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Unbothered by the score, Lynx scratch and claw to the end against Boone

Webster City senior forward Jenna Miller (40) yanks a rebound away from Boone’s Morgan Kathman (23) during the first half Friday night in Boone. Miller scored 11 points and she was one of three Lynx players in double figures in a 62-46 season-opening loss to the Toreadors. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

BOONE — The edge during the first three minutes and final nine minutes went to Webster City in the girls’ basketball season opener here Friday night.

Those middle 20 minutes were all Boone though, as the Toreadors scored in bunches and exploited the Lynx inexperience to seize control.

Boone finished the first quarter on a 15-2 run and extended the outburst to 28-4 by the three-minute mark of the second en route to a 62-46 victory.

The Toreadors led by as many as 28 points late in the third, but WCHS refused to wave the white flag.

They scratched. They clawed. And they gave their coach Nicole Muhlenbruch plenty to smile about despite the lopsided outcome.

WCHS junior Kelly Stoakes looks for an outlet as she gets trapped on the baseline during Friday’s season opener against Boone. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“I’m disappointed we lost, but I’m not disappointed by what I saw out on the court,” Muhlenbruch, in her ninth year in charge of the program, said. “If they’re giving that type of effort all the time, things will start falling in our favor because they battled.

“That’s what our practices look like. They’re that intense. They want to play hard and they just fight. I don’t even know if they were paying attention to the score.”

Jenna Miller and Kelly Stoakes both scored 11 points to lead WCHS. Stoakes unleashed an eight-point flurry — two free throws, a 3-pointer from the wing and a three-point play in transition — to give WCHS an early 10-3 lead.

The Lynx (0-1) caught Boone (1-0) off guard early on with a full-court press and it opened up some scoring opportunities. But the adrenaline quickly wore off, and Toreador senior guard Emma Dighton took over as WCHS began to lag behind.

Dighton banged home a 3 to ignite the Boone comeback and the Toreadors eventually took an 18-12 lead after one quarter. The 3s continued to fall in the second; Boone finished the half with four, three of them by Morgan Kathman, to help extend the cushion to 20 points, 36-16.

Lynx guard Alley Odland has the ball stripped as she drives into the lane during the first half against Boone on Friday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Dighton led all scorers with 21 points.

“Emma is a really good ball player and I can’t wait until she graduates,” Muhlenbruch said with a chuckle. “You can’t take anything away from her.”

WCHS struggled in its half-court offense, particularly throughout the first half, and had 12 turnovers in the game’s opening 16 minutes. Muhlenbruch attributed a lot of that to the team’s inexperience.

“I knew that was going to be a struggle,” she said. “We’re young. We only have one starter back (Stoakes) and two other girls (Miller and Leah Kasch) that have played varsity. I was just yanking kids off the bench and throwing them out there, and toward the end of the game they settled down.”

Alley Odland — a third WCHS scorer in double figures with 10 points — started the late-game rally with back-to-back steals and lay-ups in the final minute of the third period. The Lynx reeled off 10 straight points to get its deficit under 20, and they outscored Boone 17-9 in the fourth quarter.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Leah Kasch chipped in eight points and Livia Kasch finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists in her first start. Miller also yanked down five rebounds, while Stoakes and Odland had three steals each.

Emily Ades (11 points) and Brenna Vote (10 points) joined Dighton in double figures for Boone.

WCHS will make its home debut against Carroll this evening at 7:30 p.m. After that, it’s anybody’s guess as to when the club will step onto the floor again. WCHS is scheduled to go to an all-virtual learning program on Nov. 30, which will suspend all athletics until the school resumes in-person classes.

“We’re probably the fortunate ones because we’re going to get to play two games,” Muhlenbruch said. “It’s super emotional for all of us, but we just have to take advantage of the two games we have and what we can gain from those.”

Boone 62, Webster City 46

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Friday at Boone

Webster City (0-1) — Chloe Andersen 0 0-0 0, Kelly Stoakes 2 6-7 11, Kayley Wibholm 0 0-0 0, Alley Odland 5 0-1 10, Leah Kasch 4 0-1 8, Abby Gallentine 0 0-0 0, Livia Kasch 2 2-2 6, Jenna Miller 5 1-2 11, Trinity Griffith 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 9-13 46.

Boone (1-0) — Hannah Chesnut 0 0-0 0, Emily Ades 5 0-0 11, Brenna Vote 5 0-0 10, Morgan Kathman 3 0-0 9, Zoey Hightshoe 3 3-4 9, Emma Dighton 8 3-6 21, Audrey Castle 0 2-2 2. Totals: 24 8-13 62.

Web City 12 4 13 17 — 46

Boone 18 18 17 9 — 62

3-point field goals — WC 1 (Stoakes); Boone 6 (Kathman 3, Dighton 2, Ades). Rebounds — WC 19 (Li. Kasch 5, Miller 5); Boone 28. Steals — WC 10 (Stoakes 3, Odland 3). Assists — WC 8 (Li. Kasch 3). Turnovers — WC 16.

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