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Algona comes to life late in win over Lynx

ALGONA — Good teams find a way to get it done.

And, right now, there might not be a better boys’ basketball team in the North Central Conference than Algona.

Coming off a victory over ninth-ranked (Class 3A) Clear Lake last week, the Bulldogs trailed Webster City throughout most of the opening three quarters Tuesday night. But that all changed in the final period.

Algona outscored WCHS 22-11 over the final eight minutes and seized control for a 56-46 win. The Bulldogs (15-6, 11-3 NCC) were able to solve the Lynx 2-3 zone and created the cushion they needed with a 7-0 spurt to gain the upper-hand.

“They came out in the fourth quarter and made some plays,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said. “Our zone was pretty good most of the night, but we had some breakdowns on the back end on a few possessions early (in the fourth quarter) and just couldn’t get the stops we needed.

“They’ve won 15 games for a reason. They came out and out-played us in the fourth quarter.”

Relying on the outside shot throughout, WCHS (6-11, 4-9 NCC) went nearly four minutes without a bucket in the fourth. Jamin Stuhr finally broke the spell with back-to-back baskets to close the gap to two points, 41-39, but Algona responded with six of the next eight points.

WCHS led 14-11 after one period, 19-18 at the half and 35-34 going into the fourth. McKinney’s club rained in eight 3-pointers — three each from Tyler Olson and Tavis Eklund, and two from Jayce Neuroth off the bench.

The Lynx went on a 12-2 run in the first quarter, and then added a 13-2 flurry in the final minutes of the third to build a four-point lead, 35-31.

Eklund led WCHS with 15 points and four rebounds. Olson kicked in 13 points, three rebounds, four steals and three assists. Stuhr added 10 points.

“Defensively, Tyler was pretty active, and something we wanted to establish was getting him going offensively,” McKinney said. “It was good to see because we’re going to lean on him going forward.”

Neuroth was particularly solid off the bench as well. In addition to his two triples and six points, he repeatedly drove the ball into the lane and kicked to open teammates.

“Jayce was great and he’s been playing really well,” McKinney said. “He’s played his way into the lineup.”

Algona’s Kyle Simpson led all scorers with 20 points. He scored the Bulldogs’ initial seven points of the third quarter and finished the stanza with 12. Aggressive inside, he attacked the boards, as Algona collected 11 offensive rebounds and scored 15 second-chance points.

Tyler Manske added 12 points for the Bulldogs and James Wartick finished with eight. Wartick scored back-to-back baskets in the paint early in the fourth quarter to give Algona the lead for good, and Manske cashed in on a pair of three-point plays in the fourth.

Algona owned an 11-0 scoring advantage at the free throw line. WCHS was whistled for 16 fouls, while the Bulldogs were tagged with only five.

The Lynx will host Boone this evening and will then wrap up the regular season at Hampton-Dumont/CAL on Friday. They’ll open the postseason with a 3A substate quarterfinal at Humboldt on Monday.

Algona 56, Webster City 46

Tuesday at Algona

Webster City (6-11, 4-9 NCC) — Tyler Olson 5 0-0 13, Jayce Neuroth 2 0-0 6, Devon Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Ty McKinney 1 0-0 2, Trey Lyons 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 6 0-0 15, Jamin Stuhr 5 0-2 10, Beau Klaver 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 0-2 46.

Algona (15-6, 11-3 NCC ) — Noah Nelson 1 4-4 6, Kyle Simpson 9 0-0 20, Garrett Goche 1 3-3 5, James Wartick 4 0-3 8, Tyler Manske 5 2-3 12, Aaron Weringa 1 2-2 5, Nick Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 11-15 56.

Webster City 14 5 16 11 — 46

Algona 11 7 16 22 — 56

3-point field goals — WC 8 (Olson 3, Eklund 3, Neuroth 2); Algona 3 (Simpson 2, Weringa). Rebounds — WC 15 (Eklund 4, Olson 3, Stuhr 3). Steals — WC 8 (Olson 4). Assists — WC 14 (Olson 3, Neuroth 3). Turnovers — WC 11. Team fouls — WC 16, Algona 5. Fouled out — none.

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