Consistency keeps Lynx a step ahead of CGD
CLARION — All Marty McKinney ever wants from his Webster City boys’ basketball team is a consistent four-quarter effort. He’ll live with the outcome, whatever it may be.
But he knows that, more times than not, a complete performance will translate into success.
And that’s exactly what WCHS did Tuesday night.
On the attack offensively from the opening tip to the final horn, the Lynx dissected Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ pressure defense and gave the scoreboard a workout in a 73-64 North Central Conference win.
WCHS (10-6, 7-4 NCC) scored 18, 19, 18 and 18 points in each of the four quarters. How’s that for consistency?
“Consistency has been the word for a while with this group,” McKinney, the Lynx head coach, said. “I thought our kids did a really nice job of playing the full four quarters. We handled their runs well and always got that next basket or that next stop.”
An overtime winner over CGD (7-12, 3-9 NCC) in the first meeting early last month, WCHS trailed for only one possession, which came at the 2:40 mark of the second quarter. The Lynx followed that one and only deficit with an 8-0 spurt and the Cowboys were forced to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Tavis Eklund led WCHS with 16 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter when the Lynx led by as many as 16. Tyler Olson and Carter Neuroth pitched in 15 points each, and Jamin Stuhr came off the bench to give the team a fourth double-digit scorer with 12.
“We want to be balanced and we’re tougher to defend when we’re getting everybody going,” McKinney said. “Tavis struggled early on, but once he got a couple to go down his confidence shot way up.”
Olson was the glue guy throughout the contest. He never scored in bunches, rather a bucket here and a bucket there. He also grabbed seven rebounds, collected four steals and dished out four assists, all team highs.
“Tyler does a little bit of everything,” McKinney said. “When he’s engaged, his passing is really good. He just does so many things on the floor for us that make him so valuable.”
Up 55-46 after three quarters courtesy of an 11-2 run over a 21⁄2-minute stretch late in the period, WCHS smashed the accelerator to the floor early in the fourth. Eklund buried two of his four 3-pointers over the final eight minutes, the second of which upped the Lynx margin to 68-52 with 3:10 remaining. Neuroth also joined the fun with a triple of his own from the corner during the flurry.
CGD, which has now dropped seven straight games and nine of its last 10, climbed to within single digits on a 3 by Mateo Martinez right before the final buzzer.
Sophomore center Connor State led CGD and all scorers with 22 points. He was a big reason why the Lynx were unable to pull away prior to the fourth quarter, as he used his length to control the middle.
“He’s a good player and we knew it coming in,” McKinney said of State. “I thought we did OK, but the second-chance points were just killers. But overall I thought we battled all night.”
Martinez also reached double figures with 12 points, while Jaxon Carpenter (nine points) and Coady Olson (eight points) combined for 17 more.
WCHS sliced through the Cowboys’ press early in the clash and built a 14-4 lead just five minutes in.
“We’re fairly confident going up against a press because we were playing four guards,” McKinney said. “We wanted to attack in transition, whether it was against the press or after getting defensive stops, and I thought we really did a nice job of getting a numbers advantage and then finishing at the offensive end.”
Will Tasler registered six points and six rebounds on the inside for WCHS. Drake Doering drained a 3 and had five points.
The Lynx will return home to take on Iowa Falls-Alden Friday night.
Webster City 73, CGD 64
Tuesday at Clarion
Webster City (10-6, 7-4 NCC) — Ty McKinney 0 2-2 2, Drake Doering 2 0-0 5, Tavis Eklund 5 2-3 16, Tyler Olson 6 2-2 15, Carter Neuroth 5 3-6 15, Lincoln LaSourd 1 0-0 2, Jamin Stuhr 5 2-3 12, Will Tasler 3 0-0 6. Totals: 27 11-16 73.
CGD (7-12, 3-9 NCC) — Christian Gaytan 1 1-2 3, Mateo Martinez 5 0-0 12, Coady Olson 3 2-2 8, Jaxon Carpenter 4 0-3 9, Aiden Harrington 1 0-0 2, Devin Morales 0 0-0 0, Cael Chase 2 0-0 4, Connor State 10 2-4 22, Nevan Foss 1 0-0 2, Kaden Bricker 0 2-2 2. Totals: 27 7-13 64.
Web. City 18 19 18 18 — 73
CGD 13 17 16 18 — 64
3-point field goals — WC 8 (Eklund 4, Neuroth 2, Doering, Olson); CGD 3 (Martinez 2, Carpenter). Rebounds — WC 25 (Olson 7, Tasler 6). Steals — WC 8 (Olson 4). Assists — WC 12 (Olson 4, Doering 3). Turnovers — WC 12. Team fouls — WC 14, CGD 20. Fouled out — none.