Cadets use 14-0 run to pull away from Lynx
WCHS prepared for Sharar, not Weaver
WEBSTER CITY — It’s a safe bet that not many, if any, of the Webster City boys’ basketball players could pick Iowa Falls-Alden sophomore Sam Weaver out of a lineup prior to Friday’s North Central Conference contest inside the WCHS gymnasium.
But after 32 minutes in which Weaver tormented the Lynx, it’s now a safe bet those same WCHS players will never forget his face.
Weaver was that good.
Playing Robin to Karson Sharar’s Batman, Weaver played a pivotal role in the Cadets’ 64-54 victory, their second of the season over WCHS. Weaver scored a career-high 21 points, eight of which came in a game-deciding 14-0 fourth-quarter run.
“You’ve got to give him credit because the kid had the game of his life,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said of Weaver, who went 7 of 9 from the floor, including 4 or 4 from behind the 3-point arc. “He’s a good player and we didn’t identify him well after he knocked down a couple of shots.”
Weaver had only scored in double figures twice this season and entered Friday’s tilt averaging 6.5 points per game. He didn’t see the floor when the two teams met in Iowa Falls on Jan. 10.
But Weaver made his presence known early on. He scored 12 first-half points to help IF-A (10-7, 7-5 NCC) build a 32-28 lead and then took over in the fourth quarter.
With the game knotted at 49, Weaver buried a triple from the left corner to ignite the 14-point spurt by the Cadets. Two possessions later he canned a 3 from the opposite corner to extend the cushion to 55-49, and later knocked down a pair of free throws.
Sharar, a junior and the league’s leading scorer at 22.7 a night, poured in a game-high 27 points, 14 of them coming in the second half. He joined Weaver with four 3-point baskets.
“Sharar is going to get his and we knew that,” McKinney said. “But we didn’t want him to get 27 unless he had to take a lot of shots. We wanted to try to limit the rest of them, but they had a kid (Weaver) step up.”
WCHS (10-7, 7-5) took a 47-46 lead after three quarters on a triple from Tavis Eklund just before the buzzer, but Sharar quickly erased it with a three-point play on the opening possession of the fourth.
The Lynx went more than five minutes of the fourth quarter without scoring. Carter Neuroth finally put an end to the drought with a 3 from the left wing with 57 seconds remaining, but it was too little, too late.
Turnovers plagued WCHS throughout the contest, particularly in the fourth period when mistakes led to three consecutive baskets for the Cadets. The Lynx piled up 17 turnovers in all, way too many to be successful, McKinney said.
“They’re just killers,” he said. “The effort was really good … we had guys on the floor, guys rebounding the ball. But you can’t turn the ball over that many times and beat the good teams on your schedule.”
Four turnovers in the game’s opening three minutes allowed IF-A to race out to an 8-2 lead, all eight points coming from Sharar. WCHS played mistake-free over the final five minutes of the period and drew even at 15 on a Neuroth bucket in the final seconds.
Neuroth also connected on a drive to the basket in the waning moments of the second quarter to get WCHS within four. Neuroth led the Lynx with 19 points, including all seven of the team’s fourth-quarter points.
Tyler Olson added 11 points and four rebounds in a losing effort. Eklund rained in three 3s for nine points, and Drake Doering added seven points before he fouled out late in the contest.
WCHS will attempt to rebound on Tuesday with a road trip to Humboldt.
“We’re going to keep battling and we’re not going to quit, that’s for sure,” McKinney said. “We’ll go to work Monday and get ready for Humboldt.”
IF-Alden 64, Webster City 54
Friday at Webster City
Iowa Falls-Alden (10-7, 7-5 NCC) — Brody Steinfeldt 1 0-0 2, Blake Janssen 2 2-2 7, Karson Sharar 11 1-1 27, Sam Weaver 7 3-4 21, Logan Aldinger 1 0-0 3, Garret Renaud 2 0-1 4, Zach Schutt 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 6-8 64.
Webster City (10-7, 7-5 NCC) — Ty McKinney 0 0-0 0, Drake Doering 3 0-0 7, Tavis Eklund 3 0-0 9, Tyler Olson 5 0-0 11, Carter Neuroth 8 2-2 19, Elijah Killian 0 0-0 0, Lincoln LaSourd 0 0-0 0, Jamin Stuhr 2 0-2 4, Casey Kolbeck 0 0-0 0, Will Tasler 2 0-0 4. Totals: 23 2-4 54.
IF-Alden 15 17 14 18 — 64
Web. City 15 13 19 7 — 54
3-point field goals — IF-A 10 (Sharar 4, Weaver 4, Janssen, Aldinger); WC 6 (Eklund 3, Doering, Olson, Neuroth). Rebounds — WC 24 (Olson 4, Stuhr 4). Steals — WC 3. Assists — WC 11 (Doering 2, LaSourd 2, McKinney 2, Neuroth 2). Turnovers — WC 17. Team fouls — IF-A 10, WC 11. Fouled out — WC: Doering.