WCHS girls let lead slip away, fall to BG

WEBSTER CITY – Oh, the dreaded drought.

The Webster City girls’ basketball team did plenty of things right against Algona Bishop Garrigan inside the WCHS gym last night, but when the Lynx needed to score late they simply couldn’t find the bottom of the net in a physical North Central Conference contest won by the Golden Bears, 42-39.

Back-to-back baskets by Cambria Hoffmann gave Webster City a 34-33 lead with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining, but then the Lynx went cold and didn’t hit another bucket until just 10 seconds remained.

It was similar – albeit a shorter drought – to last Friday when WCHS went the final 12-plus minutes without a field goal in a loss to Clarion-Goldfield.

“If you can figure it out, please let me know,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said when asked about her team’s penchant to go cold for long stretches. “I don’t think the girls panicked (last night), I just think – as you watch teams on TV – everyone hits that dry spell, and it’s how you react to it that matters.”

Garrigan (8-10, 6-9 NCC) – which avenged a loss to the Lynx in December – knocked down its free throws late to preserve a lead. The Golden Bears went 8 of 10 over the final 1:04, and they were 14 of 18 overall.

“They shoot something like 58 percent from the line, but (last night) they made them,” Muhlenbruch said. “So it’s tough.”

The brawling nature of the contest – both teams had players leave the game with injuries after collisions – worked in the Lynx favor, as they built a 13-7 lead after one quarter and extended it to 25-19 at the half.

Hoffmann had her best offensive performance of the season with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. She scored nine of her points in the first half, and then did everything she could over the final 16 minutes to keep WCHS in the game.

“(Hoffmann) did a nice job of driving to the basket, and the other girls did a nice job of keeping the offense spread out so everyone could drive down in there,” Muhlenbruch said. “We played better.”

Hoffmann’s second 3-pointer of the night gave WCHS a 30-28 advantage late in the third quarter. Garrigan tied it up at 30 leading into the final period.

Mikala Harrill got the start inside for the Lynx and was productive. She notched all six of her points in the first half and corralled a game-high nine rebounds.

Rachel Kauffmann also had six points for WCHS (2-14, 2-11 NCC), which saw its losing streak reach nine. Emma White added four points.

Chelsi Lanus led Garrigan with 12 points, and it was her baseline jumper with 2:37 remaining that gave the Golden Bears a 35-34 lead; they never trailed again.

Aubrie Meyers dropped in nine points in her team’s win, and Emily Marlow knocked down a pair of 3-point baskets en route to eight points.