Lynx surge, push No. 8 Boone to brink in opener

WCHS junior forward Adalie Schwandt (back) puts up a shot over Boone forward Katie Winter (32) during the first half Saturday afternoon in Boone. The No. 8-ranked (Class 4A) Toreadors held off WCHS, 48-44. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

BOONE — With rosy cheeks and her head cloaked in a black hooded sweatshirt, Taylor McKinney leaned forward, elbows on knees, and stared straight ahead as she dissected what might have been as afternoon turned to evening on Saturday.

Two years ago the Webster City junior point guard would have been thrilled to put a scare into a Top 10 team. But expectations, her own and those of her teammates, have changed.

Scaring good teams is no longer good enough.

“I think we should have won the game,” McKinney said bluntly after WCHS was unable to reel in eighth-ranked (Class 4A) Boone in a 48-44 season-opening loss on the Toreadors’ home floor. “We definitely had a chance to win, but it’s the first game and you’re going to make mistakes. It is what it is and you’ve got to learn and come back stronger the next game.”

The mistakes that proved most costly came during the final 5 minutes, 11 seconds of the third quarter — a stretch in which Boone (2-0) turned a 30-30 nail-biter into a 40-32 lead. The Toreadors ramped up the defensive intensity and the Lynx, with four new starters surrounding McKinney, grew flustered with each possession.

WCHS senior guard Zoey Woodle drives through the defense and to the bucket for a layup in the fourth quarter against Boone on Saturday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“They turned it up defensively and I think we really didn’t know what to do with that,” McKinney, who scored all seven of the Lynx points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 21, said. “We need to learn from that because we’re going to have pressure (in future games).”

Outside of those 311 seconds though, WCHS (0-1) stood toe to toe with Boone. Even after the Toreadors built their advantage to 10 on a Emmy Lewis circus shot 50 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Lynx refused to quit.

Instead, they rallied.

WCHS rattled off seven consecutive points — a short jumper by Adalie Schwandt for the first non-McKinney points of the second half, followed by a driving layup by Zoey Woodle and a step back 3-pointer from McKinney — to pull within 42-39 by the midway point of the period.

How did the Lynx climb back into contention? With full-court pressure defense of their own and a heck of a lot of grit. They limited Boone to just two field goals over the final eight minutes.

Webster City junior point guard Taylor McKinney is tripped up and fouled as she goes for a steal during the first half against Boone on Saturday. McKinney scored a game-high 21 points in the Lynx 48-44 loss to the No. 8-ranked (Class 4A) Toreadors. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

“For these girls to step in and play like that, I’m very pleased,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said, noting that her starting five was playing together for the first time. “In the fourth quarter, that’s a credit to the kids because they didn’t want to lose. They were fighting and they felt 100 percent that they were supposed to be the team that won.”

Down by five with 2:07 remaining, WCHS made it a one-possession game on a pair of free throws by Grace Hoversten. Two opportunities to climb within one went by the wayside though.

McKinney’s fourth triple of the game, a second-chance bomb from the left corner, trimmed Boone’s lead to 46-44 with 5.7 ticks remaining. WCHS fouled Emma Dighton coming out of a timeout, but the Toreadors’ sophomore leader calmly canned two free throws to put the game on ice with 3.7 seconds left.

Dighton went off for 18 points to lead the Toreadors. Katie Winter pumped in 14 on the interior, six of them during Boone’s third-quarter surge.

Hoversten scored seven of her nine points in the opening period, as she helped WCHS jump out to a 10-7 lead after eight minutes of action. She took advantage of Boone’s attention paid to McKinney and drained a 3 from the top of the key to put the Lynx in the lead.

WCHS forward Grace Hoversten (34) yanks down one of her 10 rebounds during the second half against Boone on Saturday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Hoversten led the team on the glass with 10 rebounds. She also collected three steals and two assists.

Woodle added nine points as well and Schwandt finished with five.

The two teams traded punches throughout the second quarter and went into the intermission locked at 25. After being held scoreless in the first period, McKinney caught fire with a pair of 3’s and eight second-quarter points.

Boone matched WCHS with five 3-pointers in the game. Madlyn Danner buried two, while Dighton, Lewis and Emily Ades all had one.

The Lynx will return to the road Tuesday night with a trip west to face Pocahontas Area in non-conference action. Tip-off is set for approximately 6:30 p.m.

Lynx freshman Kelly Stoakes (24) drives to the bucket during the first half on Saturday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Boone 48, Webster City 44

Saturday at Boone

Webster City (0-1) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 6 5-5 21, Atlanta Hopp 0 0-0 0, Zoey Woodle 3 3-5 9, Kelly Stoakes 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 2 4-5 9, Adalie Schwandt 2 1-2 5. Totals: 13 13-17 44.

Boone (2-0) — Madlyn Danner 2 0-0 6, Emily Ades 1 0-0 3, Ashley Behrendt 1 0-0 2, Emmy Lewis 2 0-0 5, Zoey Hightshoe 0 0-0 0, Emma Dighton 5 7-10 18, Katie Winter 7 0-0 14, Megan Osborn 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 7-10 48.

Webster City 10 15 7 12 — 44

Boone 7 18 15 8 — 48

3-point field goals — WC 5 (McKinney 4, Hoversten); Boone 5 (Danner 2, Ades, Lewis, Dighton). Rebounds — WC 25 (Hoversten 10, Woodle 6, Schwandt 4). Assists — WC 6 (Hoversten 2, Hopp 2). Steals — WC 6 (Hoversten 3). Turnovers — WC 8. Team fouls — WC 12, Boone 16. Fouled out — none.