WHS BOYS' BASKETBALL: WHS has season for the booksWORTHINGTON — The Worthington boys’ basketball team had quite a ride this season.
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington boys’ basketball team had quite a ride this season.
Although the year didn’t end as the Trojans had hoped, they can look back on the 2011-12 season and be proud of their accomplishments.
Worthington ended the year with a trip to the state tournament. The Trojans played only one game, losing in the Class AA quarterfinal round to Perham — the defending 2011 state champions — in a 51-47 heartbreaker.
Although they weren’t playing in the coveted final game, the Trojans are proud of their 21- 7 season.
“We had a fantastic season and capped it off with an outstanding run through the section tournament, reaching our goal of playing in the state tournament,” WHS head coach Ron Vorwald said. “This was an awesome experience for our basketball team.”
The season started off a little rocky for Worthington. As December, the first month of competition, came to an end, the Trojans had a 4-3 record — the worst month the team would play this season.
During that month, the Trojans lost three games in a row to Marshall, Ellsworth and Perham. It would mark the only time of the year that Worthington would have any sort of losing streak.
However, the team was able to turn things around in January. That month, the Trojans put together a 7-2 record. Both of their losses came to Redwood Valley during that span, but Worthington beat quality teams that month such as Southwest Christian and Windom.
The Trojans got a little better in February, putting together a 6-1 month. The team’s only loss coming to Marshall on Feb. 16.
But March is when things really matter and the Trojans began to click then. They cruised through the section tournament, winning four games against St. James, Luverne, Fairmont and Redwood Valley.
Those wins propelled the team into the state tournament, but Worthington was unable to make it past the first round, losing to Perham on March 21 at the Target Center.
“During the season we had some off games,” WHS senior Mitch Weg said. “We won some tough games, but we also had quite a few losses where we thought we could’ve played better in. Finally, at the end of the year we started hitting our stride and made a run in the section and made it to state. It was tough initially to go out like that, but it was worth the trip regardless of the outcome.”
The Trojans will graduate five players this year; Weg, Lucas Henning, Tyler Verdoorn, Dan Wetering and Jon Reller.
But there are plenty of players who have extensive time on the court that will return next season. Jon Vorwald, Marcus Potter, Morgan Traylor and Spencer Grafing are just some of the players who saw quality minutes this season and will return to play next year.
And the class of 2012 has plenty of advice to pass down to the underclassmen.
“I would just tell them to never stop working,” Weg said. “Never take a play off and never think you’re beat. Just keep going. You’re never going to forget these years and these people, so work your hardest to make it worth it, so you don’t leave with regrets.”
Many of the Trojans don’t have much time to dwell on the past few months as they’re busy picking up their baseball bats or track shoes for the upcoming spring sports season, but they certainly made enough memories on the court to last for a long time.
Despite ending the season on a low note, the coaches are quick to remind the Worthington boys of how much they achieved and how much they have to smile about.
As the coaches say, any hardships will fade into the past as the triumphs will continue to last long into the future.
“I’m extremely proud of this team for coming together and playing their best basketball at the right time of the year,” Ron Vorwald said. “This season brought us all on a memorable journey to the state tournament. It was amazing.”
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.