ONE BAD MATCH-UP
’Cats shoot lights out (again) to bounce Lynx from substate
HUMBOLDT — Third verse, same as the first. The second one too, for that matter.
No matter how you try to spin it or dissect it, Humboldt is simply a bad match-up for Webster City, a fact that was proven yet again in the third meeting of the season on Monday in a Class 3A Substate 2 quarterfinal round contest.
Multiple offensive flurries — a 20-2 burst in the first half, followed by a 13-0 spurt in the second half — turned the postseason affair into a blowout, as Humboldt humbled WCHS yet again, 78-45, to advance to the substate semifinals.
The Wildcats (14-7), who will face Algona (16-6) on Thursday, outscored WCHS (8-12) by 75 points this season, an average of 25 points per game. Two of those confrontations were decided by 33 and 32 points, the Lynx two worst losses of the season.
“They create such a nightmare match-up for us,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said following Monday’s setback. “I know they’ve had some nights where they haven’t played the greatest, but I’ve watched them multiple times, along with playing them three times, and they’re good.”
For whatever reason, the basket appears to be as big as the ocean for Humboldt when it steps onto the floor with WCHS. The Wildcats shot 65 percent (31 of 48), including 62 percent from behind the 3-point arc (8 of 13) on Monday. Throw the three-game series together and — are you ready for this? — Humboldt shot 68 percent (86 of 126) overall and 58 percent (28 of 48) from 3.
Yeah, there’s not a lot the Lynx could do against that.
WCHS attempted to thwart the Wildcats’ outside bombers with pressure man-to-man defense, but that left the Lynx vulnerable inside and Humboldt forward Sam Fischer took advantage with a game-high 16 points.
And after knocking down just two 3s in the first half, Humboldt erupted for six over the final 16 minutes. Will Orness splashed in four for all 12 of his points, and Trevor Jacobson canned three en route to 12 more points. Throw in Caden Matson’s driving ability, which led to 15 points, and WCHS simply had no chance.
“The couple times we played them (in the regular season), we played zone and they hit some shots,” McKinney said. “So we thought our best match-up was man-to-man to try to make their shooters put it on the floor and hope we could handle things inside. But Fischer is good. He made some nice moves, he’s smooth and he can finish with both hands. And then they hit some 3s in the second half.”
The game got away from WCHS over a stretch of 9:18 in the first half when Humboldt stepped on the accelerator. The Wildcats finished the first period on a 13-2 burst and then scored the opening seven points of the second to push their lead to 29-11.
A Tyler Olson bucket from the right block ended Humboldt’s 9-0 run with 1:15 to go in the first, but the Lynx then went more than seven minutes before they scored again. Trey Lyons finally ended the futility with another basket from the paint.
Turnovers — not a lot, but just enough to change the complexion of the game — and Humboldt’s ability to score in transition left WCHS in the rearview mirror.
“We knew we had to play a really clean game offensively where we limited possessions and limited turnovers,” McKinney said. “I don’t think we had a lot (in the first half), but the ones we had they capitalized on.
“At times defensively we weren’t too bad … but offensively we struggled. They were very physical and that’s something we know we’ve got to be better at moving forward.”
WCHS connected on 41 percent of its shots (19 of 46), but was a dismal 2 of 17 (12 percent) from 3.
Down by 15, 33-18, at the half, WCHS got as close as 13 following a Ty McKinney 3 from the wing early in the third quarter. But Humboldt again answered with a haymaker — 13 straight points over the next 3:35 — and increased its advantage to 24 points, 57-33, entering the fourth.
And that was all she wrote.
Olson, one of three seniors on the Lynx roster, scored 13 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jamin Stuhr added 10 and five boards on the inside, while Ty McKinney (eight) and Tavis Eklund (seven) combined for 15 more points. McKinney also registered three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The senior class of Olson, Eklund and Lyons may not have had the type of success it wanted this winter, but McKinney says the trio represented the school and program the right way.
“It’s a great group of kids,” he said. “No matter what the result was (on Monday) and even all season, I’ll vouch for all three of those kids any day. They’re fun to be around and they battled through a tough season. I’m very proud to be a part of their lives and to have been able to coach them.”
Humboldt 78, Webster City 45
Class 3A Substate 2 Quarterfinal
Monday at Humboldt
Webster City (8-12) — Tyler Olson 6 1-2 13, Jayce Neuroth 0 0-0 0, Devon Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Ty McKinney 3 1-1 8, Trey Lyons 1 0-0 2, Isaac Haule 0 0-0 0, Tavis Eklund 3 0-0 7, Briar Klaver 0 1-2 1, Jaime Grossoehme 1 0-0 2, Jamin Stuhr 4 2-2 10, Beau Klaver 1 0-1 2, Cody Kolbeck 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 5-8 45.
Humboldt (14-7) — Will Orness 4 0-0 12, Gabe Gidel 2 2-2 6, Caden Matson 6 3-5 15, Trevor Jacobson 4 1-2 12, Sam Fischer 8 0-0 16, Joshua Thurm 0 0-0 0, Jake Lenning 0 2-2 2, Jacob Heier 3 0-2 6, Carter Hatcher 0 0-0 0, Hayden Holm 0 0-0 0, Aiden Christensen 1 0-0 3, Troy Gerjets 1 0-0 2, Noah Skow 0 0-0 0, Ben Kuehnast 2 0-0 4. Totals: 31 8-13 78.
Webster City 11 7 15 12 — 45
Humboldt 22 11 24 21 — 78
3-point field goals — WC 2 (McKinney, Eklund); HUM 8 (Orness 4, Jacobson 3, Christensen). Rebounds — WC 16 (Stuhr 5, Olson 4). Steals — WC 6 (McKinney 3, Olson 2). Assists — WC 8 (McKinney 3). Turnovers — WC 13. Team fouls — WC 11, HUM 17. Fouled out — none.