Girls basketball: Marshall too much for Trojans in clash of unbeatens
WORTHINGTON — Teamwork goes a long way toward winning.
With six players scoring in double digits, Class AAA’s eighth-ranked Marshall Tigers used a decisive second half spurt to defeat Worthington 75-55 in a battle of unbeaten girls basketball teams Thursday night.
“We just defended a whole lot better than we did in the first half,” Marshall coach Dan Westby said. “Worthington is a good team but we just felt like 32 points at the half was just too much.
“They have the ability to score in bunches and we knew that coming in. This was a big road game for us and was a big section game that was important. We’re pleased to come out of here with a win.”
Trojan senior Brooke Henning scored four of the game’s first six points before Marshall stormed back. Worthington led 6-0 and quickly saw the edge erased as the Tigers used an intentional and methodical game to go on a 7-0 run of their own and lead for the first time.
Sarah Buyssee had eight points at halftime for Marshall and helped at various points in the first half to keep her Tigers in the game.
Marshall led by five points on three occasions before leading 39-32 at intermission.
Worthington got its points the way it prefers in the first half, employing a disruptive zone defense that ushered in several runaway layups from junior Ana Boever and seniors Brooke Henning, Becca Linder and Paige Gravenhof.
Then came the second half.
The Trojans turned the ball over 29 times to Marshall’s 13 in the loss.
“I thought the first half was pretty decent and we did a lot of good things, but we had way too many turnovers,” Worthington coach Eric Lindner said after the game. “Fatigue set in for us in the second half.
“When they got tired, our kids’ decision making got a little questionable,” Lindner added. “They played all the way through, though, and had a good effort against a good ballclub.”
Marshall forced empty possessions for the Trojans that led to fast break opportunities early in the second half.
Marah Mulso gave three layups in the span while Buysee and Kenzie Beekman each helped their Tigers on a 13-0 span over a three-minute period that ran a seven-point lead into a 58-38 lead with 10:43 on the clock.
Henning sank a layup that cut Marshall’s lead to its closest, at a dozen points, just outside five minutes to go. The Trojans rolled with the punches but struggled to get a grip and a definitive answer.
Marshall’s depth provided fresh bodies through the remainder of the contest. The Tigers used 15 players toward their win.
Worthington’s loss puts it at 1-1 in conference play while Marshall moved to 2-0 in the league after a 30-point win over Redwood Valley earlier this week.
Just one loss amongst many games to be played this season, Lindner knows his team has plenty of work to do. The Trojans also will need to put this loss in perspective and learn from it as the season moves on.
“They’re rated in the state, but we’re definitely disappointed in the result. We knew coming in that we’d have a lot of work to do,” Lindner said. “If you’re going to lose to them, now is the time. For us to beat them we have to come a long way. We have to look at tonight’s game and ask ourselves why we’re fatigued.”
Mulso and Morgan Haugstad each scored 14 points for Marshall. Bennett scored 12, Beekman and Callie Graf scored 11. Buysee added 10.
Worthington seniors Henning and Lindner each scored 11 points. Boever scored 10. Gravenhof scored seven, connecting on the team’s only three-pointer of the night.
Next for the Trojans will be a trip to Pipestone Area next Thursday night.
“We have a week to get prepared for Pipestone. They’re having some new players playing with them. They’re traditionally physical,” Lindner said.
“It will be a game of contrasting styles. They’ll probably want to slow it down a little bit and we want to push the tempo.”
Marshall 39 75 Worthington 32 55 MARSHALL (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) Buysee 2-1-2-10, M. Saugstad 2-3-2-14, Mulsa 0-7-0-14, Beekman 0-5-2-12, Bennett 0-5-2-12, Graf 1-4-0-11, Hess 0-0-1-1, L. Saugstad 0-1-0-2. Totals: 5-26-8-75 WORTHINGTON (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) Boever 0-2-6-10, Landgaard 0-1-1-3, Henning 0-4-3-11, Bruns 0-2-0-4, Gerber 0-2-1-5, Linder 0-5-1-11, Gravenhof 1-2-0-7, Ar. Alwal 0-2-0-5. Totals: 1-20-12-55