Trojans headed back to state

MANKATO -- For Gabby Boever, the realization of a state tournament berth came in the final minute, when Worthington held a 59-52 lead and Holli Aggen was sent to the free-throw line for two shots.

MANKATO -- For Gabby Boever, the realization of a state tournament berth came in the final minute, when Worthington held a 59-52 lead and Holli Aggen was sent to the free-throw line for two shots.

"When I realized we had it won it was when Holli got fouled down there," Boever said. "We were up by seven, and I knew she was going to make those free throws."

She did, and the Trojans rode their strong outside shooting and a quality night from the foul line to capture the Section 2AAA tournament Thursday with a 64-52 victory over the Marshall Tigers at Bresnan Arena on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The victory ends a three-year drought for the Trojans, who were eliminated by the Tigers each of the last two years.

Worthington (18-7) turned the momentum of the game around at the start of the second half. With a 28-24 lead, Holli Aggen delivered two 3-point baskets in a row, keying a 13-4 burst that put the Trojans up 41-28.


The 3-point shot proved to be the big factor in the game. From the start of the season, Worthington head coach Eric Lindner emphasized the importance of the 3-point shot, and his team delivered Thursday with an 8-for-15 performance.

"I told the kids at the beginning of practice that you must take the perimeter shot if you have it open," Lindner said. "If you make perimeter shots, you're going to be tough to beat."

"Coach told us to take our shots when we were open," added Aggen. "We took them, and we made them."

The perimeter shooting was a byproduct of Marshall's 1-3-1 zone defense. Shots were available on the wings and in the corner against the defense, and Worthington made sure its opportunities did not slip through its fingers.

Worthington jumped out of the gate strong, building a quick 17-8 advantage, before Marshall rallied with 11 consecutive points for a 19-17 lead -- its only lead of the night. Macie Michelson (25 points) keyed the run, scoring seven of the 11 points, while Worthington was unable to take advantage of its speed game as it had earlier on.

"Defensively, we were able to get back and stop some transition baskets," Marshall head coach Bruce Remme said. "And we got into a rhythm offensively."

Worthington needed to respond, and Boever helped do the job with six consecutive points after a timeout. Boever hit a 3-pointer, then added a free throw and a basket, as the Trojans retook the lead, 23-19.

"Once we start like that, we get confidence, and the tide turned the other way," Boever said.


As the game wore on, the Tigers uncharacteristically took quick shots. The poise that had carried the Tigers to back-to-back sectional titles had gone away, and Worthington was the welcome benefactor.

Then, with 3:40 left in the game, Jessica Onken fouled out with 12 points and her team down 49-47. With Anna Full limited to six points on the night, Onken had stepped up and filled the void. But when she fouled out, it proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome.

"That was a big key for us. Not only on the offensive end, but on the defensive end, too," Remme said. "They were able to take the ball inside against our smaller players."

The free throws were also big for the Trojans. Unlike in previous years, where critical misses had doomed the team, Worthington was clutch in the second half, hitting 15-of-21 attempts.

"I think when you get fouled at the end, you must make big shots," Lindner said. "They did that."

Holli Aggen led the team with 17 points and tied with Sarah Boever for the team lead with seven rebounds. Sarah Boever added 15 points, while Gabby Boever finished with 13, and Ashley Aggen had 10.

Michelson and Onken were the lone players to hit double figures in scoring for the Tigers.

WHS 28 36 -- 64


Marshall 24 28 -- 52

WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): S.Boever 0-5-5-15, H.Aggen 4-1-3-17, A.Aggen 2-0-4-10, G.Boever 2-2-3-13, Smith 0-2-1-5, Wetering 0-2-0-4. Totals: 8-12-16-64.

Marshall (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Michelson 2-8-3-25, Larson 0-1-0-2, Tate 0-0-1-1, Full 0-2-2-6, Onken 0-6-0-12, Mulder 0-3-0-6. Totals: 2-20-6-52.

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