Girls basketball: Trojans declaw Huskies
WORTHINGTON —In a Southwest Conference high school girls’ basketball game which was closer than the final score indicates, the fast-moving Worthington Trojans remained undefeated with a 84-63 victory over Jackson County Central Tuesday evening at the WHS gymnasium.
Pacing the homecourt WHS win were lefties Ana Boever and Brooke Henning who each scored 25 points in the game, although in contrasting styles.
Boever, who did not score in the contest’s first six minutes and 22 seconds, lit up the scoreboard from long range the rest of the first half, netting five three-pointers and converting a three-point play to tally 18 points prior to intermission.
Henning, who scored six of Worthington’s first 10 points, netted 15 points in the second half as she effectively drove the middle lane —both on the receiving end of Trojan fastbreaks and on hard drives to the hoop in Worthington’s quick-strike halfcourt offense.
Henning, who was 11-of-14 on two-point field goal attempts, also knocked down several mid-range jumpers from the top-of-the-key.
“She can score,” praised WHS head coach Eric Lindner. “Brooke has the ability to shoot the ball well and she can sure take the ball to the hoop.”
Lindner also had high praise for Trojan senior point guard Abbie Landgaard, who effectively passed the ball to both Boever and Henning for open shots.
Landgaard finished game with nine assists as she fed Boever several times for long shots from the left wing in the first time and then connected with Henning on the break numerous times after intermission.
“That’s the best game that Abbie has played,” declared Lindner. “She was driving and dishing off and finding the open player in the open court. Abbie really did a nice job setting things up for us.”
JCC played well for most of the game, matching the Trojans point-for-point during a 14-minute stretch —over the last seven minutes of the first half and continuing that trend over the first seven minutes after intermission.
Leading the usually well-balanced Huskies were juniors Kaylee Burmeister, Sarah Brandt, Sydney Eddy, Rachel Johnson, Blaney Markman, Julia Schumann and Jade Holthe.
JCC does not have a senior on the squad.
“We’re getting better,” stressed first-year JCC head coach David Wrightson. “This is the best game that we have played, but then we were also playing against the best team we have faced so far this season.”
Burmeister, who did not score until converting on a dandy spin move with 2:48 left in the first half, finished with a team-leading 21 points, netting 17 of them in the second half.
Brandt, who converted several putbacks early in the game, scored on a nifty pullup jumper in the lane late in the second half, giving her 11 points for the Huskies.
Eddy played well inside, too, scoring all 10 of her points after intermission.
Johnson scored all nine of her points in the first half, including drilling a high-arching three-pointer from the right side at the 12:25 mark, which brought the Huskies to within one point, 8-7.
Worthington responded with an 18-6 run, capped by a three-pointer by Boever off a long pass from Paige Gravenhof (14 points, six assists, six steals).
That surge lifted the Trojans to a 26-13 advantage with 7:05 remaining in the first half.
Worthington outscored JCC by a single point, 18-17, over the next seven minutes, taking a 44-30 lead into the break.
Huskies continue to keep pace during the first 7:00 of second half
Henning converted two quick layups (the second off a beautiful assist from Landgaard) to open the second half, stretching the lead to 48-30.
But, the Huskies stayed in contention by scoring 13 of the next 20 points, trailing by just a dozen, 55-43, with 12:11 left in the game.
JCC ran the floor well during that span and Burmeister was attacking the basket, scoring eight points on drives and free throws.
Henning (another assist by Landgaard) and Boever both scored for the Trojans, while Eddy tallied twice for the Huskies and the lead was still at 12 (59-47) two minutes later.
Henning’s driving three-point play put WHS up 63-47 with 9:23 to play and the Trojans began to open the spread.
“We did enough good things to stay in the lead,” summed up Lindner. “We broke JCC’s press several times for easy baskets and were able to open up a comfortable lead by game’s end.”
Two dandy baskets by junior Olivia Ebbers (nice move in the lane after getting an offensive rebound and a coast-to-coast drive with a pair of cross-over dribbles) were late-game highlights for the Trojans, as were three strong drives to the hoop by freshman Ahmitara Alwal, who finished with six points.
“It’s good to get a lot of kids involved,” concluded Lindner. “It was a fun way to finish.”
Achan Alwal and Rebecca Linder each claimed five rebounds to lead a balanced Trojan effort on the boards. Achwan Alwal and Boever came up with five and four steals, respectively.
Burmeister (nine) and Brandt (eight) combined for 17 of JCC’s rebounds, while both Schumann and Johnson dished off four assists for the Huskies (1-4, 0-2)
Worthington (3-0, 2-0) hosts Marshall Thursday.
JCC 30 64
Worthington 44 83
JCC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Schumann 0-1-2-4, Burmeister 1-6-6-21, Johnson 1-1-4-9, Markman 0-2-3-7, Brandt 0-5-1-11, Holthe 0-0-2-2, Eddy 0-3-4-10. Totals 2-18-22-64.
WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Boever 6-3-1-25, Ebbers 0-2-0-4, Landgaard 0-2-0-4, Henning 0-11-3-25, Linder 0-0-2-2, Gravenhof 2-3-2-14, Ah. Alwal 0-3-0-6, Ap. Alwal 0-1-1-3. Totals 8-25-9-83.