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Balanced control: Trojan boys basketball team has its way with Windom Area, 81-65

It was not lost on Worthington High School boys basketball coach Clint Meyer that for the second straight game, four of his Trojans scored in double figures Monday night.

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Trojans Joe Boever (41) fires a jump shot from under the hoop after driving past Windom Eagles Conner Redman (20) Monday Night in Worthington. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- It was not lost on Worthington High School boys basketball coach Clint Meyer that for the second straight game, four of his Trojans scored in double figures Monday night.

“If we can get other guys to step up and score, there’s not going to be as much pressure on Terbo to do it all,” he said.

Terbuto Ochothow scored 25 points to lead WHS past Windom Area 81-65 at the local high school gym, but while the team’s typical scoring leader had his way with an Eagle defense that couldn’t match the Trojans for speed and athleticism, teammates Meer Othow (15 points), Brock Bruns (13) and Daniel Pavelko (10) balanced a solid offensive output. Joe Boever finished with another nine points as Worthington moved past the .500 mark for a 4-3 record.

Windom Area, on the other hand, had won three straight by playing physical defense and working for the right kind of shots. In Worthington, however, the Eagles’ defense let them down.

“I didn’t think we came out with great energy,” said WAHS head coach Mitch Boeck. “But I think Worthington came out real smart. They took the shots that they wanted to get. We just didn’t compete on defense like we wanted to.”

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Meyer agreed that the Trojans’ offense was sharp.

“We really started to wear them down in the second half. I don’t think Mitch has as deep a bench as we do, and we were able to run players in there and keep them fresh. … They’re (Windom) always dangerous, though, because they can shoot the three.”

Armed with a 38-30 lead at intermission, Worthington increased its pace to begin the second half and scored eight of the first 11 points for a 46-33 advantage. A Boever 3-point shot made it 61-47 with 9:52 to play, and Othow followed with a basket inside for 63-47.

Still, the Eagles kept fighting. Austin Doorenbos’ 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining brought the margin to 75-63 and the visitors took a time-out thinking they still had a chance. But although the Eagles returned to the court in a press, Worthington controlled the ball for nearly a minute before Boever scored underneath for a 77-63 lead. That pretty much clinched it for the Trojans.

For teams to put their best foot forward against Worthington, they’ve got to make it difficult for the Trojans’ most prolific scorer, Ochothow, to accumulate his points. But the Eagles were unable to slow Ochothow down. He made his usual sharp, accurate passes at will, attempted his 3-point shots at will, and created his own shots off the dribble consistently.

“I thought he was able to dictate the tempo, and that’s not what we wanted,” said Boeck.

Meyer wasn’t particularly confident when the game began.

“I thought the 1-3-1 was maybe going to cause us trouble, just because we didn’t see that yet,” he said. “But we were able to create space on the floor. We handled it well. We picked out spots. And we were able to shoot the ball well.”

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Ochothow had seven rebounds to go along with his game-high 25 points. Jiekgoy Weil had six rebounds and Bruns polished off four assists. As a team, Worthington turned the ball over just 11 times.

Conner Redman led Windom Area (3-4) with 19 points, getting 10 in the first half and nine in the second. Dylan Serreyn scored 14 and Austin Doorenbos tallied 11.

After the game, Boeck wanted to confirm that his Eagles had no legitimate excuse for being unable to challenge the Trojans. But he looked around at a mostly-empty gymnasium -- a byproduct of COVID-19 -- and mused that he’s not used to so much emptiness at Worthington High School.

“It’s so quiet. And it’s usually so energetic in here,” he said. “Well, if you’re not doing it yourself, the crowd isn’t going to do it for you.”

Windom Area 30 65

Worthington 38 81

WINDOM AREA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- S.Doorenbos 2-0-0-6, Walklin 0-1-0-2, A.Doorenbos 3-1-0-11, Serreyn 0-6-2-14, Redman 1-6-4-19, McKibbin 2-1-0-8, Erickson 0-2-1-5. Totals 8-17-7-65.

WORTHINGTON (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Ochothow 3-6-4-25, M.Othow 0-6-3-15, Pavelko 1-3-1-10, Bruns 1-4-2-13, Walu 0-0-3-3, Boever 1-3-0-9, Gach 0-1-0-2, Weil 0-1-2-4. Totals 6-24-15-81.

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Trojans Meer Othow (3) makes a jump shot defended by Windom Eagles Sam Doorenbos (4) Monday Night in Worthington. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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