WHS rolls WindomWORTHINGTON — Despite leading by six points at halftime, the Worthington girls’ basketball team put up a sloppy performance.
WORTHINGTON — Despite leading by six points at halftime, the Worthington girls’ basketball team put up a sloppy performance.
The Trojans pulled it together, however, in the final 18 minutes to defeat Windom 68-52 Friday night.
“The first half was helter skelter,” senior forward Mackenzie Gerber said. “Our shooting, how do I put this nicely, wasn’t very good. The game wasn’t what we planned it to be. It was pretty sloppy. We’re glad we got the W, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Each team shot only 22 percent in the first half and the Trojans made only 10 field goals.
Worthington coach Eric Lindner partially blames sloppiness in the first half on the team’s lack of height.
Two of the team’s tallest athletes — 5-foot-11-inch Brooke Henning and 5-foot-10-inch Kristen Andersen — weren’t able to play in Friday’s contest and, therefore, the Trojans needed to adjust not only the way they attack offensively, but their defensive efforts as well.
“We have two kids on bench right now that are two of our taller kids,” Lindner said. “We can’t play the way we did when we lack that much height. When they come back it will be a different story. But right now we need to work on adjusting our game a little bit.”
Worthington (2-1) came through after halftime and finished the game with 35 percent shooting overall.
The game was fairly close well into the second half, with Worthington leading 51-41 with seven minutes left in regulation.
However, the Trojans went on a 15-4 run over the next five minutes to establish a 21 -point lead with 1 minute, 30 seconds left to play.
“We did better in the second half, and our shooting definitely improved from our last game,” Gerber said, referencing to the 60-some shots the Trojans took against Fairmont earlier in the week in comparison to the 81 they took against Windom Friday. “We’re still kind of in the process of building some team chemistry and getting used to playing with each other, but I think it’s finally starting to set in motion.”
Offensively, they were led by Gerber, who had 15 points and five assists. Bernadette Boever and Megan Juber each added 14 points. The Trojans got 10 players involved in the shooting attack.
But the Trojans’ rebounding was what truly made the difference in Friday’s contest.
Boever led Worthington with 17 boards and Gerber tallied 15 rebounds.
“We challenged them before the game on rebounds and I think they responded on the glass,” Lindner said. “If you ask Bernadette, she’d want her game to be a 3-point game, but we can’t have her be a 3-point player right now. We need to have her inside the paint pounding it. If she’s out there she doesn’t get those 17 boards and that really hurts. We need to have her hitting the glass for us. That made a huge difference tonight.”
Boever also had six steals for the Trojans.
But Lindner and Gerber expressed Worthington has a lot more work to do defensively.
The Trojans turned the ball over 29 times Friday, while Windom (1-2) committed 25 turnovers.
Lindner said the team’s biggest issue is that too many girls are trying to defend the ball. Instead of every player running over to cover the guard dribbling down the court, Lindner said the Trojans need to communicate during the game to make sure they’re not leaving opponents wide open to make easy baskets — something that has happened in all three of their games so far.
“Defensively we have a lot to work on. We need to get sharper,” Lindner said. “They need to learn to talk to each other more out on the court, but that’s something they have to do on their own, we can’t do that for them.
“There’s not going to be a quick answer to save that and sometimes there’s things the girls need to learn on their own and that’s one thing we’ve really stressed with them.”
The Eagles were led by Sami Peterson, who had 11 points on the night. Abby Hayenga added eight points for Windom.
Worthington’s next game is at home Tuesday against Jackson County Central. Windom’s next game isn’t until Jan. 3, when the Eagles travel to take on JCC.
Windom 21 31 — 52
WHS 27 41 — 68
Windom (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Hanefeld 0-1-2-4, Olson 0-0-3-3, Hayenga 0-3-2-8, Eigenberg 0-2-0-4, Peterson 1-3-2-11, Sorensen 0-1-5-7, Larson 0-2-0-4, Fast 0-2-2-4, Hauge 0-1-1-3, Hansen 0-0-2-2. Total 1-14-19-52.
WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Juber 2-4-0-14, Landgaard 0-1-1-3, Kemper 0-2-0-4, Gerber 2-4-1-15, Linder 0-0-1-1, Gravenhof 1-2-0-7, Riley 0-3-0-6, Carstensen 0-0-2-2, Coriolan 0-1-0-2, B. Boever 0-6-2-14. Total 5-23-7-68.