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Trojans open with a victory

WORTHINGTON -- Behind 22 points from Gabby Boever, and 21 from Holli Aggen, the Worthington Trojan girls basketball team opened with a 76-69 victory over Fulda in a non-conference match-up Tuesday night.

"They need to do that," Worthington head coach Eric Lindner said of Boever and Aggen. "If we don't have those 3s to extend the zone, there are going to be a lot of people playing us in a zone and packing it in."

The Trojans (1-0) hit nine 3s on the night, with four coming from Aggen, and three from Boever.

However, Worthington shot just 50 percent from the line (17-34), compared to Fulda's 23-of-27.

"When you look at the stats, free-throws is definitely an area (to improve)," Lindner said. "You can't shoot 50 percent and beat good basketball teams. They shot 23-for-27, and that's what you have to do. We didn't shoot well enough from the line."

Fulda (0-2) was led by Mari Holinka with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Lane Gehl led all scorers with 31 points, 23 of which came in the second half. Gehl also added six rebounds as the Raiders out rebounded Worthington 44-31.

"We're going to have to rebound all year because we don't have a lot of size," Fulda head coach Greg Slaathaug said. "We're going to have to team rebound. It's a long year, and we're happy with how we played tonight."

While Fulda took an early lead behind a basket from Sam Raddle (11 points, five assists), but the Trojans answered right back. Boever had one of her seven steals on the night and turned it into two points on the opposite end, as Worthington took a 3-2 advantage.

The Trojans pushed the lead to five behind another steal and layup from Boever, but the Raiders came roaring back. Gehl put a shot back on a rebound, and Holinka converted a 3-point play as Fulda tied the game early on.

"As a coach, you can't expect everything the first game out," Lindner said. "They had a little advantage on us, they had already played a game and got rid of those jitters."

Trailing 12-11, Worthington went on a 9-0 run -- forcing a Fulda timeout.

Later in the first half, a trey from Kayla VanderVeen (five points) gave Worthington its largest lead of the half -- 32-21.

With baskets from Brittany Hulstein and a pair of free throws from Gehl, Fulda climbed back into the game and trailed 36-31 at half.

Out of halftime, Gehl sank a duece and a trey to pull the Raiders even with Worthington.

Aggen answered with two 3s, and the Trojans never looked back.

Rachel Pavelko (six points) hit a layup, and after a free throw from Boever, VanderVeen put in another shot. Sarah Boever (eight points) ended the 14-1 Worthington run with a three, and the Trojans held a 50-37 lead.

The Raiders' Raddle hit a three, and Courtney Hulstein (five points) put up a shot as the Raiders worked their way back into the game.

With two consecutive 3s from Gehl, Fulda would pull within four points, 56-52.

However, the Raiders could never overcome the deficit as the Trojans claimed a 76-69 victory.

"I thought we matched their intensity, and we stayed composed," Slaathaug said. "We played team basketball, and that's what we're all about."

For Worthington, rebounding and tempo is something to improve on as the season progresses.

"I think overall, our kids played pretty hard," Lindner said. "I was disappointed in our half-court defense and our rebounding. I think tempo-wise, we played a little slower game than we wanted to. We're much more up-tempo than we showed tonight."

The Trojans had 22 steals as a team, with half of those coming from Gabby Boever and Sarah Boever.

"We spent a lot of time preparing for Worthington," Slaathaug said. "Now it's time to push the fundamentals and all that kind of stuff and get better as a basketball team."

Fulda will travel to Edgerton on Friday, while Worthington will be at Mankato East on Thursday.

"Our philosophy is always take it one game at a time," Lindner said. "Our next thing is that we have to forget about this game. We have one day and then we have to go compete again. That's the good thing about basketball, no matter what happens, you don't have much time to think about it, and you go right at it again."

Fulda 31 38 -- 69

Worthington 36 40 -- 76

Fulda (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) C. Hulstein 1-1-0-5, Raddle 1-1-6-11, B. Hulstein 0-1-0-2, M. Holinka 0-4-8-16, Gehl 3-8-6-31, Paulzine 0-2-2-6, Totals 4-17-23-69.

Worthington (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) S. Boever 1-0-5-8, Aggen 4-2-5-21, G. Boever 3-5-3-22, Pavelko 0-3-0-6, Gerber 0-1-2-4, Smith 0-3-2-8, VanderVeen 1-1-0-5, Schroeder 0-1-0-2, Totals 9-16-17-76.