Trojans enter playoffs against Cougars
A lot of basketball has been played since the last time these two teams met -- a whole season. So while Worthington would like to avenge its 58-52 season-opening loss to Mankato East, the Trojans are concentrating on the Cougars as just another o...
A lot of basketball has been played since the last time these two teams met -- a whole season.
So while Worthington would like to avenge its 58-52 season-opening loss to Mankato East, the Trojans are concentrating on the Cougars as just another obstacle in their path to a Section 2AAA title.
"A little revenge would be nice," Worthington head coach Ron Vorwald said. "But really, we just want to play our best basketball and hopefully move on in the playoffs."
Since their Dec. 1 meeting, the Trojans have compiled a 12-10 record. The No. 5 seed finished their Southwest Conference schedule in fourth place with a 6-6 mark -- displaying moments of brilliance and of frustration.
In sweeping the home-and-home series with the Windom Eagles, the Trojans looked as though they were primed to make a state championship run. But against Luverne and Pipestone Area, Worthington often appeared to going through the motions.
"We have to go out there and control the things we can control," Vorwald said. "Boxing out, working hard defensively, taking charges and limiting turnovers -- those are all controllable things. If we can take care of the things we can control, then we'll give ourselves a chance to win the ball game."
One advantage the Trojans will likely have is that not too many people expect them to win.
The Cougars, who finished the regular season with a 19-7 record -- winning 13 of their last 15 games, claimed the Big 9 Conference title with a 14-4 mark. East is ranked No. 10 in for Class AAA in the state. Playing in two of the past three state tournaments, the Cougars are rich in basketball tradition.
"Everything's against us," Vorwald said. "We're not expected to win the game, and I'm sure right now they're (East) preparing to play Waconia.
"That should irritate us a little bit," Vorwald added. "It should make us more hungry and being the underdog is something the kids relish, because they're always ready for a fight."
Mankato East head coach Joe Madson says his team is not looking past the Trojans. Although he knows the Worthington club well, he expects the game to be closer than many might thimk.
"I expect a very competitive game," Madson said. "We know that Worthington is a very disciplined team. Coach Vorwald gets the best from his players and they always give us a good battle."