WHS BOYS' BASKETBALL: Worthington cruises by Martin County WestWORTHINGTON — The Worthington boys’ basketball team coupled a stout first-half defense with ball control and patiently working its offense Tuesday night to defeat the Martin County West Mavericks in non-conference action.
By: Lance Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington boys’ basketball team coupled a stout first-half defense with ball control and patiently working its offense Tuesday night to defeat the Martin County West Mavericks in non-conference action.
The Trojans committed no turnovers in the first half and limited the Mavericks to 12 first-half points in the 63-43 victory.
“I thought we played really well in the first half of the ballgame,” WHS head coach Ron Vorwald said. “I thought our defense was really solid the first half. Not to take away what we did the second half as I thought we played well throughout the ballgame.
“We really took things away from Martin County West in the first half and made them work really hard offensively to get any kind of look. We executed well on both sides of the ball.”
Mitch Weg (10 rebounds and two blocks) scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, while Spencer Grafing added six points (all free throws) and Morgan Traylor (six rebounds), Lucas Henning and Jon Vorwald each added five points in the opening frame.
“We got the ball inside to Mitch, Lucas was hitting from the perimeter and Morgan got going inside as well,” Vorwald added.
Through the first six minutes of the game, both teams countered one another as the score was 8-6 in favor of the hosts at the 12:12 mark.
Traylor opened the game’s scoring off a nice feed along the baseline from Jon Vorwald (six assists), while Weg scored the next six points for WHS.
MCW’s early points came from Austin Krumwiede (game-highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds) with four and Kyle Brolsma with a bucket.
However, WHS broke the game open with a 16-1 run over the next six minutes to take a 24-7 lead at the six-minute mark. Weg continued to dominate in the paint with seven points, Henning dropped in a pair of long shots for five points, while Traylor and Grafing added a pair of points.
“We all knew we needed to play well after a tough loss to Marshall,” Weg said. “We came out strong in the first half and played really good team defense and we were patient against their 2-3 zone.
“We were passing the ball really well and getting it to everybody. Guys were hitting shots and they were getting it down low. It was a good offensive game plan.”
The Mavericks made only a pair of shots (Krumwiede shot in the post at 5:39 and a 3 from Mitchell Sitzmann at 1:32) from the field over the last six minutes of the first half as the Trojans finished with a 15-5 run for a 39-12 halftime lead.
WHS’s points in the final stretch of the first half came from Vorwald with five, Grafing with four, a 3-pointer from Marcus Potter (five assists), two from Weg and a free throw from Traylor.
“Their defensive intensity was spectacular in the first half,” MCW head coach Cliff Anderson said. “They pushed our offense way out and we couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end. We didn’t dribble penetrate enough and that’s to Worthington’s credit.
“We got a little intimidated to start the game by knowing how good they are. But our kids bounced back in the second half and played more our style.”
The Mavericks did play better in the second half as they managed to outscore the Trojans by seven over the final 18 minutes but the halftime deficit was too much too overcome.
Krumwiede paced the visitors with 17 points after the break, while also getting five points from Josiah Ebeling, four from Brolsma, three from Sitzmann and a bucket from Cordell Weber.
The Trojans received eight points from both Henning and Traylor after the intermission, six from Weg and a basket from Jon Reller.
The large spread in the second half allowed Coach Vorwald to get everyone on the roster into the ballgame on a special night for the player’s parents.
“It was ‘Parent’s Night’ and we got everyone in,” Vorwald said. “They all played really well. Spence played really well, Jonny Vorwald passed the ball really well and ended up with six assists.
“Lucas Henning did a nice job defensively and was a catalyst for us, putting ball pressure on their point. Our guys fed off that and we took care of business.”
WHS improves to 16-6 with the win and Vorwald knows that the game was important for seeding purposes for the Section 3AA South tournament.
“It was a big game for us,” Vorwald said. “It was a big game as it is the last game that counted toward the seeding process. We seed (today) and we will know where we stand for the tournament after that.”
MCW, which drops to 13-12, also plays out of the same section as WHS and its next game will be in the postseason. Anderson expects that the Trojans will be the No. 1 seed.
However, the Trojans have one more regular season game on the schedule as they host Windom Monday night.
“Windom’s a really good team,” Weg said. “They have two really good posts in the Holt twins and they have good guards that can make plays. You always have to be ready for them as they are a good team in the Southwest Conference. We definitely have to be ready for them. It’s our last home game so it’s a big game.”
MCW 12 31 — 43
WHS 39 24 — 63
MCW (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Brolsma 0-3-0-6, Sitzmann 2-0-0-6, Weber 0-1-0-2, Krumwiede 0-11-2-24, Ebeling 1-1-0-5. Totals 3-16-2-43.
WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Vorwald 1-1-0-5, Henning 3-2-0-13, Potter 1-0-0-3, Traylor 0-6-1-13, Grafing 0-0-6-6, Weg 0-9-3-21, Reller 0-1-0-2. Totals 5-19-10-63.