WCHS girls go cold in 2nd half, lose to Algona

WEBSTER CITY – With each game come more questions. And time is running out to find the answers.

The issues were offensive execution and rebounding on Friday for the Webster City girls’ basketball team in a 53-30 North Central Conference setback against Algona inside the WCHS gymnasium.

The Lynx – who dropped their fourth straight league tussle – were whipped on the glass, and they never found a cohesive strategy to score consistently against a more athletic Bulldog team that won for the sixth time in seven contests.

Algona (9-4, 7-3 NCC) used a 9-2 third quarter run to put the game out of reach. It built the lead to as many as 25 points, at 47-22 with 4:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, when head coach Michael Ford called off the dogs and gave his starters the remainder of the night off.

“We’re just not executing the offense,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “The offense we’re running out on the court doesn’t look like the offense we’re running in practice we’re making it hard on (ourselves) because we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

That was less apparent in the opening half when WCHS (2-9, 2-8 NCC) knocked down nine of its 14 field goals. Shots falling masked the stagnant sets, but for only so long.

An Emily Elm 3-pointer from the wing pulled the Lynx to within 17-14 midway through the second quarter, but Algona closed the half on a 13-6 run – anchored by a pair of buckets from Abby Strohman and a 3 from the corner by Paige Yi just before the buzzer – to extend the Bulldogs’ cushion to 11, 31-20.

The third quarter proved to be the Lynx undoing. A short jumper from Rachel Kauffman accounted for the team’s only points at the midpoint, and they went nearly eight minutes before Kelsey Lindmark ended the drought with a driving bucket.

WCHS turned the ball over 21 times on the night – 15 coming in the second half. The Lynx shot 14 of 51 (27 percent) and managed just two assists.

Rachel Teague led Algona with 16 points, 12 coming in the first half. Strohman produced 11 and Yi finished with seven.

Kauffman scored eight points to go along with three steals for the Lynx. Cambria Hoffmann chipped in six – four in the first quarter – and Hannah Myers came off the bench to add five and a team-high nine rebounds.

It was the fifth time this season that WCHS failed to produce a double-digit scorer.

Algona’s second-half success was helped by a 9-0 scoring advantage at the foul line. The Bulldogs shot 10 more free throws than the Lynx (17-7) and outscored the hosts 12-1.

“We just don’t challenge the defense enough,” Muhlenbruch said. “We don’t take the ball hard enough to the basket.”

WCHS will attempt to end its recent run of conference misfortune on Tuesday at Clear Lake, but it will be far from easy. The Lions put on a full-court display when the two teams met in Webster City back on Dec. 4, leading to a 53-12 Lions’ victory.

No. 4 W-SR girls show no mercy versus Lynx

WAVERLY – A 24-0 first-quarter run by fourth-ranked (Class 4A) Waverly-Shell Rock was just a sign of things to come here Saturday evening.

The Go-Hawks (12-1) never really relented in a 71-12 rout of Webster City (2-10).

“They’re very good and they deserve to be rated,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “But we can learn a lot just by playing them.”

WCHS was limited to just five field goals. Hannah Myers scored four points. Cambria Hoffmann collected five steals.

Aftin Phyfe and Naomi Phillips led W-SR with 15 points each.