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THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Lynx travel to Spencer for regional quarters tonight

WCHS senior Jenna Miller (40) drives toward the basket against CGD last week. Miller leads the Lynx in scoring on the season. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — A long road trip awaits the Webster City girls’ basketball team in its postseason opener this evening.

Fresh off arguably its best performance of the season in a 38-22 win over South Hardin last Thursday, the Lynx (3-15) will trek to the northwest to Spencer to take on the Tigers (14-7) in a Class 4A Region 8 quarterfinal at 7 p.m.

The winner will advance to Saturday’s regional semifinal round against No. 9-ranked Harlan (15-5) on the Cyclones’ home floor in Harlan. Eighth-ranked Denison-Schleswig (17-4) resides on the top half of the bracket and is the region’s No. 1 seed.

Imposing its methodical style by limiting turnovers and possessions for Spencer will be imperative for WCHS if it wants to pull the upset, and the scheme has been advantageous over the past several weeks. In their last seven games, the Lynx have limited their opponents to 39.7 points per game, and no foe has reached 50 points.

Spencer will look to crack that streak. The Tigers average 58.1 points per game on the season and enter the postseason on a three-game winning streak — a stretch in which they’ve put up 62.7 points on average. The late-season flurry began with a 77-46 rout of South Central Calhoun.

“We can’t let them draw us into their pace of the game,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “We need to stick with what’s been working for us and how we’ve been trying to run our game these last few weeks. As long as we limit the other team’s possessions, we can keep the game within striking distance.”

Spencer is led by junior Allison Piercy, who averages 14.9 points per game while shooting 55 percent from the field. Sophomore Jade Piercy follows at 11.7 points a night, and junior Alexa Johnson is on the cusp of reaching double figures with a 9.7 points per game average.

Veterans Jenna Miller, Kelly Stoakes and Leah Kasch have been the catalysts for WCHS at both ends of the floor throughout the season. Miller leads the way at 8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Stoakes puts up 8.3 points per outing, and Kasch checks in at 7.5 a night.

Miller, a forward, has led the Lynx in scoring in eight of the last 10 games, and she’s reached double figures five times over that stretch.

“She’s just playing with a senior disposition,” Muhlenbruch said of Miller. “She’s going to do what it takes to help this team be successful.”

Webster City (3-15) at Spencer (14-7)

What: Class 4A Region 8 quarterfinal

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Where: Spencer

At Stake: A trip to the regional semifinal to face No. 9-ranked Harlan (15-5) on Saturday in Harlan.

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