No. 3 Lions thump Lynx, stay perfect in NCC

WEBSTER CITY – Facing one of the most defensively aggressive and talented basketball teams in the state at full strength is tough enough. Doing it without your two best ball handlers – forget about it.

That’s the challenge the Webster City girls’ basketball team faced last night and the Lynx were unable to keep up in a 67-27 loss to third-ranked (Class 3A) and North Central Conference leader Clear Lake.

WCHS (1-12, 1-10 NCC) was without guards Chelsey Wagoner and Allie Flaws. Wagoner missed her second straight game with a broken wrist – an injury that will keep her off the court the remainder of the season – and Flaws was sidelined with the flu.

“I don’t know what more can happen to us,” WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said. “We broke their press, but most of our turnovers came in the halfcourt … I liked how some of the girls stepped up and assumed the roles they needed to.”

Clear Lake took advantage with a terrorizing man-to-man pressure defensive set in the first quarter that translated into a 19-0 lead and the Lions never looked back.

Senior guard Logan Anderson scored nine of her 16 points in the opening period for Clear Lake and her backcourt mate and classmate Trudy Peterson dialed up four of her five 3-point baskets in the first half on her way to a game-high 19 points.

“I’m just glad they’re seniors,” Muhlenbruch said of the all-conference tandem. “Trudy is an outstanding outside shooter, and then you have Logan and you know she can shoot from the outside, but her No. 1 priority is to drive. If you don’t stop her she’s going all the way (to the hoop).”

Peterson’s third triple pushed the Lions in front 22-0 early in the second quarter. WCHS finally ended its drought on a 3 from the wing by Cassidy Bultena a little over a minute into the stanza.

Clear Lake led 30-7 at the intermission.

Seven consecutive points by Peterson early in the third increased the Lions’ margin to 41-11 and Kay Faber followed the spurt up with her own triple.

WCHS ended the 10-2 run on a bucket by Gabbi Hoversten – one of three in the quarter for the sophomore. The Lynx scored seven straight points to climb within 44-18 before Anderson ended it with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Clear Lake scored the initial eight points of the fourth quarter before a traditional 3-point play by Lynx junior forward Hannah Myers cut her team’s deficit to 55-24 with 4 minutes remaining.

Myers led WCHS with seven points, one more than Hoversten. Bultena finished with five; Lynne Chalfant and Mikala Harrill both chipped in four.