FINISH TO FORGET: Lynx boys fall apart late vs H-D, drop 3rd straight

HAMPTON – The worst case scenario for the Webster City boys’ basketball team played like a broken record over the final 90 seconds here Friday night.

What could go wrong did go wrong over and over and over again.

The 14th and final field goal of the night by 6-foot-3 junior forward Parker Claypool put Hampton-Dumont up 53-52 with 1:30 remaining and the Bulldogs took advantage of one Lynx blunder after another to pull away down the stretch for a 61-54 North Central Conference victory.

WCHS (2-5, 2-4 NCC) – losers of three straight – turned it over three times down the stretch, but that was only the beginning. The Lynx also gave up two offensive rebounds on missed Bulldog free throws and gave the hosts an extra opportunity to pad the lead courtesy of a lane violation on another free throw that clanged off the rim.

The ending, coupled with inconsistency at both ends of the floor throughout the contest, left WCHS head coach Marty McKinney in less than a chipper mood afterwards.

“Obviously it was a disaster that last minute-and-a-half, but at the same time we didn’t play well the whole game,” he said. “We had some stretches where we did some nice things, but overall we didn’t play well. And give Hampton credit; they played with a lot of confidence and they expected to win and we’re just not there yet.

“It’s my job to put these guys in a position to win and it’s my fault it’s not happening.”

Claypool was a nightmare from the opening tip. He had 11 points at the half and then poured in 22 more after the break for a game-high 33. He’s the third player to put up at least 30 points against the Lynx this season and the fifth to notch at least 24.

“He absolutely ate us alive,” McKinney said of Claypool. “We were poor with our defensive position and he did a good job of getting in the open. We’ve got to be better defensively and we’ve been saying it over and over, but saying it and going out on the floor and doing it are two different things.”

Cole Miller pitched in nine points and 14 boards for the Bulldogs. Five of his points came at the charity stripe late.

Hampton-Dumont – winners of three straight after opening the season with six consecutive losses – missed seven of 15 foul shots over the final 1:30, but WCHS was unable to take advantage.

Mason Myers led the Lynx with 13 points, all coming in the second half after he was forced to watch much of the first 16 minutes because of foul trouble. He scored seven straight during a spurt midway through the final period that put WCHS in front 48-45.

The Lynx went the entire first quarter without a field goal and fell behind 12-4. The drought was finally broken by an Alec Fuhs baseline jumper 13 seconds into the second and WCHS closed the period on a 14-2 run to vault ahead 22-21 at the half.

Senior point guard Trey Tesdahl came off the bench and was a human-sized 5-Hour Energy. He canned a 3 and moments later whipped a pass to a wide open Sean Vogelbacher for one of his four assists to help cut the Bulldogs’ second-quarter lead that was 11 at one point. Avery Fuhs’ only 3 of the game at the buzzer put the Lynx ahead for the first time.

Tesdahl scored nine points, as did Colt Richardson. Vogelbacher and Avery Fuhs finished with eight, and Ben Mossman contributed five points and 12 boards. But it was Tesdahl who kept the Lynx within striking distance.

“Give Trey credit … he’s the guy that brings the energy and we’ve got to have him on the floor more,” McKinney said. “Sean comes off the bench and brings that energy too, but we need other guys to buy into it, too.”

Hampton-Dumont opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to build a 32-24 edge, but WCHS responded with an 11-0 spurt of its own to jump back in front 37-32 entering the final eight minutes of play.