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Trojan girls pull out 81-75 victory over Arrows

WORTHINGTON -- The Pipestone Area Arrows drew first blood during Tuesday night's game between two Southwest Conference heavyweights.

However, the Worthington Trojans delivered the final blow to claim an 81-75 victory in girl's action.

The Trojans, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, fell behind 8-0 early as PA's Faith Tinklenberg scored five points in the first three minutes to give the Arrows (3-1, 7-2) the lead.

"I was thinking that we were OK, but I think the kids were thinking that 'here we go again,'" Worthington head coach Eric Lindner said. "When we did make the run, we had some good defensive things. If you notice tonight, we did a lot better job of pressuring kids."

The Trojans (5-0, 10-1) then got on the board with a basket from Gabby Boever (17 points, six rebounds) and a pair of free throws from Sarah Boever (nine points).

However, Kayla Rowden made a pair of shots as the Arrows, who are rated No. 7 in class 2A, had a 14-4 lead.

The Trojans answered with a 10-2 run behind a 3-pointer from Holli Aggen, and a pair of baskets from Alyssa Smith (11 points).

Tinklenberg put the Arrows on the board again, but Aggen answered with another trey -- pulling the score to 19-18 in favor of PA.

"I think we did alright (tonight)," Aggen said. "We started off a little slow, but we got a lot better. We started pushing up our tempo."

As the Trojans continued to push the tempo in an attempt to cut the Arrows' lead, Tinklenberg continued to have the answer.

The senior guard finished with a game-high 28 points, and scored 16 points in the first half -- securing a 36-32 lead for the Arrows at the break.

"She did a nice job," PA head coach Jay Johnson said of Tinklenberg. "It was nice to see her have a good game again. She had a couple of good games at the South Dakota tournament over break, and I thought tonight was kind of a continuation off of that."

PA's Megan Vanderpoel (seven points, 13 rebounds) started the second half with an offensive rebound and a put back, pushing the lead to six points.

The Arrows later scored six consecutive points to push the lead to 10 four minutes into the second half.

However, the Trojans would not go quietly. After scoring just eight points in the first half and missing a number of shots, Aggen began to attack the basket, and with a 3-point play, pulled the Trojans back within five.

"My shot really wasn't falling, so I tried to take it to the hole," Aggen said. "They aren't bad defensive players, but they had a hard time guarding us off the dribble, so instead of shooting an outside shot, we had a higher percentage going in."

The Arrows maintained a six-point lead for most of the second half, until the final five minutes.

Trailing 69-62, the Trojans went on a 9-0 run to take a 71-69 lead -- their first of the night -- with 5:18 remaining.

Tinklenberg continued to hinder the Trojans, scoring a pair of free throws and another jump shot, as the Arrows trailed by just one.

"Tinklenberg is a great player," Lindner said. "She comes off that double screen, and just jumps and is so athletic and can see over our kids and has a nice shot."

Aggen sealed the victory with four free throws, as the Trojans rose to the top of the conference with a victory.

"Now we're leading the Southwest Conference, so it's pretty awesome," Aggen said.

Coming off their first loss of the season to West Central in their last game, Worthington was determined to get back in the win column.

"These guys beat West Central by three, and we got our butts kicked, so we were kind of nervous," Aggen said. "But we knew that we had to play a lot better than we did."

The Trojans, in a tough part of their schedule, will travel to Spirit Lake, Iowa Friday. The Indians are rated No. 8 in Class 3A in Iowa.

"(This is) a big win because it puts us one up on Pipestone and Marshall," Lindner said. "Now we just have to take care of our business and focus on Spirit Lake."

Worthington 32 49 -- 81

Pipestone Area 36 39 -- 75

Worthington (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) S. Boever 0-2-5-9, Aggen 3-4-7-24, G. Boever 1-7-17, Pavelko 1-3-3-12, Gerber 1-1-0-3, Smith 0-4-3-11, VanderVeen 0-1-1-3, Totals 6-22-19-81.

PA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Tinklenberg 0-12-4-28, Bree Woelber 0-2-1-5, Bouman 0-3-3-10, Brooke Woelber 0-2-1-5, Evans 0-4-2-10, Vanderpoel 0-3-1-7, Rowden 0-4-2-10. Totals 0-30-15-75.