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No. 5 Lions continue to flex NCC muscles

Lynx have no answer for Clear Lake’s balanced attack

Webster City’s Alley Odland (14) eyes the basket from the lane against fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Clear Lake on Friday in Clear Lake. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

CLEAR LAKE — Nicole Muhlenbruch looked at the rebounding numbers Friday night and chuckled.

“They didn’t give us many chances to rebound the ball,” Muhlenbruch, the head girls’ basketball coach at Webster City, said of Clear Lake’s 32-11 edge. “They made so many shots … I mean, what are you going to do?”

She’s not wrong.

Look, there’s a reason why fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Clear Lake is seemingly the North Central Conference favorite each November. For 32 minutes against WCHS, the Lions showed why that’s the case.

Clear Lake (10-1, 6-0 NCC) scored how it wanted, when it wanted and cruised by the Lynx, 74-27. The Lions feasted off their pick and roll sets, consistently made the extra pass to get a better look at the bucket and never let their foot off the gas to keep WCHS (1-6, 0-4 NCC) winless in league play.

WCHS senior Leah Kasch (left) looks to score in transition during the first half against Clear Lake on Friday in Clear Lake. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“They’re just really good,” Muhlenbruch said. “You can play really good defense and they’re going to pick it apart. We tried to hedge, we tried to do those things but it just didn’t work. Yeah, we had some mental lapses and mistakes, but I’m not disappointed in our defense because I know the type of team we were up against.”

Clear Lake opened up a 17-3 lead after one quarter and pushed the margin to 27 points, 40-13, by the half. The final 15 minutes were played under a continuous clock after the Lions’ lead reached 35 points.

Clear Lake cashed in on eight 3-point baskets, five of them coming in the opening half. The Lions constantly brought a forward out of the paint to screen at the top of the key, and either rolled to the basket for an easy look, or the driver kicked to open teammates on either the wing or in the corner.

Chelsey Holck and Jaden Ainley both scored 17 points for the Lions. Holck buried three of her team’s triples, as did Ali Maulsby, who finished with 10 points.

WCHS had troubles against Clear Lake’s full-court press in the early going, but managed to keep the Lions out of their transition game for the most part. But Clear Lake was equally menacing with its half-court defense, which rarely gave the Lynx a clean look at the bucket.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Leah Kasch had the Lynx lone first-quarter field goal en route to a team-high eight points. Jenna Miller finished with six points and three rebounds. Livia Kasch hit the team’s only triple — a splash landing from the left corner midway through the second period — and notched four points.

WCHS will be back at home this evening to take on Humboldt at 7:45 p.m.

Clear Lake 74, Webster City 27

Friday at Clear Lake

Webster City (1-6, 0-4 NCC) — Fallon Casey 0 2-2 2, Kelly Stoakes 0 1-4 1, Alley Odland 1 1-4 3, Leah Kasch 4 0-1 8, Dasha Sankey 0 0-0 0, Aurora Weidemann 0 0-0 0, Shelby Queen 0 0-0 0, Abby Gallentine 0 0-0 0, Livia Kasch 1 1-2 4, Jenna Miller 3 0-1 6, Trinity Griffith 0 0-0 0, Reese Casey 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 5-14 26.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Clear Lake (10-1, 6-0 NCC) — Jordan Mayland 0 0-0 0, Darby Dodd 1 0-0 3, Ali Maulsby 3 1-2 10, Layne Lester 0 0-0 0, Chelsey Holck 7 0-0 17, Jaden Ainley 8 1-1 17, Emily Theiss 1 2-2 4, Autumn VanHorn 2 1-2 5, Kaitlyn VanderPloeg 2 0-0 4, Ashlyn Fread 1 2-2 5, Zoe Fasbender 0 0-0 0, Ava Richtsmeier 1 1-2 3, Macey Holck 0 0-0 0, Xada Johnson 3 0-0 6, Annika Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 8-11 74.

Web City 3 10 4 10 — 27

Clear Lake 17 23 21 13 — 74

3-point field goals — WC 1 (Li. Kasch); CL 8 (Maulsby 3, C. Holck 3, Dodd, Fread). Rebounds — 11 (Miller 3). Steals — WC 3. Assists — WC 3 (Stoakes 2). Turnovers — 18. Team fouls — WC 8, CL 15. Fouled out — none.

DFJ photo/Troy Banning

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