WHS BOYS' BASKETBALL: Henning gets defensiveWORTHINGTON — Worthington’s Lucas Henning has a jump shot made for an instructional video on how to shoot a basketball. That wasn’t always the case.
WORTHINGTON — Worthington’s Lucas Henning has a jump shot made for an instructional video on how to shoot a basketball. That wasn’t always the case.
“I wasn’t particularly that good of a shooter when I was younger,” Henning said. “When I got in high school I started shooting more and coach Vorwald always told me to keep shooting.”
Henning’s personality was made to take the big shot. At no point in the game, whether it’s with five seconds or 15 minutes remaining, does Henning show any emotion nor does he show any hesitation in letting a jumper fly.
“Playing on three varsity sports (football, basketball, baseball) for three years, you learn to balance things,” Henning said. “I learned that you have to keep your composure and not let other teams see your emotions.
“Other teams thrive on that.”
One of the few emotional outbursts for Henning was after Worthington’s 64-43 win over Redwood Valley — 43 points being a season-low for the Cardinals — in the Section 3AA championship, propelling Worthington to the state tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis versus top-seeded Perham. Henning popped his jersey for the Trojans’ student section.
Good thing Henning did that because the crowd probably didn’t realize the jersey belonged to him, seeing as it was stuck on RV’s star player Mike Busack all night.
Often overlooked, due to his offensive prowess, is Henning’s defense. If his defense is still overlooked after being the main catalyst to holding Busack to eight points — all in the first half — in Worthington’s clinic versus the Cardinals then people are blind. All Busack had done in the Trojans’ two losses during the regular season to the Cardinals was combine for 56 points.
“We wanted to make sure Busack was catching the ball going away from the basket,” WHS coach Ron Vorwald said. “Lucas did a great job doing that and rose to the challenge to keep him out of his comfort zone.
“Busack is the kind of kid that can go off at any time. No lead is large enough with him on the floor. Lucas is taking it to another level this postseason, as everyone on the team is. He’s willing to guard anybody and he’s versatile enough to guard anybody. He’s our best perimeter defender.”
The frustration was obvious seen not only in the eight points and zero free throws made for Busack, but his technical foul and eventual fouling out of the game.
“We really got in his head,” Henning said. “He’s a really good rhythm shooter, but once you get him out of it, he’s done. He doesn’t shoot nearly as good when he’s not in rhythm and we saw that.”
As for his defense going overlooked?
“It used to get to me,” Henning said. “I know my role on the team and, as long as we’re winning, nothing really matters.”
Overlook Henning’s defense all you want. He’s taking it to state.
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.