UNANIMOUS, OF COURSE
Taylor McKinney earns her fourth all-NCC?accolade
WEBSTER CITY — They entered high school together, battled against each other for four years, and now they leave together.
Right on top.
Three of the premier girls’ basketball players in central Iowa, not to mention three of the biggest talents the North Central Conference has seen in years, all capped their careers with their fourth all-conference honors, it was announced on Sunday.
Webster City senior Taylor McKinney, Clear Lake senior Sara Faber, and Algona senior Abbey Holmes were all unanimous selections to the all-NCC first team. They were joined on the elite squad by Hampton-Dumont/CAL senior Courtney Miller, Clear Lake junior Chelsea Holck and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows junior Raven Kinnetz.
Over their prep basketball careers, McKinney, Faber and Holmes — all four-year starters and always in the spotlight — combined to score 4,212 points, a number that will increase next week when Faber and the second-ranked Lions compete in the Class 3A state tournament.
Faber takes the coveted No. 1 spot among the three with 1,517 career points to date. Holmes piled up 1,355 points, while McKinney landed with a WCHS 5-player school record 1,340 points.
Faber and McKinney both averaged 15.8 points per game over their tenures — Faber has played in 96 games to 85 for McKinney — and Holmes put up 14.7 a night over her four years in an Algona uniform (92 games).
McKinney earned the NCC scoring title in 2019-20 with 238 points over 14 league games, an average of 17.0, and she shot 49 percent from the floor. Faber was just six points behind (232) at 16.6 an outing, while Holmes was fourth (216 points, 15.4).
McKinney exits as arguably the most decorated girls’ basketball player in WCHS history. She owns seven single-game, single-season and career records, and it’s believed she also possesses the most 20- and 30-point games in the school’s 5-player history.
In addition to the career scoring title, McKinney also made the most 3-point field goals (188) and total field goals (469). In a season, she holds the 3-point field goal mark — 52, a feat she reached twice — and the top free throw percentage (86 percent). Her 40-point performance at Humboldt during her junior campaign is a single-game record, and the 11 3-pointers she drained against Pocahontas Area, also as a junior, is a record as well.
Grace Hoversten, also a WCHS senior, was one of the six players to be named to the all-NCC second team. In league contests, Hoversten averaged 9.4 points and 9.4 rebounds an outing.
McKinney and Hoversten both shot 79 percent from the free throw line against conference opponents, tied for fourth-best in the NCC.
WCHS and Humboldt finished tied for fifth in the final league standings. Clear Lake took home the crown, Hampton-Dumont/CAL was the runner-up, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows third and Algona fourth.
First Team — *Taylor McKinney, sr, Webster City; *Sara Faber, sr, Clear Lake; *Abbey Holmes, sr, Algona; Courtney Miller, sr, Hampton-Dumont/CAL; Chelsea Holck, jr, Clear Lake; Raven Kinnetz, jr, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.
*Denotes unanimous selection
Second Team — Grave Hoversten, sr, Webster City; Aliyah Buscher, sr, Algona; Mady Lange, sr, Humboldt; Jenny Wibholm, jr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Avery Hanson, soph, Hampton-Dumont/CAL; Lauren Meader, soph, Hampton-Dumont/CAL.
Third Team — Molly McCauley, sr, Algona; Julia Merfeld, sr, Clear Lake; Kendal Clark, jr, Humboldt; Darby Dodd, jr, Clear Lake; Morgan Middleton, jr, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows; Leah Neverman, jr, St. Edmond.