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Prep girls basketball: Trojan girls dominate, 77-44

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Worthington senior Becca Linder goes high over Windom Area defender for a shot during Friday night’s girls basketball game in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON — A matchup of two 1-0 teams quickly became a mismatch Friday as the Worthington Trojans girls basketball team routed Windom Area 77-44 at the WHS gymnasium.

The Trojans scored the first nine points of the game and maintained a lead that hovered around 10 points through the first half of the first half until the onslaught was unleashed. Worthington led 21-12 before outscoring the visiting Eagles 21-2 through a four-minute stretch to assume a virtually insurmountable 42-14 advantage.

“We started so much better than we did in the last game (a season-opening victory against Fairmont Tuesday). Turnovers got to them quick,” said Worthington head coach Eric Lindner.

Windom Area turned the ball over 23 times in the first half alone, committing 32 for the game. Meanwhile, Worthington’s good offensive ball movement kept the Eagles from regaining their bearings.

Brooke Henning, Worthington’s talented 5-11 senior center, started strong, scoring seven of the team’s initial nine points. She scored in a variety of ways, making a three-point play (with free throw), hitting a turnaround jumper near the basket, then making a steal and driving the length of the court for a layup.

“Henning pushing it to the basket — when she’s aggressive, that makes us a different team,” Lindner said.

Long-range shots late in the first half helped the Trojans pull away for good. A three-point shot from well beyond the arc with 6:57 remaining by Ana Boever gave the Trojans a 28-12 lead. With 5:01 left, another three-pointer by Paige Gravenhof pushed the margin to 20 points, at 34-14. Moments later, Henning scored for a 36-14 lead, and that was followed by a pair of three-pointers by Boever at 4:32 and 3:58 to make it 42-14.

“When they played us in the zone, that’s one thing we’ve got — some shooters. Ball movement is the key with a zone. You’ve got to get it moving back and forth, and I think we did a good job of that,” Lindner said.

Worthington took its 46-22 halftime lead and went to the bench early and often in the second half. It was an excuse for both sides to let everyone play.

Boever, a 5-9 junior, made four three-point attempts on the night and finished with 17 points. Gravenhof, who made two threes, had 12. Henning tallied 11.

Senior forward Kelsey Hanefeld led Windom Area with 14 points.

After the contest, Lindner said he wasn’t completely pleased with the Trojans’ dribble penetration defense. His players gave up the middle too easily, he said. He also didn’t care for Worthington’s 23 turnovers. “We like to be in that 15-17 range,” he said.

But the Trojans’ trapping was sharp, and they anticipated the Eagles’ next passes well. The book showed the Trojans coming up with 26 steals.

They also out-rebounded Windom Area 38-24.

WINDOM AREA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — K. Hanefeld 0-4-6-14, Sorensen 0-2-2-6, L. Hanefeld 0-2-0-4, Carlson 0-0-6-6, Maras 0-2-0-4, Kelly 0-3-1-7, Riordan 0-0-2-2, Huset 0-0-0-0, M. Vollan 0-0-1-1. Totals 0-13-18-44 

WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) — Boever 4-1-3-17, Landgaard 0-2-1-5, Henning 0-5-1-11, Lindner 0-1-2-4, Gravenhof 2-2-2-12, Ap. Alwal 1-3-0-9, Ac. Alwal 0-0-2-2, Ah Alwal 0-2-1-5, Ebbers 0-1-3-5, Gerber 0-2-0-4. Totals 7-20-16-77

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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