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Fast start carries ’Cats past Lynx

WEBSTER CITY — Marty McKinney could see it coming, which is why he took a quick timeout just one minute into Friday night’s North Central Conference contest inside the WCHS gymnasium. His vision was on point, but he was powerless to stop it.

Webster City trailed Humboldt 6-0 at that first stoppage, but it did nothing to slow down the Wildcats, as they opened the contest on a 17-1 flurry and never trailed in a 65-55 win over the Lynx.

Humboldt (12-6, 9-4 NCC) hit 3-pointers, scored in transition and carved up the Lynx zone defense with baseline back cuts that led to layups. The Wildcats did what they wanted, when they wanted over the opening five minutes and that was ballgame.

“They came out and hit shots and just did what they wanted to do,” McKinney, the Lynx head coach, said. “We fought back, but when you fall that far behind it takes a lot of effort to even give yourself a chance.

“We’ve got to find a way to start better against better teams. I thought we were ready to go and the kids were excited, but defensively we had too many breakdowns.”

The Lynx 16-point deficit was trimmed to 13 by the end of the first quarter and eventually receded to five, 25-20, following an 8-0 run in the second quarter. WCHS (6-10, 4-8 NCC) finally found its own touch from the perimeter, as Ty McKinney and Tavis Eklund canned triples, and the Lynx entered the break trailing by only six, 28-22.

And yet every time WCHS made a charge, Humboldt had the answer.

Will Orness drained three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter, the last of which ignited a 7-0 run that increased the Wildcats’ lead back to double digits after WCHS had closed to within three.

The Lynx missed their first seven shots of the fourth period before McKinney ended the drought with a 3 from the corner. The sophomore scored on a drive to the bucket later to get WCHS back to within six, 51-45, but Humboldt slowly shut the door by draining 8 of 11 free throws over the final 2:18.

McKinney led WCHS with 18 points and Jamin Stuhr had another efficient night inside the paint with 17 points on 7 of 9 from the field to go along with six rebounds. The Lynx shot 39 percent,.

Eklund added eight points and four assists, and Tyler Olson finished with seven points, four assists and three steals.

Orness (18 points), Gabe Gidel (18) and Caden Matson (11) combined for 47 points for the Wildcats, who out-rebounded WCHS 31-12. But it wasn’t like the Lynx had many opportunities to pound the glass, as the Wildcats shot a blistering 61 percent.

Humboldt 65, Webster City 55

Friday at Webster City

Humboldt (12-6, 9-4 NCC) — Will Orness 5 4-6 18, Gabe Gidel 7 2-3 18, Caden Matson 3 5-5 11, Trevor Jacobson 1 0-0 3, Sam Fischer 3 1-2 8, Jacob Heier 1 0-0 2, Carter Hatcher 0 0-0 0, Aiden Christensen 0 0-0 0, Ben Kuehnast 2 1-2 5. Totals: 22 13-18 65.

Webster City (6-10, 4-8 NCC) — Tyler Olson 1 4-5 7, Ty McKinney 7 2-5 18, Trey Lyons 1 0-0 3, Tavis Eklund 2 2-2 8, Jamin Stuhr 7 3-3 17, Jayce Neuroth 1 0-0 2, Devon Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Beau Klaver 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 11-15 55.

Humboldt 21 7 19 18 — 65

Web City 8 14 16 17 — 55

3-point field goals — HUM 8 (Orness 4, Gidel 2, Jacobson, Fischer); WC 6 (McKinney 2, Eklund 2, Olson, Lyons). Rebounds — WC 12 (Stuhr 6). Steals — WC 8 (Olson 3, McKinney 3). Assists — WC 14 (Olson 4, McKinney 4, Eklund 4). Turnovers — WC 8. Team fouls — HUM 16, WC 16. Fouled out — HUM: Matson.

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