Boys basketball: Redwood runs away from Trojans

WORTHINGTON -- Redwood Valley's reputation tends to precede it.The Cardinals entered Friday's Big South Conference contest against Worthington as winners in nine of their last 10. The catalyst in that: a fast-paced offense that averages 76.1 poin...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Worthington guard OD Othow comes in fast on a layup as Redwood Valley’s Colten Minkel defends Friday night in Worthington.


WORTHINGTON - Redwood Valley’s reputation tends to precede it.
The Cardinals entered Friday’s Big South Conference contest against Worthington as winners in nine of their last 10. The catalyst in that: a fast-paced offense that averages 76.1 points per game this season.
“We knew coming in that they’re a high offensive-output team,” Trojans coach Clint Meyer said. “We knew we’d have to hold them in the 60s to have a chance to beat them. It’s a tough matchup. They play with five guards who can all handle the ball and shoot.”
Worthington fought until the final horn sounded, but in the end just couldn’t quite keep up. Redwood went home with an 86-66 victory.
“I told our guys just now that I was proud of the way they battled the whole game,” Meyer said shortly after the contest had ended. “They didn’t get down on themselves and they kept playing.”
The Trojans had a hard time holding onto the basketball early, and it seemed the high-octane Redwood offense was able to take advantage each time. A Tyler Linder layup was all Worthington put on the board during the first four minutes of the game as it turned the ball over seven times in that span.
After Zach Boever made his presence felt on a nice spin move for two, James Pendleton - who scored 19 points in the first half alone - made his first of three first half 3-pointers to put the Cardinals up 14-4. Buckets by Linder and Boever closed that gap to six at 14-8, but the Redwood offense continued to roll.
The Cardinals led 31-17 midway through the first before the Trojans made their run.
That all started when Boever buried a long trey from the top of the key with 7:47 before halftime. Two mid-range jumpers by Tucker Sorenson were sandwiched by Logan Huisman and Linder layups. It all added up to an 11-2 Worthington surge that had it within five at 33-28 with 4:42 on the clock.
“That’s what we wanted to do,” Meyer said. “We wanted to have long offensive possessions and get the ball

inside. When we did that we were able to score.”
The momentum quickly shot back to the birds. Only 12 seconds after the Trojans got within two possessions, Jordan Kohout drilled a trey from the corner. That started an 11-2 Redwood Valley advantage to close out the half and it led 44-30 at the intermission.
Cade Johnson hit on a long 3-pointer early in the second half to push the Worthington deficit to 17. OD Othow tried to keep his team in it when he answered on the other end, but 3-balls by Colten Minkel and Kohout extended the Cards’ advantage to 56-37 when the Trojans used a timeout with 13:13 to play.
“That makes it tough,” Meyer said of the visitors’ ability to shoot from the outside. “We weren’t able to play two bigs because they can cause nightmares on the perimeter. If you don’t move your feet, they’re going to get a lot of easy shots.”
Obang Ojulu made a pretty pass to Tyler Van Hove on the block for an easy layup, but by then the Trojans were doing all they could to keep the deficit less than 25. Mitch Irlbeck got in on the 3-point action off of an offensive rebound with 5:54 remaining. That put the Cardinals up 77-51 as Worthington just couldn’t keep up with the 10th highest-scoring team in Class AA.
Ojulu and Ben Spigelhoff gave the home crowd something to cheer about down the stretch with a 3-pointer each, but Redwood was able to close out the victory.
Boever finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for Worthington. Linder added 17 points with Van Hove grabbing seven boards.
“In the first half we got it down to a (five-point) game,” Meyer said. “Then we got into a more high-tempo game, which isn’t really how we like to play. That’s when we started to make some turnovers and they converted on the other end. But against Jackson (County Central) earlier this year I thought we kind of let up when we got into that kind of game. Tonight we kept battling.”
Pendleton scored a game-high 29 points for the Cardinals, who shot 8-of-20 from long range as a team. Minkel and Irlbeck scored 12 and 11, respectively.
Worthington (5-10 overall, 2-5 Big South) will have a week to put things back together as its next time out isn’t until Friday when it travels to Pipestone Area. The Trojans won the first meeting between the two teams 74-63 on Dec. 17 in Worthington.
“They’ve been playing good ball,” Meyer said. “They’re a better matchup for us and we have a week to prepare, but after that we don’t have a lot of practice time. We’re just gonna have to lace ‘em up and be ready to play.”
Redwood 44 86
Worthington 30 66
REDWOOD VALLEY (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Pendleton 3-9-2-29, Kohout 2-0-0-6, Minkel 1-3-3-12, Josephson 0-2-4-8, Bratsch 0-1-0-2, Siegfried 0-0-1-1, Ward 0-1-1-3, Rasmussen 0-3-0-6, Johnson 2-1-0-8, Irlbeck 1-2-4-11. Totals 8-23-16-86.
WORTHINGTON (3PT-2PT-FT-TP) - Othow 1-1-0-5, Boever 1-7-2-19, Ojulu 1-0-0-3, Braaksma 0-1-0-2, Van Hove 0-1-0-2, Calmus 0-1-0-2, Huisman 0-1-0-2, Merrigan 0-2-0-4, Sorenson 1-2-0-7, Linder 0-8-1-17, Spigelhoff 1-0-0-3. Totals 5-24-3-66.

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Worthington Trojans forward Tyler Linder makes a layup Friday night.

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