Icy offensive night costs WCHS girls in road loss

Lynx lethargic in first half, shoot just 25 percent; Hoversten leads way with eight points

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

ROCKWELL CITY — Nicole Muhlenbruch used words like complacent and shock as she sat at a lunchroom table just 10 steps outside of the South Central Calhoun gymnasium Tuesday night.

She was as confused as everybody else by what she’d witnessed. That wasn’t her team, not the one that had scratched and clawed through preseason practices and a difficult early-season schedule.

And now it’s back to the drawing board.

“I’ll be honest, (Tuesday night) was a shock to me,” Muhlenbruch, Webster City’s head girls basketball coach, said after the Lynx dropped a 43-36 decision to South Central Calhoun. “I’m completely blown away because it’s just not a good representation of who we are.”

Losing to the Titans (5-0) was nothing to be embarrassed about. They are undefeated after all. But it was the manner in which WCHS lost that drew Muhlenbruch’s ire.

Webster City’s Tatum Goings (left) knocks a pass away from South Central Calhoun’s Emma McKinney on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“We were really complacent,” she said. “With our shots, with our passes, with everything. Even if our shots aren’t falling, we’re usually really intense on defense.”

WCHS (2-3) shot just 25 percent from the floor (11 of 44) — it was worse, 17 percent (4 of 23) from behind the 3-point arc — and only 53 percent (10 of 19) at the free throw line. An improved second half in which the Lynx briefly took the lead for the first time wasn’t enough to overcome the shooting woes.

No Lynx player scored in double figures. Grace Hoversten led the way with eight points, all in the second half, and five rebounds. Taylor McKinney and Kelly Stoakes both notched seven points, and Leah Kasch finished with five.

Kasch scored all of the WCHS points in the first quarter — an eight-minute stretch in which SCC raced out to an 11-3 advantage.

SCC, meanwhile, received the majority of its scoring from three players. Freshman Riley Batta led all scorers with 13 points, Brielle Korleski pitched in 12 and Emma McKinney added 10 more.

Double teamed in the paint, WCHS guard Leah Kasch (20) whips the ball out to Morgan Gallentine against South Central Calhoun on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Taylor McKinney, the Lynx No. 1 offensive option, was blanketed with a box-and-1 defense and was never able to get on track. She leapt into the scoring column on a short jumper midway through the second quarter and then ended the period with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to pull WCHS within 23-16, but the Titans limited her to one second-half field goal.

McKinney’s 3 at the end of the first half started a 9-0 run that brought WCHS back into contention. Hoversten, who was saddled with foul problems early on, got in the offensive flow with a third-quarter triple and the Lynx closed the gap to 28-26.

Hoversten’s second 3, this one from the wing, pushed WCHS in front for the first time, 33-32, with 5:15 remaining. The Lynx eventually took a 35-34 advantage with four minutes left on the clock.

And then went quiet.

Stoakes provided the team’s only point down the stretch — a free throw with 31.7 ticks remaining that pulled WCHS within 37-36. But Kylee Schleisman, another SCC freshman who finished with eight points, rattled in two free throws, and Batta added four more in the closing 12 seconds to help the Titans pull away.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS went 3 of 7 at the stripe in the fourth quarter. SCC canned 7 of 8 attempts over the final eight minutes.

Jenna Miller came off the Lynx bench and registered six points and five rebounds. McKinney yanked down four boards, Kasch dished out three of the team’s four assists, and Hoversten and Tatum Goings had two steals each.

WCHS hopes Jeff Gym will provide the intensity needed to end a two-game slide Friday night. The Lynx will return to their old stomping grounds to take on St. Edmond at 6:15 p.m.

SCC 43, Webster City 36

Tuesday at Rockwell City

Webster City (2-3) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 3 0-2 7, Kelly Stoakes 1 5-8 7, Leah Kasch 1 3-4 5, Morgan Gallentine 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 3 0-1 8, Jenna Miller 2 1-2 6, Adalie Schwandt 1 1-2 3. Totals: 11 10-19 36.

South Central Calhoun (5-0) — Emma McKinney 3 4-6 10, Addisyn Korleski 0 0-0 0, Riley Batta 6 1-2 13, Sayer Steig 0 0-0 0, Sally Musselman 0 0-0 0, Kylee Schleisman 2 2-2 8, Brielle Korleski 4 1-2 12, Haley Stauter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 8-12 43.

Web City 3 13 10 10 — 36

SCC 11 12 5 15 — 43

3-point field goals — WC 4 (Hoversten 2, Miller, McKinney); SCC 5 (B. Korleski 3, Schleisman 2). Rebounds — WC 22 (Hoversten 5, Miller 5, McKinney 4). Steals — WC 7 (Goings 2, Hoversten 2). Assists — WC 4 (Kasch 3). Turnovers — WC 10. Team fouls — WC 14, SCC 16. Fouled out — SCC: B. Korleski.