TROJAN GIRLS BASKETBALL: Defense leads Trojans in win
WORTHINGTON -- Holding Pipestone Area to just four field goals and 11 points in the first half Thursday night, the Worthington Trojans set the tone defensively and claimed a 46-32 victory over the Arrows in a Southwest Conference girls' basketball game on Parents' Night.
Worthington (6-1, 4-1) was up 22-11 at halftime and built a 40-15 bulge midway through the second half before PA (1-6, 0-4) ended the game on a 17-6 spurt to close the final margin to 14 points.
"This was our first game in a week, so this wasn't a bad way to get back at it overall," Worthington head coach Eric Lindner said. "We didn't necessarily make a lot of shots, but we were patient enough and played solid team defense to kind of stay in control throughout. We also kept our turnovers down and were able to force PA into quite a few miscues, as well."
The Trojans, who turned the ball over 17 times and forced the Arrows into 34 giveaways, started the game on a 9-2 run and stayed in command behind a balanced scoring attack and a stifling defensive performance.
Lydia Kemper scored six points in each half to finish with a game-high 12 points, while Ana Boever (eight rebounds, four steals) and Brooke Henning each netted nine points for Worthington.
Paige Gravenhof (seven), Abbie Landgaard (six) and Whitney Coriolan (three) combined for the other 16 points for the Trojans, who were outrebounded 40-30 by the Arrows.
Megan Raymond scored all nine of her team-best nine points in the second half to lead PA. Kelly Nettik, Bianca Claussen and Kari Foss each added five points for the Arrows.
Boever (25 seconds in) and Nettik (47 seconds in) both scored inside within the first minute of the game, but PA didn't score again until the 11:04 mark of the first half.
Worthington rattled off seven straight points to take a 9-2 lead with 13:48 remaining. Kemper scored on a baseline drive and nailed the Trojans' only 3-pointer from the right wing, while Boever converted a steal into a layup.
Foss delivered a 3-point play to snap the Arrows' scoring drought and make it 9-5, but PA then went through another extended period without a point. The Arrows were stuck on five until Claussen meshed a 3-pointer at the 3:24 mark.
"We played solid half-court, man-to-man defense for the most part," Lindner said. "We did do a little bit of scrambling and trapping near midcourt to force a few turnovers, but the biggest thing is that we rotated well and covered things up nicely on the defensive end."
Worthington led 19-5 after Gravenhof turned a steal and lead pass from Landgaard into a breakaway layup with 4:24 remaining. Landgaard had earlier knocked down a couple of pull-up jumpers from mid-range, while Boever scored twice in the paint to trigger the Trojans.
A nifty post-to-post pass from Apiew Alwal to Henning for a bucket down low gave Worthington a 22-9 lead with 47 seconds to go before PA's Ashley Griebel scored just prior to the buzzer sounding to make it an 11-point spread at halftime.
Worthington then started the second half with an impressive 18-4 burst, running the floor well to create some easy scoring opportunities.
Among the highlights that gave the Trojans a 40-15 advantage with 8:59 to play included a sideline fast-break basket (Gravenhof to Kemper), a 3-point play off a long defensive rebound and open-court drive by Henning, a 3-point play off a drive down the lane by Coriolan and another pull-up jumper in transition by Landgaard.
"A lot of our points came as a result of the turnovers," Lindner said. "But I also thought that we were fairly patient and were able to run a half-court offense at times. We didn't shoot well from the perimeter, but we got the ball inside for a few good looks.'
The Arrows answered with a brief 7-0 run, as Foss and Tia Muller each scored before Raymond banked in a left-wing 3-pointer to make it 40-22 with 6:44 remaining.
Gravenhof's breakaway layup and Kemper's slashing basket along the baseline accounted for four of Worthington's final six points, creating a 46-25 cushion with 4:05 showing on the clock.
Raymond swished a 3-pointer from the left corner in the midst of those scoring plays and then had a 3-point play off a backdoor cut and pass from Nettik to help make it 46-30 with 55.7 seconds left.
Nettik's buzzer-beating 18-footer gave the game its final score of 46-32, as the Arrows -- who play at Deuel, S.D. Dec. 28 -- finished strong.
Worthington plays in the St. James Holiday Tournament Dec. 27 and 28. The Trojans take on Springfield at 2:30 p.m. next Thursday and then will play either St. James or Rockford Friday.
Pipestone Area 32
Pipestone Area (1-6, 0-4): Muller 1 2-6 4, Rudie 1 0-0 2, Raymond 3 1-1 9, Nettik 2 1-3 5, Griebel 1 0-0 2, Claussen 1 2-3 5, Foss 2 1-2 5. Totals: 11 7-15 32.
Worthington (6-1, 4-1): Boever 4 1-2 9, Landgaard 3 0-0 6, Henning 3 3-3 9, Kemper 4 3-4 12, Bruns 0 0-2 0, Gravenhof 2 3-6 7, Coriolan 1 1-3 3. Totals: 17 11-20 46.
Halftime: Worthington 22, Pipestone Area 11. 3-point goals: Pipestone Area 3 (Raymond 2, Claussen 1); Worthington 1 (Kemper 1). Rebounds: Pipestone Area 40; Worthington 30 (Boever 8). Turnovers: Pipestone Area 34; Worthington 17.