WHS GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Trojans have a season to rememberWORTHINGTON — Some may say that the Trojans’ season didn’t end on a high note, but for the members of the Worthington girls’ basketball team, they say it exceeded their wildest dreams.
WORTHINGTON — Some may say that the Trojans’ season didn’t end on a high note, but for the members of the Worthington girls’ basketball team, they say it exceeded their wildest dreams.
The Trojans advanced to the state tournament, where they lost their first game in the quarterfinal round to Sauk Centre 65-51. They finished the season with a 20-8 record.
But despite losing in the first round of the state tournament, the girls couldn’t be happier with their achievements this year.
“Everything went a lot better than everyone thought it would go,” WHS senior Mackenzie Gerber said. “We surprised even ourselves with how we did. It was a good finish for us and even though the season ended on a loss, we did exactly what we wanted and that was to be at our best at the end of the year. We surpassed our expectations and we’re happy with how everything turned out.”
From February on, the Trojans went 10-2 to close out the season. Their two losses came in the state tournament game and against Marshall on Feb. 11.
Half of the Trojans’ losses came during the month of January, when Worthington went 5-4 during the middle part of the season.
In December, the first month of the season, the Trojans went 5-2.
“On the season, it basically started out just trying to get everything together,” WHS head coach Eric Lindner said. “In the middle of the season we struggled a little bit and were losing. And then we peaked at the end of the season, which is exactly what we wanted to do.”
For Gerber and much of the Worthington squad, the highlight of the season was winning the Class 3AA Sub-Section and Section championships.
The Trojans defeated Fairmont and Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial in those two games, respectively. Those two teams were games Worthington lost during the regular season, so avenging those losses on their road to the state tournament was special for the girls.
“We showed everyone who we are and what we had to offer,” WHS senior Kristen Andersen said. “We had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of people doubted us, even we doubted ourselves. But we showed everyone that we could do it and we did. We’re proud of how our season went. These are memories we’ll never forget and we reached something that we thought we could only dream of doing.”
For four Trojans, the state tournament game was the marking of an end of a career.
Gerber, Andersen, Bernadette Boever and Megan Juber — all starters — will graduate in May.
Worthington had a deep bench, but Abbie Langaard will be the only returning starter next season. However, K.C. Riley, Lydia Kemper, Ana Boever and Paige Gravenhof all got quality minutes this season as well so they should be ready to take over the floor in future seasons.
And with the seniors handing off the baton to the underclassmen, they do so with some words of wisdom.
“If I could offer any advice it would just be that they shouldn’t take anything for granted,” Gerber said. “Just seize every moment because nothing lasts forever.”
For the time being, the Trojans will try to forget their heartbreaking exit from the tournament while remembering all the hard-fought games they won to reach that point.
And the coaches will continue to compliment the girls on their efforts this year.
“I’m proud of these girls,” Lindner said. “The season may have ended in some tears, but each girl worked hard to get to where we did. We’re happy with the efforts and we’re happy with the overall outcome of the season.”
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at376-7335