Lousy start dooms Lynx boys vs. Humboldt

WEBSTER CITY – Five possessions, five turnovers – the definition of a lousy start.

But it couldn’t get any worse than that, right?

Well …

The pained expression on Marty McKinney’s face throughout Friday’s contest stated that, yes, it could get worse. Much worse, actually.

The fumbled start was a microcosm of the implosion the Webster City boys’ basketball team endured in a 63-44 thumping at the hands of North Central Conference rival Humboldt inside the WCHS gymnasium.

The Lynx (8-9, 8-7 NCC) committed 10 first-quarter turnovers, failed to register a second-quarter field goal and were never a serious threat to win their fifth consecutive contest. They piled up 16 turnovers in the game’s first 16 minutes and finished with 20.

“We played about as poor as you could in that first half,” McKinney, the Lynx head coach, said about the stretch that saw Humboldt race out to a 33-10 lead. “You don’t really lose too many games in the first quarter and first half, but we put ourselves in a hole that we just couldn’t fight out of and it started with turnovers.

“We weren’t ready to play for some reason … I don’t know if the guys were content and thought we’re better than we really are, but we’ve got to play well to give ourselves a chance to win and we didn’t do that.”

WCHS went more than 11 minutes without a field goal and trailed 35-10 when Boone Myers finally knocked down the team’s first shot since late in the first period with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter. But it was his only bucket of the night; the 6-foot-5 center was stymied with foul problems throughout and drew his fifth with 6:27 left.

Humboldt center Bryan Larson was the biggest thorn in the side of Myers and the entire Lynx front line. He consistently got the Lynx to bite on his pump fake in the lane and drew enough fouls to go to the free throw line 13 times. He knocked down 12 and scored a game-high 20 points.

“He’s great against us,” McKinney said of Larson, who shot 16 free throws and poured in 31 points in a 69-61 Wildcats’ win when the two teams met in December. “You have to give the kid credit, he’s pretty smooth down in the post; we knew that he was going to pump fake, but, for whatever reason, we kept getting out of position.”

Brady Ross poured in 15 points and Jaxon Heinz had 13 for Humboldt (13-4, 12-4 NCC), which dominated despite the absence of starting shooting guard and second-leading scorer Michael Orness.

Mason Myers led WCHS with 11 points, and Eric Coleman and Colt Richardson came off the bench to provide nine and six points, respectively.

McKinney relied on his reserves to give the Lynx a brief glimmer of hope in the third quarter. The Lynx went on a 19-9 run over the final 6 minutes, and Coleman canned back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 35 seconds to bring WCHS within 44-31.

“At halftime we talked about not worrying about the score and we really wanted to establish that we were going to battle,” McKinney said. “They came out (in the third quarter) and made three straight shots, so we decided to go with some different guys, and they kept playing. Colt Richardson, as a freshman with very little varsity experience, came in and battled against their bigs.”

Heinz quickly doused the flames though with a deep 3 from the wing early in the fourth and WCHS never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.

The Lynx will attempt to rebound on Tuesday on the road against Hampton-Dumont.