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WCHS hopes to turn tables on Humboldt in 3A substate quarterfinal

Tip-off this evening set for 7 p.m.

WEBSTER CITY — A favorite opinion of coaches is that it’s always hard to beat a team three times in the same season.

Webster City boys’ basketball head coach Marty McKinney has certainly spouted those words over the years. He’s hopeful that mantra will be proven correct this evening, as the Lynx will open up the postseason with a Class 3A Substate 2 quarterfinal at Humboldt. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The winner will advance to Thursday’s substate semifinal against either Algona (15-6) or Boone (6-14) in Algona.

Humboldt (13-7) handled WCHS (8-11) twice during the regular season — 82-50 and 65-55. The Lynx were without starting point guard Ty McKinney in the first meeting, but the second encounter featured an early 17-1 outburst by the Wildcats and WCHS was never able to catch up.

So what is the path to pulling the upset for WCHS? For starters, the Lynx will need their best performance of the season against a Humboldt squad that has an array of offensive weapons. The Wildcats led the North Central Conference in scoring at 64 points per game.

“It’s pick your poison with them because they shoot the ball so well from the outside and then they have guys on the inside,” McKinney said. “So it’s a tough task defensively.”

WCHS will certainly have to be better than it’s previously been. Humboldt shot a combined 70.5 percent in the previous two meetings (55 of 78), including 57 percent from behind the 3-point line (20 of 35).

McKinney says limiting Humboldt’s looks from the perimeter will be priority No. 1.

“They really get going when they’re hitting the outside shot, so we’ve got to guard the line first,” he said. “We have to know where their shooters are and make sure they don’t get clean looks.”

Sam Fisher (11.5 points per game) and Gabe Gidel (10.4) lead Humboldt, while Caden Matson (9.7), Will Orness (9.5) and Trevor Jacobson (7.8) all help to provide balance.

WCHS has four players that average in double figures — Tavis Eklund (11.9), Ty McKinney (11.8), Jamin Stuhr (11.1) and Tyler Olson (10.6). They’ll need help this evening from Trey Lyons on the perimeter, as well as bench production from Devon Stoakes, Jayce Neuroth and Beau Klaver.

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