TROJAN GIRLS BASKETBALL: Worthington outlasts Windom AreaST. JAMES — It was a game of survival for Worthington, which outlasted Windom Area 57-47 on Tuesday in the semifinal round of the MSHSL Class AA Girls Basketball Section 3 South Division Tournament.
ST. JAMES — It was a game of survival for Worthington, which outlasted Windom Area 57-47 on Tuesday in the semifinal round of the MSHSL Class AA Girls Basketball Section 3 South Division Tournament.
The Trojans led 42-40 with 4 minutes, 18 seconds left, when Worthington’s Ana Boever missed a pair of free throws. But teammate Brooke Henning collected the offensive rebound —one of her team-high 13 caroms — before Lydia Kemper knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
That was the sequence the Trojans used to pull away from the Eagles and advance to the Section 3 South Division Tournament championship game at 7 p.m. Friday at Windom Area High School. Worthington will play Martin County West (22-4), which defeated Fairmont 63-55 in another semifinal game Tuesday at St. James Area High School.
“I think our 3-point shooters played well under pressure,” said Kemper, who saw teammate Paige Gravenhof score six of her eight points by drilling a pair of 3-pointers during the final 7 minutes. Boever also hit a 3-pointer with 10:36 left to hand the Trojans a 33-31 lead.
“Shooting from long-range is one of our strengths, especially after feeling the rush of adrenaline after hitting a long 3 that you really need,” Boever said. “It really gives you the confidence to shoot more.”
The trio of Kemper, Boever and Henning did much of the work for Worthington. All three players ended up with double-doubles as Kemper had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Boever also posted 17 points and 12 rebounds and Henning scored 10 points in addition to her 13 rebounds.
Gravenhof’s second 3-pointer extended the Trojans’ lead to 48-42 with 3½ minutes left.
But despite 67 percent (16 of 24) free-throw shooting as a team, Worthington made 9 of 10 free-throw attempts in the final 1:26 to seal its win. After missing those two earlier free-throw chances, Boever made six straight foul shots during the final 57.3 seconds.
“Windom’s fans really made it difficult to concentrate because they were just screaming for me to miss,” Boever said. “You just can’t let that get to you. You just have to block it out and make the shots.”
Worthington held on for the victory, but Windom Area gave the Trojans every they could handle for the first 25½ minutes. The Eagles used a 12-2 run during the final 3:19 of the first half to take a 27-25 halftime lead.
Kelsey Hanefeld, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, sparked the Eagles’ surge by scoring a trio of baskets on a jumper inside the lane, a putback and a jumper from the baseline.
Gina Hauge aided Windom Area with a double-double of 14 rebounds and 13 points. After scoring 10 markers during the first 27 minutes, she was limited to three points the rest of the way.
“I thought we played a good first half,” Eagles head coach Jeff Huska said. “We did a good job handling Worthington’s pressure, we shot the ball well and attacked the rim. Our defense was good in the first half.”
But the second half, Windom Area had trouble finding its offense.
“We never really had any flow on offense in the second half,” Huska said. “Credit Worthington’s defense, but we did a poor job of organizing ourselves in our offensive sets. It was a little bit of floor-spacing and getting into the set that we called.”
Rachel Sorensen, who led the Eagles with 15 points, drained some pivotal shots, including a top-of-the-key 3-pointer that trimmed WHS lead to 50-47 with 61 seconds left.
“I have to admit that all of Windom girls have a lot of hustle,” Kemper said. “That’s one thing they do very well when they play us.”
Kemper scored 11 of the Trojans’ first 13 points before Henning added the next three baskets as Worthington went ahead 19-11 as 4:45 remained before halftime.
“I came out hustling and trying to go after the ball,” Kemper said. “Like my coach always says, ‘the one who can score is the one with the ball.’”
Rebounding played a vital role in the game’s outcome. With both teams combining to shoot 28 percent (35 of 124) from the field, controlling the ball off the backboard became pivotal.
Worthington topped Windom Area 48-38 in total rebounds. The Trojans held 25-14 edge in offensive caroms.
WINDOM AREA 47
WINDOM AREA (15-13): Hanefeld 5-16 1-2 11, Sorenson 6-18 2-4 15, Hanson 0-0 0-0 0, Petersen 2-7 0-0 4, Carlson 1-5 2-2 4, Larson 0-7 0-0 0, Hauge 3-14 7-8 13. Totals: 17-67 (25%) 12-16 (75%) 47.
WORTHINGTON (21-5): Boever 5-12 6-8 17, Landgaard 0-5 5-6 5, Henning 5-12 0-2 10 Kemper 6-13 3-4 17, Gravenhof 2-8 2-2 8, Riley 0-6 0-0 0, Coriolan 0-1 0-2 0. Totals: 18-57 (32%) 16-24 (67%) 57.
Windom Area 27 20 — 47
Worthington 25 28 — 57
3-Point Goals: Windom Area 1-3 (Sorenson 1-2, Petersen 0-1); Worthington 5-13 (Kemper 2-4, Gravenhof 2-5, Boever 1-2, Riley 0-2). Rebounds: Windom Area 38 (Hauge 14, Hanefeld 7, Larson 7); Worthington 48 (Henning 13, Boever 12, Kemper 12). Total Fouls (Fouled Out): Windom Area 17 (Sorenson, Carlson); Worthington 11 (none). Technical Fouls: None. Assists: Windom Area 12; Worthington 14 (Landgaard 7, Gravenhof 4). Steals: Windom Area 10 (Hanefeld 4, Hauge 4); Worthington 14 (Boever 6, Kemper 4). Blocked Shots: Windom Area 3 (Hanefelf, Sorenson, Hauge); Worthington 14 (Boever 5, Henning 4). Turnovers: Windom Area 23, Worthington 18.