One big run not enough for Lynx girls vs Cowgirls

Rallying from one 17-point deficit is tough enough. Rallying from two sizable deficits is pretty much impossible.

At least it was for the Webster City girls’ basketball team Friday night in its 64-45 North Central Conference loss to Clarion-Goldfield.

Trailing 25-8 less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Lynx scratched and clawed all the way back to within one point of the Cowgirls and had a possession to take the lead in the third period, but Clarion-Goldfield stomped on the accelerator late to pull away and keep WCHS winless on the season.

Ahead 45-40 entering the final stanza, the Cowgirls (4-1, 4-1 NCC) opened on a 9-1 run and poured in 25 of the game’s final 32 points to turn what was a close game for a while into a blowout.

“We won the second quarter and we won the third quarter,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “We need to put two more quarters together and we’re going to be a team to watch out for.”

Cowgirls’ sophomore guard Maddie Disney wreaked havoc with a game-high 22 points, while senior forward Jossie Sann wasn’t too far behind with 20. Jenalee Hinkle gave the visitors a third double-digit scorer with 12.

WCHS received quality performances from a pair of sophomores. Gabbi Hoversten netted a team-high 15 points to go along with four rebounds, four steals and two assists. Chelsey Wagoner caught fire from the perimeter in the second quarter and scored all 10 of her points in a 4-minute, 45-second stretch.

Still, the inexperience reared its ugly head far too often for the Lynx to hang with a Cowgirl team that tormented them with a full-court press for much of the game. WCHS piled up 37 turnovers, 25 of them coming in the first half. Yes, Clarion-Goldfield’s attacking style played a part, but perhaps the most frustrating thing was that many of the miscues were unforced.

“I just want my girls to relax and play basketball and not try to do too much,” Muhlenbruch said. “I think sometimes we’re trying to do too much and that gets us into trouble.”

Wagoner’s first 3 from the wing ignited an 11-0 Lynx run in the second quarter that brought them back to within striking distance after falling behind by 17. Hoversten canned a triple from the other side of the floor during the spurt and Wagoner found the bottom of the net from the corner later in period.

WCHS trailed 34-27 at the half and dropped back by nine early in the third before surging again. An Allie Flaws 3 from the wing cut the deficit to 39-38 with 3:20 remaining in the quarter, but that was as close as the Lynx would get.

“That shows you where we’re going to be,” Muhlenbruch said, referring to her team’s ability to climb back after large deficits. “A lot of the girls I’m playing have only played five varsity games … every game we learn from it.”

Hannah Myers chipped in seven points and a game-best 10 rebounds in the loss. Alex Dinsdale came off the Lynx bench to supply six points and Flaws finished with five.

The schedule will only get tougher for the Lynx on Tuesday when they welcome sixth-ranked (Class 2A) and blemish-free Fort Dodge St. Edmond (4-0, 4-0 NCC) to the WCHS gymnasium for a 6:15 p.m. tip-off.