Trojans let victory slip away

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Trojans literally let Thursday night's boys' basketball game against the Pipestone Area Arrows slip through their hands.

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Trojans literally let Thursday night's boys' basketball game against the Pipestone Area Arrows slip through their hands.

Down by one point with 15 seconds remaining, the Trojans swung the ball around the perimeter to sophomore guard Mike Vorwald, who spotted a slashing Quentin Dudley in the lane. Vorwald fired a rising pass to the senior forward, who couldn't quite get a handle on the sizzling pass -- which slipped through his hands and out of bounds.

The turnover gave the ball back to the Arrows and with 1.6 seconds left, Doug Mead dropped in 1-of-2 free throws to secure the 50-48 victory.

With the victory -- their fifth consecutive -- the Arrows improve to 5-7 in the Southwest Conference and 10-9 overall. The loss drops the Trojans to 4-7 in conference play and 9-12 on the year.

"It's a very big win for us," Pipestone Area head coach Todd Tinklenberg said following the contest. "We've been putting things together the last four ballgames, and we knew we could play with them if we just took care of the basketball."


The Trojans, who are known for their tough, grinding defense, were matched by the Arrows on the defensive end. And with the game on the line, the Arrows stepped it up a bit further -- creating three consecutive Trojan miscues in the final two and a half minutes.

"The bottom line is they played better than we did," Worthington head coach Ron Vorwald said. "They made fewer mistakes, made free throws and played harder defensively. Pipestone is a good team, and they showed it tonight."

Trailing 27-25 to open the second half, the Arrows ran into some adversity when two starters -- Colin Taubert and Austin Carpenter -- left the game with injuries. Guard Seth Garrett, who has been strong off the bench for the Arrows all season, was called on by coach Tinklenberg to play a bigger role.

The senior stepped up on both ends of the court, helping force turnovers and getting to the hoop for six second-half points.

"Bench play is really important, especially this time of the season," Garrett said. "I tried to play smart and be a spark off the bench. The momentum we gained from this win is going to be great. We've really been able to put it together the last couple of weeks."

Garrett's energy seemed to lift the Arrows' play, and with five and a half minutes remaining in the contest, Jamie Gustafson drilled a 3-pointer from the left side to pull the Arrows within one at 38-37. Mead (8 points) and Garrett followed with a pair each from the line, and Pipestone Area had a 41-38 advantage.

Following a short-range jumper by Arrow forward Greg Quist (8 points, 7 rebounds), the Trojans' Joel Olson -- who scored a game-high 18 points and six rebounds -- countered with two from the line. Olson then scored a bucket underneath, and the Trojans were within one at 43-42.

Garrett gave the Arrows a 5-point lead with 2:15 to play on two strong drives to the basket, but the Trojans' Matt King matched his efforts with a pair of putback buckets to again make it a 1-point game.


With 45 seconds left, the Arrows' leading scorer -- Luke Tinklenberg (10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) -- caught the Trojans napping and scored on a backdoor cut to give PA a 49-46 advantage. Olson followed with a pair from the line, but the final Worthington turnover ended the Trojans' hopes for a comeback.

Dudley finished the night with 11 points and two steals for the Trojans, while Vorwald and Adou Omot dished out five and four assists, respectively.

David Janssen blocked three shots for the Arrows.

The Trojans will visit Redwood Valley on Friday, Feb. 23, while the Arrows visit Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Monday.

PA 25 25 -- 50

WHS 27 21 -- 48

PA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Tinklenberg 0-5-0-10, Garrett 0-3-3-9, Mead 1-1-3-8, Quist 0-4-0-8, Gustafson 1-1-0-5, Taubert 0-2-0-4, Carpenter 0-2-0-4, Janssen 0-1-0-2. Totals -- 2-19-6-50.

WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Olson 0-7-4-18, Dudley 0-5-1-11, Vorwald 3-0-0-9, Omot1-1-0-5, King 0-2-0-4, Ahrens 0-0-1-1. Totals -- 4-15-6-48.

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