save the ball as she sails out of bounds during the second half against Carroll on Monday in Carroll. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

McKinney, who entered the night needing 29 points to become the first 5-on-5 player in WCHS history to reach 1,000 career points, finished with a team-high 18 to go along with five rebounds. She’ll look to score the 11 points needed to reach the milestone on Saturday in front of the home crowd when the Lynx host 15th-ranked (Class 4A) Boone at 4 p.m.

Hoversten added 14 points and nine rebounds. The senior forward had all of the Lynx first-quarter points and eight of the team’s 12 third-quarter points. McKinney, meanwhile, notched 10 of the 14 second-quarter and eight of the 12 fourth-quarter points.

Now WCHS just needs Hoversten and McKinney to get on the same page at the same time.

“Both of them have very strong presence out there and if you get both of their presence working together, it’s going to be good,” Muhlenbruch said.

Gallentine provided a spark off the bench with six points and eight caroms.

Lynx head coach Nichole Muhlenbruch (left) offers encouragement to senior Tatum Goings during Monday’s 49-42 loss to Carroll. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“I thought Morgan Gallentine played extremely well out there,” Muhlenbruch said.

Trailing by as many as eight points in the second half, WCHS closed to within one early in the fourth quarter on a McKinney three-point play. She scored five points in succession later in the stanza to trim Carroll’s advantage to 43-40 and WCHS had three straight possessions with a chance to pull closer, but turned the ball over all three times.

The Tigers made just eight of 20 free throws, but connected on enough over the final two minutes to keep WCHS at bay. The Lynx went 11 of 12 at the charity stripe.

Carroll’s Ella Collison led all scorers with 19 points, eight of which came in the third quarter when the Tigers outscored WCHS 22-12.

Stoakes and Schwandt both had two points in the loss. Stoakes dished out four of the Lynx eight assists, while Miller had two of the team’s four steals.

WCHS forward Adalie Schwandt scores over Carroll’s Ashley Onken (42). DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS was without Leah Kasch, who watched from the end of the bench in street clothes after suffering an injury in the team’s jamboree against Fort Dodge last week. She’s expected to be ready to go on Saturday.

Kasch’s absence was felt. While attempting to rally late, the Lynx were noticeably winded over the final few minutes.

“You can do all the conditioning you want in practice, but it’s still not like being in a game,” Muhlenbruch said. “Leah is a spark off the bench, she brings that energy. When she’s back, it’s going to be nice to have her in the rotation.”

Carroll 49, Webster City 42

Monday at Carroll

Webster City (0-1) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 6 3-3 18, Kelly Stoakes 0 2-3 2, Morgan Gallentine 2 2-2 6, Kaylyn Anderson 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 5 4-4 14, Jenna Miller 0 0-0 0, Adalie Schwandt 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 11-12 42.

Carroll (1-0) — Kelsie Reicks 2 0-0 5, Laura Sweeney 1 0-1 2, Kennedy Lein 0 2-2 2, Ella Collison 7 5-9 19, Hannah Jorgensen 0 0-0 0, Gabi Hammer 4 0-4 10, Josie Ayala 1 0-0 2, Ashley Onken 4 1-4 9. Totals: 19 8-20 49.

Webster City 4 14 12 12 — 42

Carroll 3 11 22 13 — 49

3-point field goals — WC 3 (McKinney 3); CAR 3 (Hammer 2, Reicks). Rebounds — WC 28 (Hoversten 9, Gallentine 8, McKinney 5). Steals — WC 4 (Miller 2). Assists — WC 8 (Stoakes 4). Turnovers — WC 32. Team fouls — WC 19, CAR 15. Fouled out — none.

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