THRICE AS NICE
McKinney, Olson and Eklund earn all-NCC honors
WEBSTER CITY — Ty McKinney may be just a sophomore, but he was the coach on the court for the Webster City boys’ basketball team this winter.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. He is a coach’s son, after all. It’s in his DNA.
Put it all together — his statistics, his leadership and the emotional push he gave the Lynx — and it’s not hard to see why he was rewarded by the North Central Conference coaches at season’s end.
McKinney, a first-year starter at point guard for WCHS, was named to the all-NCC second team. Senior teammates Tyler Olson and Tavis Eklund were third-team selections.
The first team was littered with the top offensive players in the league. Scoring champion Karson Sharar (22.3 points per game) of Iowa Falls-Alden, as well as Clear Lake’s Carson Toebe (18.9 ppg) and Andrew Formanek (17.8 ppg) — Nos. 2 and 3 on the leaderboard — were all unanimous choices. Algona’s Noah Nelson and Garrett Goche, and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows’ Connor State rounded out the top unit.
“Every one of those guys on that first team were elite and they deserve the honor,” WCHS head coach Marty McKinney said.
McKinney, Olson and Eklund all averaged in double figures, as did WCHS junior forward Jamin Stuhr. That balance may actually have hurt the Lynx when it came time to dole out postseason honors.
“We had four guys that were close in stats and that makes it difficult,” Marty McKinney said. “Honestly, I’d like to think all four of those guys were deserving of all-conference, but we didn’t win enough games to be able to get four guys. That’s just the way it is.”
Ty McKinney was the unquestioned heartbeat. He led the way in scoring at 11.6 points a night, and was also second on the team in rebounding (4.5 per game), assists (3.8) and steals (1.5).
“You look at his stats and maybe they don’t jump out at you, but he was solid at everything,” Marty McKinney said of his son. “Then you add the leadership, something that isn’t a stat … that’s important.”
Olson, a second-team all-NCC pick in 2020, did a little bit of everything. He ranked 16th in the conference in scoring (10.8), third in steals (2.4), fourth in assists (3.9) and 23rd in rebounds (4.2). And when the three-year starter decided to take over, the Lynx thrived.
“Tyler did all of those little things for us,” Marty McKinney said. “And when Tyler was good, we were good. When he took over games, especially getting us going at the defensive end, is when we played our best basketball.”
Eklund, also a two-time all-NCC selection, missed several games in early January due to an ankle injury, and WCHS suffered during his absence. One of the premier outside shooters in the league, he averaged 11.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Eklund canned 40 3-pointers and shot 41.7 percent from behind the arc during his senior season. Eklund made 128 3s over his three years in the Lynx lineup, which is believed to be the second-most in program history behind multiple-time all-state guard Brock Jacobson, who cashed in on 193 triples over his career.
“Tavis drew so much attention because of the way he shoots the ball,” Marty McKinney said. “He was a pure shooter and this year he also got to the free throw line more.”
All-NCC Boys Basketball
First Team — *Andrew Formanek, sr, Clear Lake; *Karson Sharar, sr, Iowa Falls-Alden; *Carson Toebe, jr, Clear Lake; Noah Nelson, sr, Algona; Garrett Goche, jr, Algona; Connor State, jr, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows.
Second Team — Sam Fischer, sr, Humboldt; Gabe Gidel, sr, Humboldt; Mateo Martinez, sr, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows; Eric Ritter, sr, Clear Lake; Tyler Manske, jr, Algona; Ty McKinney, soph, Webster City.
Third Team — Tavis Eklund, sr, Webster City; Tyler Olson, sr, Webster City; Kyle Simpson, sr, Algona; James Wartick, sr, Algona; Caden Matson, jr, Humboldt; Hayden Meyer, jr, St. Edmond.