Trojans' season hits its end
Try as they might Thursday, the Worthington Trojans boys basketball team was unable to get over the hump against Mankato East. And with it, came the end of the season. Chop Tang scored a game-high 31 points for the defending section champions, as...
Try as they might Thursday, the Worthington Trojans boys basketball team was unable to get over the hump against Mankato East.
And with it, came the end of the season.
Chop Tang scored a game-high 31 points for the defending section champions, as Mankato East advanced to the second round of the Section 2AAA tournament with a 65-56 victory over the Trojans, who finish the season at 12-11.
Mankato East is now 20-7 on the season.
The turning point in the game came with 3:07 left in regulation when Worthington's Joel Olson fouled out. Olson, who didn't play in the team's season-opening encounter, had scored 11 points for WHS in the game up until his fifth foul.
With Olson gone, Worthington's momentum went with it. Mankato East finished the game outscoring the Trojans 15-9 -- all but a window-dressing basket by Tang in the final seconds coming from the foul line.
The Cougars did their most damage in the game from the foul line, going 24-for-29 on the night. Leading the charge there was Tang, who was a perfect 12-for-12.
Worthington, meanwhile, did its best to hang in at the line, attempting 30 foul shots with 18 conversions.
The Trojans opened the game scoring the first seven points and played with a confidence that they could knock off the section's No. 4 seed. When Mike Olafson scored the first basket of the game for Mankato East with 13:30 left, it sparked a 12-2 run covering three minutes, putting the Cougars up 12-9.
Worthington rebounded late in the first half to grab a 27-26 lead before the Cougars rattled off the final five points in the half to take a 31-27 lead they would not relinquish.
Nate Stoll did his best to help keep the Trojans in the game, scoring 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half.
Worthington 27 29 -- 56
Mankato East 31 34 -- 65
WHS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): Traphagen 1-0-0-3, Stoll 0-5-6-16, Stevenson 0-0-1-1, Vorwald 0-1-0-2, Berg 0-1-0-2, Aggen 1-1-6-11, Soderholm 0-3-2-8, Olson 0-4-3-11, Landberg 0-1-0-2. Totals: 2-16-18-56.
Mankato East (3FG-2FG-FT-TP): A.Ford 0-3-0-6, Olafson 0-1-0-2, Ward 0-1-1-3, Winter 0-0-4-4, Tang 1-8-12-31, Cunningham 2-0-4-10, Frederick 0-1-0-2, Benson 0-2-3-7. Totals: 3-16-24-65.