Trojans clip Cardinals' feathers
Balanced scoring, defensive intensity, clutch shots and a well-timed shot block were all keys to an exciting 64-61 victory over Coon Rapids by the Worthington Trojans in the third place game of the Daily Globe-Trojan Holiday Classic Wednesday.
"I like how we played tonight," said a pleased Trojan head coach Ron Vorwald. "We had a good effort and played hard with energy."
That energy was evident from the game's beginning when the Worthington defense forced a traveling violation after 51 seconds on the Cardinals' first possession.
It was also evident at the game's end when Trojans' Nate Stoll, Zach Traphagen and Drew Stevenson sank clutch shots and Worthington's Joel Olson swatted away a potential game-knotting shot by Coon Rapids' hard-driving Jon Lenz.
Worthington (3-4) held the lead nearly the entire game, once earning a 31-17 advantage with 3:17 to play in the first half and later owning a 52-41 lead with 10:42 remaining in the game.
But the Cardinals (1-3) rallied, hitting their eighth and ninth three-pointers of the game to tie the score at 59-all with 1:15 to play.
Stoll, who "played exceptional," according to Vorwald, gave the Trojans a 61-59 edge with a 17-foot jumper, from just left of center, with 59 seconds showing on the clock.
Thirteen seconds later, the Cardinals sank a pair of free throws to tie the game again.
Coon Rapids was called for a holding foul on the in-bounds play and Traphagen, who had delivered a trio of three-pointers in the Trojans' first half surge, calmly sank both free throws, putting Worthington up, 63-61.
Coon Rapids spread the floor and Lenz, who been working well in the paint for the Cardinals in the second half, found a lane and drove hard to the hoop.
But with 16 seconds on the clock, Worthington's Olson leaped high in the air to block the shot attempt.
Seven seconds later, Stevenson made a free throw, giving the Trojans the final three-point victory.
"That was huge," said Vorwald of Olson's block. "Making those shots at game's end were big too, as were our runs to open up the leads in each half."
The Trojans effectively utilized a platoon system in the first half. The starting unit of Traphagen, Stoll, Olson, Ray Landberg and Chris Aggen played man-to-man, while the unit of Quentin Dudley, Ben Collin, Brian Soderholm, Andrew Berg and Stevenson effectively played zone defense.
After several lead exchanges, Coon Rapids opened up a 15-10 lead before the Trojan balance steamrolled an impressive 21-2 run to earn Worthington's 31-17 lead. Seven Trojans scored during that spurt.
Traphagen (15), Olson (14) and Stoll (13) each scored in double figures, as a total of nine Trojans scored in the game.
Lucas Matich drilled five three-pointers for Coon Rapids and finished with 18 points, while Lenz added 14 tallies.
Coon Rapids 30 31 -- 61
Worthington 37 27 -- 64
Coon Rapids (3-2-1-TP) Harrison 1-0-1-4,
Hennemann 0-1-0-2, Matich 5-1-1-18, Oyanagi 1-1-2-7, Lehman 1-2-0-7, Belk 0-1-0-2, Johnson 1-1-2-7, Lenz 0-5-4-14, Totals 9-12-10-61
Trojans (3-2-1-TP) Traphagen 4-0-3-15, Stoll 0-5-3-13, Stevenson 0-2-1-5, Berg 0-1-0-2, Collin 0-1-0-2, Aggen 1-1-0-5, Sodeholm 0-0-1-1, Olson 0-6-2-14, Landberg 0-2-3-7, Totals 5-18-13-64