WHS GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Trojans looking to avenge loss to KnightsWORTHINGTON — The road to the state tournament doesn’t seem to get any easier for the Worthington girls’ basketball team.
WORTHINGTON — The road to the state tournament doesn’t seem to get any easier for the Worthington girls’ basketball team.
For the second section tournament game in a row, the Trojans are playing a team they lost to during the regular season.
During the Section 3AA-South championship, WHS went up against Fairmont, a team the Trojans lost to 81-72 in December.
Now, in the Section 3AA championship, the Trojans are going up against Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, a team they lost to 66-54 during the regular season.
But the Trojans aren’t letting that get to them.
“I think everyone knows our goal is to get to the cities from the section tournament, but we’re not going to overlook anything,” WHS forward Megan Juber said. “We’ve still got one more game. We’re going to take it one game at a time.”
WHS is turning to its regular season game against LC-WM as a stepping stone for the section title game.
For starters, the Trojans know that Karina Schroeder and Tara Roelofs are going to be keys to the Knights’ attack.
Both players average in double figures for both points and rebounds per game.
In the two teams’ first encounter, Schroeder — LC-WM’s tallest player, standing at 6-feet — got the majority of her points by cutting across the lane and getting second-chance points.
Roelofs, on the other hand, penetrated offensively and relied on her jump shot to get her points.
However, the guard missed roughly three weeks of the regular season — following the Knights’ game agains the Trojans — because of a knee injury. Although she is back now, she is still nursing that injury and it has changed her approach to the game.
“Roelofs is limited now due to her knee injury,” WHS head coach Eric Lindner said. “When I’ve watched her play she’s basically been a wing shooter. We’ll have to take her looks away and make sure when both she and Karina shoot that we limit their second shot oppotunities.”
Both the Trojans and the Knights have been successful as of late.
LC-WM enters the section championship with a 25-4 record, going 8-2 through its last 10 games.
The Trojans (19-7) have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games. Their only loss came against Marshall on Feb. 11.
“Like we told the kids, we’re playing some of our best basketball at the end of the season and that’s how we wanted it all along,” Lindner said. “We started sluggishly and then we kind of got better in the middle of the season and now in our last 10 games we’re 9-1. We’re playing good basketball right now.”
Lindner said the Trojans have improved a lot since that regular season meeting, and he thinks it will be a completely different ballgame from the first time around.
The coach said WHS is playing more aggressive basketball and the team is attacking the basket better than it was earlier in the season.
Lindner added the girls are doing a better job of rebounding and the Trojans can rely on their bench players more than they could previously.
If they can be aggressive without getting into too much foul trouble, the head coach thinks the Trojans will be just fine on Friday.
“We need to get off to a quick start,” Lindner said. “We need to establish our post game. If they play zone on us like teams have done in the past, then we’re going to have to have our perimeter kids shooting consistently from the outside. We still don’t want to take away the aggressiveness we’ve established. They’ll have a tendency of fouling us so we want to be aggressive and hopefully get to the line.”
The Trojans spent their practice days between Monday’s win and Friday’s contest practicing on the court at Minnesota West.
Because the section championship games are played at Southwest Minnesota State, Lindner wanted the girls to have practice playing on the bigger collegiate court — college courts have 10 extra feet on them compared to high school courts.
With the feel of the bigger court becoming more familar and the adrenaline of winning their sub-section still lingering, the Trojans feel confident entering the Section 3AA championship Friday.
“Each of us is contributing what each one of us does best right now,” Juber said. “It’s beyond words how excited we are to be in this game. I’m excited for everything the future holds. We have some big potential to do great things right now.”
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.