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Vorwald posts first career double-double in 87-56 victory over Windom

WORTHINGTON -- Scoring 10 straight points and getting seven consecutive defensive stops to begin the game Friday night, the Worthington Trojans earned a sharp 87-56 victory over the Windom Eagles in the Southwest Conference boys' basketball opener on 'Meet the Trojans' night.

Worthington's offense was in high gear against the Eagles, as the Trojans scored from nearly everywhere on the court, with six players finishing with nine or more points. The Trojans also played well defensively, holding their opponent to under 60 points for the third straight game.

"This was an excellent and collective team effort on both ends of the court," Worthington head coach Ron Vorwald said after the game. "We had two very good practices since the Adrian game on Tuesday, as we really worked a lot on our offensive execution and our transition game."

Worthington built a 10-0 lead by the 15:41 mark of the first half, as Joe Ahrens (nine points) scored twice on a strong offensive-rebound chance and after getting the ball on the low block on a bounce pass from Travis Meinders (10 points) for the first four points.

Mike Vorwald (15 points, 10 assists -- first career double-double) made it 6-0 just 46 seconds in with a steal and layup, while Adou Omot scored off a feed from Meinders, and Kent Knutson found Ahrens in the lane for another hoop.

Windom scored its first points at the 15-minute mark on a three-point play by Bryce Grove (12 points, four steals, three assists). Michael Johnson found Brett Dumke for a basket 45 seconds later, as the Eagles cut the lead in half at 10-5.

Worthington answered with an 8-0 run to go up 18-5 with 13 minutes remaining in the half -- forcing a Windom timeout. Knutson (11 points, 11 rebounds) had a three-point play before Vorwald stroked a trey from the top of the key and later came up with another steal and layup.

Two baskets apiece by Grove and Travis Mattson helped the Eagles trim the lead to nine (22-13) with 10:15 to go, but Worthington answered by going on another scoring surge.

After Knutson scored on an assist from Matt King, Omot scored eight of his 14 first-half points over a three-minute span to help the Trojans go on a 13-2 run and open up a 20-point bulge (35-15) with 6:10 left.

Omot (20 points, seven rebounds) scored on a pair of 15-foot baseline jumpers, a 17-foot stroke from the right wing and on a layup after a long, down-court pass from Vorwald.

"Adou is so athletic, and he played within himself tonight," Vorwald said. "He made good decisions, took good shots and knocked them down -- things all of our guys did tonight."

Worthington maintained a near 20-point lead the rest of the half, as Vorwald found Knutson for two baskets, and King (11 points) hit a pair of three-pointers -- including one at the buzzer from over 50 feet -- in the final 5:54 to help propel the Trojans to a 49-26 halftime lead.

"Worthington played extremely well and shot the ball well from all over the court," Windom head coach Corey Christopher said. "They are going to very tough to beat when they play like they did tonight."

The Trojans quickly extended their lead to 35 points (67-32) in the first six minutes of the second half. Vorwald, Omot and Meinders were the catalysts in fueling the Trojans on an 18-6 run.

Omot's turnaround 10-footer on the left baseline and drive through the lane accounted for the first four points in the run, while Vorwald fired in a three-pointer from the right corner.

After drawing a charge on the defensive end, Ahrens scored off a flex cut and feed from Omot and later made a free throw. Vorwald scored on a runner in the lane, while Meinders pumped in two 18-foot jumpers on the left wing before grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring on a 15-foot, turn-around jumper along the right baseline.

Grove had two baskets, and Dumke scored a hoop in that sequence for the Eagles, who later cut the lead to 25 (77-52) with 4:25 to play.

Johnson (13 points) and Dumke (12 points) combined to score 14 points over the next seven minutes, as the Eagles outscored Worthington 20-10 during that stretch.

Worthington finished the game by scoring 10 of the final 14 points. Craig Soderholm scored twice for the Trojans, while Armando Morales scored in the lane.

Sophomore Zach Houselog, who had five rebounds and was credited by Vorwald for playing a strong game off the bench, made a pair of free throws for the Trojans, and Derek Busswitz scored in the lane.

Both teams play Tuesday, with Worthington (1-0, 2-1) visiting Luverne, and Windom (0-1, 0-2) hosting Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.

Windom 26 30 -- 56

Worthington 49 38 -- 87

WINDOM (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Gotto 0-0-1-1, Grove 0-5-2-12, Kipfer 0-2-0-4, Dumke 0-6-0-12, Johnson 0-4-5-13, Mattson 1-2-1-8, J. Holt 0-2-0-4, L. Holt 0-1-0-2. Totals: 1-22-9-56.

WORTHINGTON (3PT-2PT-FT-TP): Morales 0-1-0-2, Vorwald 3-3-0-15, Meinders 0-4-2-10, Omot 0-10-0-20, Busswitz 0-1-0-2, Houselog 0-0-3-3, Knutson 0-5-1-11, King 3-0-2-11, Soderholm 0-2-0-4, Ahrens 0-4-1-9. Totals: 6-30-9-87.