Lynx show flash on offense, blast Indians by 23

WCHS senior guard Drake Doering (10) beats the Pocahontas Area defense and scores in transition during the Lynx 77-54 win on Tuesday. Doering was one of four WCHS players in double figures; he finished with 11 points. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — To coin a phrase, this isn’t Marty McKinney 2.0. Webster City’s longtime boys’ basketball coach is almost always going to preach a defense-first approach with a methodical offensive mindset predicated on limiting mistakes and efficiency.

But McKinney is also practical. He knows that, sometimes, you simply have to play to your strengths.

In other words, this season may look a bit different than every other one in which he’s been the guy calling the shots.

“For me this is way different,” McKinney said following Webster City’s season-opening 77-54 rout of Pocahontas Area inside the WCHS gymnasium Tuesday night. “You’ve got to play to your strengths and this team’s strength is going to be playing faster.”

WCHS (1-0) shot 48 percent overall (29 of 60), canned 11 3-pointers and scored the most points in a regular season game under McKinney’s guidance in running the Indians (0-1) out of the gym. It was the third-most points ever scored by a McKinney team, falling behind only two squads that put up 82 in district wins during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

WCHS senior Carter Neuroth (center) goes to the floor for a steal on Tuesday. He scored 22 points in a 77-54 win over Pocahontas Area. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

And nobody thrived in the up-tempo, free-wheeling style more than senior point guard Carter Neuroth, who gouged Pocahontas Area for 22 points on 9 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 4 from behind the arc. Neuroth relentlessly took the ball to the bucket and when the Indians backed off, he happily dialed it up from long distance.

“I knew he’d thrive a little more in this style,” McKinney said of Neuroth, who scored 11 points in each half. “He’s comfortable attacking the basket and if he can consistently knock down that outside jumper then you’ve got to pick your poison with him. He’s a confident player and I’ve challenged him hard these first couple weeks.”

Tavis Eklund (12 points), Drake Doering (11) and Tyler Olson (10) all scored in double figures as well for the Lynx, who took a slim 34-30 halftime lead and extended it to 20 after three quarters behind a 15-2 run to start the period. Eklund did the majority of his damage with three 3s, and Doering capitalized on two more.

WCHS had 17 assists on its 29 baskets, which was one of the first things McKinney noticed as he looked over the statistics afterwards. Doering had six of them and Olson added three.

Olson also collected eight rebounds, and Will Tasler pulled down seven to go along with four points. Ty McKinney came off the bench and notched six points at the charity stripe.

Webster City’s Will Tasler (42) powers the ball up for a basket during the first half of the Lynx win over Pocahontas Area on Tuesday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“Tyler Olson and Will Tasler did a nice job of attacking the boards and getting us second chances,” Marty McKinney said. “We’ve got to do the little things well with this team … there’s talent there, but we’ve got to work hard in every aspect. We were pleased with the little things (Tuesday night).”

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses though. At times, particularly in the first half, there were moments of frustration with lazy passes, out of control fast breaks and lackadaisical defense. WCHS committed 18 turnovers in the contest and gave the Indians too many easy looks at the basket, in McKinney’s opinion.

“I wasn’t overly pleased with our transition defense,” he said. “We let them attack the rim too easy, so we’ve got some things we have to fix.”

WCHS ramped up its defense in the second half and limited Pocahontas Area to just six points over the initial 10 minutes.

Christian Davidson led the Indians with 13 points.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WCHS will face a tougher test on Tuesday when it travels to Rockwell City to take on a South Central Calhoun team (2-0) that rocked South Hamilton, 65-41, on Tuesday.

Webster City 77, Poc. Area 54

Tuesday at Webster City

Pocahontas Area (0-1) — Chris Meyer 1 0-1 3, Trey Oehlertz 3 2-5 8, Cooper Christians 3 2-2 8, Mike Vonnahme 0 0-0 0, Cade Henrickson 0 2-2 2, Chase Cook 1 1-1 3, Ryan Anderson 2 0-0 4, Tyson Peterson 2 0-1 5, Christian Davidson 6 0-0 13, Luke Vanderham 3 1-1 7, Luke Crosgrove 0 1-2 1, Joe Hopkins 0 0-0 0, Gavin Ehn 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 9-15.

Webster City (1-0) — Ty McKinney 0 6-6 6, Drake Doering 4 1-2 11, Trey Lyons 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 4 1-2 12, Tyler Olson 5 0-1 10, Carter Neuroth 9 0-1 22, Elijah Killian 0 0-0 0, Lincoln LaSourd 2 0-0 4, Heath Patterson 1 0-0 2, Casey Kolbeck 1 0-0 3, Will Tasler 2 0-0 4, Nick Hackbarth 1 0-3 3. Totals: 29 8-15 77.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Poch. Area 9 21 6 18 — 54

Web City 18 16 22 21 — 77

3-point field goals — PA 3 (Meyer, Peterson, Davidson); WC 11 (Neuroth 4, Eklund 3, Doering 2, Hackbarth, Kolbeck). Rebounds — WC 32 (Olson 8, Tasler 7). Steals — WC 10 (Olson 5). Assists — WC 17 (Doering 6, Olson 3). Turnovers — WC 18. Team fouls — PA 17, WC 20. Fouled out — none.