FAST BROKE: Gilbert runs by Lynx in 3Adistrict semifinal

WEBSTER CITY – Gilbert’s penchant for shooting 3-pointer after 3-pointer was pretty much shucked aside last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

There’s no reason to chuck it up from long distance when wide open looks from close range are available, and that’s what the Tigers received for 32 minutes.

A lack of defensive execution and intensity sealed Webster City’s fate, as Gilbert did everything it wanted and then some at the offensive end of the floor in its 69-52 victory in a Class 3A District 4 semifinal.

The Tigers (13-9) advanced to Thursday’s district final in Fort Dodge against Humboldt (14-7) – a 61-19 winner over Nevada in last night’s other semifinal – by shooting a staggering 61 percent from the field (28 of 46). They entered the postseason with a 3A-high 512 3s taken this season, but hoisted up only 12 against the Lynx.

They were too busy running a glorified lay-up drill to worry about jacking up triples.

“Our fundamental defense was just completely poor,” a frustrated Marty McKinney, the Lynx head coach, said afterwards. “We didn’t get back in transition, we didn’t sprint to the lane … for whatever reason, when things started to go bad the effort just seemed to drop.”

Jared Gescheidler, Gilbert’s junior forward, poured in a game-high 21 points. He knocked down all eight of his 2-point attempts – most were wide-open drives to the bucket – and was 2 of 5 from downtown. He scored 12 points in the opening half to help the Tigers build a 34-27 lead.

“We didn’t guard him,” McKinney said. “We’ve got guys that should be able to guard him, but it didn’t matter who we put on him. He got to the basket at will.”

WCHS (10-11) quickly got right back into contention in the third quarter. Colt Richardson scored the team’s first six points and a 3 from the wing by Mason Myers cut Gilbert’s advantage to 40-38 with 4:10 left in the period.

And then it all fell apart.

Gilbert scored 14 of the next 16 points and finished the quarter on a 16-4 burst to take a 56-42 lead and, essentially, put the game to bed.

Wesley Greder scored six straight points during the spurt and finished with 16 for the Tigers. Dax Hatfield added 10 and Ryan Blum had nine. Jack Hoiberg, the freshman son of Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg, dropped in seven.

“We guarded better in the second quarter and the first few possessions of the third quarter and that’s what got us back in the game,” McKinney said. “But then we quit guarding again.”

Gilbert’s lead ballooned to as many as 20 late in the fourth quarter.

Myers led the Lynx with 14 points. He was forced to sit the final 3:37 of the first quarter with two fouls and during that time Gilbert opened up a lead it never relinquished.

Ben Mossman chipped in nine points, eight rebounds and four assists in his final game in a Lynx uniform. Richardson scored eight points; Avery Fuhs added seven points and four assists, while twin brother Alec contributed six points, seven boards and four assists.

WCHS shot just 27 percent from the field (17 of 64).